Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 1 - Continued - Amsterdam

Flight with KLM was smooth and we got to our destination.  The food was good and the staff offered plenty of food and drink.  HOWEVER - the economy seats allow no extra room to deep breath.  There are 2 rows of 3 seats on each side and 4 seats in the middle.  We were in the middle and Andrea was in 1 seat in from my aisle seat with a bulkhead or something under the seat in front of her so no room at all to stretch out her legs which were touching the back of the seat in front of her.  Felt like sardines by the time we arrived and sure ready to unload.
First off through customs -- 4 officers in 7 booths and no clearly marked lines so bit of confusion to get somewhere.  Went fairly fast though -- I told them we were headed to a Rhine Cruise so allowed in.  Andrea just said "I'm with her" and he let her in also.
When you go in the baggage claims area there is a small TV screen that shows the flight number and the carousel of the baggage.  We were right at the screen at the front corner of the room and the bags came out within minutes.
Walked out into the main hall and a bit to our left were some people in red jackets with Viking signs.  Very easy to find them.  One man checked our names and the tour and hooked us up with the proper representative.  Apparently the group was just waiting for us so we set of quickly.
The ride on a large tour bus was comfortable and not for too long.  Found out Thursday where we were suppose to dock had been changed to a dock 20 minutes out of town.  This really didn't matter because they had arranged for a bus to shuttle us in and out of town.  Then on Friday they changed the boat (sorry - the ship) which meant some other changes.  At this point in time I am just glad to be here.
Only stayed a short time and headed into Amsterdam.  A walking tour had been arranged but we went off on our own and took a canal tour which I have always wanted to do.  And what do we see --

No, we did not visit the McDonalds.
Except for a tourist who had reserved some seats that turned out not to be needed and never put her earphones on so she talked loudly through most of the trip, the canal trip was very enjoyable.  Interesting to see the housing and learn the history and people watch.
Saw some of the buildings -- like Bimhuis, the jazz theatre, and Nemo, the science museum.  Both are on the harbor area of Amsterdam.
 Loved some of the housing.  Great if you wanted to live near the water.
By the time we got off the canal ride and back to the church where we were to meet our bus, we were too late for that particular shuttle bus so we had a bit more time.  We walked around a few blocks and along a small canal to see something of the immediate area.
Frequently on the weekends you will see groups having a bachelor or bachelorette party.  They may rent a boat and often dress up to add to the fun.  This group went with the theme of the matador and his bulls.  They seemed to be having a great time even though it was around 5 in the afternoon.
Had supper at 7 and a fairly early night before the ship Kvasir left at 11:30 p.m.


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