Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Travel Day: Left Brussels & Arrived in Amsterdam 4/9/2013

Today was a slow day, I was up late last night talking to my hostel mates, I did not mind taking it easy today.      I only slept a few hours last night and had to check out of my Brussels hostel by 11 am.  I was going to walk around Brussels with one of my hostel mates who had a late departure time for a flight to Turkey, but when we got outside it was raining, dreary, weather, not a walk around town type of day.  I had already seen all the major tourist attractions in Brussels and decided to get my luggage and head to the train station early. Brussels train station was cold, may have been a better idea to hang out at the hostel and wait for my train.  I found a relatively warm, enclosed area at Brussels Midi station and read my Europe guidebooks on my Kindle while I waited for the train to Amsterdam.

I have an uneventful train ride in second class to Amsterdam.  Normally I would travel first class with Eurail but there were no seats Eurail seats left on the Amsterdam train, I made my reservations too late.  I had to pay 79 Euro and sit in second class, the rest of my train tickets around Europe were 3 euro or less, the 3 euro is a service fee charged by some train lines.  We arrived in Amsterdam around 5:45 pm, I got off the train and looked for an information booth to get directions to my hostel.  There was nobody working the information booth, I had rough instructions from an email the hostel sent and I went outside and looked for the tram I needed to take to get to the hostel.  I asked a couple of people and they told me the Trams I could take to get to the station near my hostel.

I arrived at the station and eventually found my way to the hostel, I asked a couple of people for directions along the way.  Everyone was friendly and they all spoke English, was nice after struggling to communicate with French speakers for the past several days.  I checked in at the hostel, very different from the other hostels I have stayed in, reminds me of a big college dorm, there are people of all ages here, I even saw a kid with his mother.  There were a few people sleeping in my room when I arrived, other that them it was quiet, everyone was out exploring Amsterdam.

I saw a flier for a tour of Amsterdam's red light district, it begins at 7pm daily, but it was already 6:58 pm, too late for me to make it today.  I considered on going on a 90 minute canal cruise, I decided against that and just went out to find something for dinner.  I ended up getting a hamburger and fries from a small shop attached to a Chinese restaurant.  I saw a flier on the door of the hamburger shop, from what I could understand, it said this shop had the best hamburger in Amsterdam, I must say it was a good hamburger, the fries, served with mayonnaise were good too.  I took a few pictures while I was out, then headed back to the hostel for a low key evening.

First Day in Amsterdam Photo Album

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