Sunday, October 9, 2011

Europe 2002 Trip Reports Part 25 Amsterdam Day 3 Evening

This is the 25th of a series of posts recalling my trip to Europe, using e-mails sent at the time.  Unlike later trips, I didn’t e-mail people everyday.  Trip reports are largely as I wrote them at the time with two exceptions: I was usually pretty rushed due to Internet fees in Europe, so I’ve cleaned up my e-mails to make them more coherent, which wasn’t a priority at the time.  Also, in some blog posts I’ll add additional thoughts with the hindsight of nine years later or to add further clarification.  I’ll use “NOW” in such cases.

This 25th report covers the rest of my third day in Amsterdam.

Went on a day trip (okay, so it was only three hours or so; it went smoothly nevertheless) to a commercial village called Zaanse Schans. There I saw windmills (I was understandably determined to fit windmills into a trip to the Netherlands somewhere, and even spent E2 to go in one, a dye windmill), as well as:

* a cheese cottage, which offers free samples; cheese was actually quite good and would have bought some, but its a bit pricey and I wasn't sure what the Canada Customs’ rules on cheese are;
* a wooden shoes workshop; again considered buying; however, some were too pricey though okay looking, others were okay priced but would look weird to wear in Victoria;
* (my favourite) a clock museum; real nice antiques, a good argument against mass production; the curator there is very proud of his collection, so if you praise a clock, he will show you extra things some of the clocks can do; this little extra bit of personal touch was what made that museum a particularly fun experience.  He mentioned his photo policy: any pictures for personal use, none for commercial use; I have no problem with this as I'm not trying to make money at his expense.

I returned to Amsterdam and went in search of something I noted on my map; a bit of a challenge because I had misplaced my Amsterdam guide (this time I found it later) and even now I'm not sure what I had noted down.  Still got some nice photos of parks, etc., and made friends with a golden retriever, which of course is one of the friendlier breeds of dogs.

Afterwards, having largely exhausted my interested in R/X rated bizarre museums (I'm not really curious about the marijuana museum because it sounds a lot like propaganda aimed at Americans), I decided to tackle a bizarre G-rated museum: a glasses museum.  Only two floors and hard to tell about at first, but if you're patient and wait a few moments for your eyes to get used to a variety of small objects, the variety of different eyeglasses becomes quite interesting.  Still pricey for what you get, but undeniably a unique collection.

[NOW: This actual name for this museum is Brilmuseum.]

I reserved a room in Brussels.  Went for another YHI place at the last minute (thankfully with smaller dorms) because it was really cheap, and I want to be able to splurge on bizarre museums, etc. and still not withdraw any more money before leaving Europe (I should have enough pounds from before to cover a half day in London).  I'm okay for cash but want to avoid the international ATM fee.

[NOW: This reminds me: too many ATMs in Europe, if you asked for E100, actually gave you a single E100 bill. I tried to cash those sooner than later because all kinds of things can go wrong with that much money in one bill.]

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