Monday, March 8, 2010
The airport in Amsterdam puts MIA in the dust. Schiphol is a big air travel hub with flights arriving and departing to and from all corners of the globe. In stark comparison to our swamport, there is little visible presence of TSA style security folk making your travel experience a paranoids nuisance. Renting a car or getting hotel reservations is a breeze. Mulling through the crowds of weary travelers is like a picnic at the United Nations. Glad to be in the old country where the men are kinda queer and the ladies are svelte. After 12 hours in limbo, it's safe to say maybe there is an airport god.
From windmills to tulip-below-me, the Netherlands are a paradise lost in modernity, a grinding mill for the new grains of time. I love how gray weather makes tripping fantastic for this novice outsider. The breakfast buffet at airport inns is a culinary delight.
Venice of the Nord
Like the city of canals in Italy, Amsterdamster is laced with waterways that make for a most picturesque place to be. Like the swamp that we know, it is practically at sea level. The only thing keeping the ocean at bay is an elaborate system of levies and dams that we should only wish had been duplicated in New Orleans prior to Katrina the tropical storm.
This place is really happening, you'all. It is where you can light up a big fat one at a quiet cafe or visit the red light district for a romp and a gawk at the ladies of the night as prostitution is kinda legal, safe and probably taxable.
As if that wasn't enough, this is the city of cycles. Man, I haven't seen so many bikes since critical mass at key biscayne. Bicycles are everywhere as they are a great way to get around. If locals can ride them in the cold and rain then certainly Miamians should be able to do the same in the heat and sweat.
Park Bike Here Free
They got so many bikes, they even have parking garages for those two-wheeled earth friendly contraptions.
And there is another thing dotting the urban landscape, Modern architecture wow! they have some outrageously cool buildings to compliment that old world charmscape.
Hey look, there's another one!
... and another one!
Critical Flight Anyone?
Ho yeah, and it's apparently OK to post graffiti as is the custom in most great urban centers.
Exported Brew Meister
What would Europe be without great beer? Here is home to the Heiniken Micro-Brewery... for sure there is also a giant factory in the outskirts of town to export the world-class Heiny.
Anyways, I'm here to work so it's off to the Deutschland and the shipyard of big dreams Royal Caribbean.
BTW, crossing the border by rented car from Holland into Germany was a total non-event.
It's easier and cheaper than going from NYC to New Jersey.
As traveling would have it, blogging is a bit backed up, but the next installment will be a sneak preview of the newest billion dollar cruise ship Eclipse - built in the the very small town of Papenburg...