Saturday, April 22, 2006

Oh Yeah, I Went to Amsterdam Too

On the way over to Africa last month, I had a 6 hour layover at Schipol International in Amsterdam. 6 hours is WAY too long to spend in an airport, especially when one of Europe's great cities is just a 15 minute train ride away. Despite it's better known reputation as a haven for, shall we say, shady activities, it is actually a very beautiful city with plenty to see, even for the casual traveler.

There are two things that Amsterdam has in abundance: bikes and canals. When you think of canal cities in Europe, your mind probably goes to Venice, Italy. Venice is great and a true jewel, but Amsterdam has just as many canals as Venice, if not more. I don't know what it is precisely, but canals just give a city a certain amount of character. And then there's the bikes. EVERYONE in Amsteram has a bike. It often seems as if the bikes outnumber the people, and they even have parking garages dedicated to the storage of thousands and thousands of bikes. Again, the bikes everywhere give the city a great amount of character.

My stop was brief, about 2 or 3 hours, but it was a great experience. I found a beautiful church that was open to the public, which was good, since it was only about 30 degrees out and I didn't have a jacket. I also took lots of city shots. This pic shows my three favorite things about Amsterdam: The canals, the bikes, and the beautiful architecture. So next time you come and visit us in Togo, try to fly Northwest/KLM, and you're sure to get a good long layover in Amsterdam and a chance to experience one of Europe's truly beautiful cities!

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