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Published: October 16th 2006
A 22 year old Kenyan guy ended up winning the marathon. The building with the gold writing on it is the Heineken Brewery.
I had the most eventful Sunday since I arrived here. Amsterdam doesn't really stop moving on Sunday, unlike Enschede. All the shops are still open, so yesterday I decided to visit the famous Vondelpark and then go to the Leidseplein for some window shopping. I borrowed Agatha's bike again since she had to study and was on my way. I've pretty much figured out the layout of the city - if you're ever lost, just find the Amstel canal and then get on one of the main streets.
As I was biking, I noticed the road blocked off and a group of police motorists directing traffic. Hm...maybe it was an accident? Nope. Every year, Amsterdam has this large marathon through the town and this Sunday just happened to be the marathon day. Great. The marathon started in the big football stadium and the runners were directed all around town, down the road I needed to ride on and into the Vondelpark. I still made it to the Vondelpark only to find out that the metal fencing completely blocked me out of the rest of the park! Boo. I rode around trying to find another entrance but had no luck. I
A very old bridge
Let me tell you, this was hard to ride up! I really like the dark wooden spindles that were probably the way to crank the bridge open. Now they leave it closed, of course. =)
then decided to go to the Leidseplein, but to do that I had to cross the street, which was blocked by the marathon runners.
I ended up riding all around town and finally made it to the Amstel canal and just rode up and down the streets there. It was a beautiful day - crisp and sunny. I saw some neat old bridges and houses. It was just nice to get out even with the chaos I had to escape from on the first part of my adventure.
Oh yah, I went to the van gogh and rijksmuseum gift shop and saw some of Eyal's work for sale.
On my way home, I realized that I was now on the other side of the marathon lane and needed to be on the other side. This was clearly: the road is always nicer on the other side of the marathon fence. The marathon runners were past the place I was standing and some police officers had opened up a little gap to let pedestrians through. I was about to scoot my way through when the policeman closed the gate and said something to me in Dutch. Darn. Not
Day two of exploring
This canal is definitely the Amstel. And this girl is definitely me.
to worry since I could just ride up the road and cross at the main street on the other side of the canal. I hopped on my bike, rode about 3 meters and saw a small gap in the gate. Before the policeman could stop me, I ran through the fence opening to the other side, got on my bike and booked it. =)
That evening, Hagar, Leyla, Agatha and I went out for dinner to a very nice sushi restaurant. I had planned on going to the Heineken museum today (Monday), but it's closed on Mondays and open on Sundays. Thats okay because I know I'll be back in Amsterdam soon.
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