i left home monday 4Dec to start my trip across the pond. the language barrier began on My flight from philly to amsterdam on tuesday 5-6dec when all instructions were in engish and dutch. while i can understand and read german, dutch is like greek to me.

The flight across the pond was very smooth and short (ca. 6.5 hrs) due to a strong tail wind and we landed early around 1000 local time at the Amsterdam airport. Immigration control was very quick and my checked bag was one of the first to slide onto the carousel. I said, "hmmmm, this is going very well so far." Got on the train for a 15 min ride to the Amsterdam Central train station. As I always stay at hotels as close to the train station as possible, my hotel was less than a 5 min walk.

I checked in at the hotel but since I was early about 3.5 hours I had to wait. Hmmm, what to do, what to do. Having checked my bags in storage I asked the hotel's concierge if he knew of a place close by where a weary traveler might get something to quench his thirst. Things continued to go well as the oldest bar in Amsterdam was a 2 minute walk from the hotel. Of course I went there to check out this historic landmark and while there had a pint of their two local brews (Heineken and Amstel) to help the local economy. After a nice time at the pub I went back to the hotel and fortunately my room was ready and I crashed...

Unfortunately, catching up on the sleep that I missed in over 24 hours meat that I missed the only day that the sun peeked through the clouds. It's now Saturday and Thursday, Friday and today have been cold, foggy and so sun, only a thick bands of clouds. Certainly not the greatest conditions for taking photos but ya do what ya can. I'll post some more photos probably tonight - enjoy.

I take the train to Frankfurt Germany tomorrow but that's another story.

PS - For my friend Chip - NASA.

Until next time, be safe, and tot de volgende keer.