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July 18th 2017
Published: August 12th 2017
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Our cruise ends in Amsterdam but our vacation is not at an end. We take a taxi to the apartment we rented on Airbnb. We settle in and go grocery shopping. We were surprised to find the store does not take credit cards or our debit card, good thing we have euros. We take a walk and check out Vondel park which is near our apartment. It is midweek yet there are so many people riding bikes, walking, playing games and laying in the beautiful and large park. We make dinner in our apartment and wait for Brad who is flying in from San Francisco to spend the next month traveling with us. Brad takes a train and tram from the airport, no problem.

This morning we head to Mac Bikes, and rent bikes for three days. They rent all kinds of bikes, electric, double, bikes for children and bikes with trailers. The bikes come with two locks and directions to lock them in bike parking areas or the police may take them away. Amsterdam has more bike riders than cars, my observation not fact. Scooters can drive in the bike lanes or with the cars, a little scary but it is scarier to be a pedestrian than to be on a bike. The city is not that large so we can ride everywhere, if we don't know where we are we follow signs to Vondel Park near our apartment.

Mark and I love art so we head to the Rijksmuseum on our bikes. The museum has 8,000 artistic and historical objects. The art is from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (1100 - 1600), 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Our favorites are the Nightwatch by Rembrandt and Vermeer's The Milkmaid. We spend all morning here leave the museum and have lunch on a canal cafe then return until we have seen everything. You can see why Brad and Christopher prefer not to join us on our museum visits.

Next day we do a pub crawl by bike with Christopher and Brad. We ride to a bar on the river near the central train station called Hannekes Boom. The bar has a naticul theme. The sky opens up just as we arrive and we are happy to be indoors. The bar has outside seating which we enjoy when the rain stops. We ride in the rain to our next stop a brewery in a windmill called Brouwerijh'tlj. The beer here is good and cheap. Mark had a Natte, a Belgian style dark beer, Christopher had a Cascade Single Hop a blend with Cascade hops, Brad had Flink a pale ale and I had a Plzen, a blond. We continue ridding into central Amsterda, we lock or bikes in a cute square with a outdoor flea market. We check out the market and continue walking down narrow street when we notice the girls in the windows. We have found the Red Light district. A woman with two young children also noticed where she was and starts to drag her children out of there. We find our destination Bierproeflokaal an old pub. We sit outside, enjoy our beers and people watch.

Mark and I bought tickets to the Van Gough Museum on line from home. It is very popular and they sell out. The tickets are timed so we arrive at 9:30 AM. No pictures allowed and most but not all the art is by Van Gough. We have lunch at Cafe Hans & Grietje, across the canal from the museums we love the goat cheese salad with sun dried tomatoe, apple, cucumber, onion and walnuts with mustard dressing. We have beer with lunch. I usually prefer wine but beer is cheaper so beer it is.

We spend a lot of time ridding all over the city. We do not see a lot of the boys but they also enjoy exploring the city and pubs.

We head to the airport by public transportation and we are off to Berlin.

Additional photos below
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Brewery in windmill Brouwerijh'tljBrewery in windmill Brouwerijh'tlj
Brewery in windmill Brouwerijh'tlj

Good inexpensive beer in a windmill
Vondel Park near our apartmentVondel Park near our apartment
Vondel Park near our apartment

We rode through this park every day

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