Travel Tales and Pictures

Travel Stories and Photographs by John.


Amsterdam, Netherlands - Part III

Pictures enlarge if you click on them.

Houses in Amsterdam - Notice the medal posts to keep people from driving into the canals.

There were advantages to working versus being on vacation. You have the opportunity to interact with the people more and see them in work situations. Just little things like going to the lunchroom at work are interesting.

The Dutch love their bicycles.

One of my clients in Amsterdam told me that the bikes in Amsterdam don't always look good, but the bikes are always in good working order. He also said the the Dutch often let the air out of the tires of their bikes when they park them at the train station to prevent them from being stolen.

Bicycles and canals in Amsterdam.

After the first day of work I felt more adjusted to the time change and more energetic. I enjoyed a walk around downtown that night. I went to Dinner at a Dutch restaurant that night and had steak with peppers and apple pie with cream. It was another windy rainy night. I was told by people at work that it was an unusually warm February, but it still felt chilly at night to me.

Notice the pulleys at the top of the buildings. They are used to bring in furniture through the windows because the stairs are too narrow.

After a couple of days I walked along the canals at night. I didn’t get lost anymore. My favorite things were the canals and houses. I just walked along the canals and looked at the houses.

Houses on canals.

House Boat on an Amsterdam canal

I got off work at 4:00 pm on Friday, so I was able to walk around Amsterdam some in the daylight. It was an interesting time in Amsterdam, but I was looking forward to going to Japan because Catherine, my wife, was flying from San Francisco to meet me there.

View from the canal boat tour

On my last Saturday morning I took an early canal tour and then quickly left for the airport. At the airport the security seemed even tighter then when I arrived. There were armed guards with automatic weapons everywhere. There was security screening before you arrived at the ticket counter. Then another screening with security, that included the most complete body pat downs I have ever experienced, before you entered the airport gates. Then a third ring of security screening before you went down to the boarding gate.

Boat I took on my canal tour.

View from the canal boat tour

View from the canal boat tour

During this period of my life I was traveling extensively for business and as a result I was a premier traveler on American Airlines. Therefore, I was often bumped to first class on flights, but I wasn’t able to get first class on the leg from Amsterdam to Tokyo. While waiting at the airport, I was reading a book and not paying much attention. It was the last place I expected to hear my name called. Then I suddenly became aware that my name was being called over the announcement system. When I arrived at the desk, I was told that my ticket was upgraded to first class. I was very happy because this was a long flight. I flew on a 747 and was seated on the upper deck with a chair that fully reclined and was provided pajamas and slippers.

After I left Amsterdam I flew to Hong Kong by flying over Russia and China, a twelve hour flight. I had a layover in Hong Kong and then flew for another eight hours to Tokyo.

Use the search box at the bottom of this page to find previous postings on London, Amsterdam, Japan, Germany, Austria, Yellowstone, New York, Boston, Switzerland, Alps, Plymouth Mass., Washington DC, San Francisco, Manila, San Diego or Quebec.

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Blogger haan said...

hi John, I enjoy reading/seeing your words and photos. Amsterdam was also the first Europe country/city I visited for work purpose. I also have some photos uploaded -

December 08, 2006 8:50 PM  
Blogger GMG said...

Hi John,

Amsterdam is superb and your excellent pictures show...
I've been there for a dozen of times, the first in the Summer of 1969 (the Dam was then a hippie camp) and the last in February 2006, and I visited exactly the same places pictured in your photos. However, except for the pictures taken last year, I realized that the only photo I could find was the one posted at

January 02, 2007 3:00 AM  

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