Saturday-SundayWe were looking for a place to travel to this fall for a good price when we saw an airfare to Amsterdam for less than 6 cents a mile. So we booked a long weekend for mid October. We left on Saturday evening on a direct flight that got us into Amsterdam a little after 9 am. The plane was a 767 that has crappy overhead storage, tiny seat back video screens, and no power outlets except in premium cabins. It's only saving grace is that the seats are 2-3-2 so we could sit together comfortably without sharing the row.
Amsterdam airport is huge and it's a long walk from the gate to customs and immigration. We finally made it to the arrivals hall and purchased a 2 day Amsterdam transportation pass that covered train fare to Amsterdam Centraal station and city trams and busses. We rode the train to the city station, then walked about 10-15 minutes to our hotel, arriving at 11 am. Our room wasn't ready for check-in so we hung out in the hotel club lounge until we could get in our room. It took a few hours and we finally got our room a little after 2 pm.
We were feeling jetlagged and decided to take time for a short nap. In the meantime we made reservations for a 6 pm canal cruise with Those Dam Boat Guys. Around 4 pm we started out for a casual walk around Amsterdam city center meandering the streets between the canals and window shopping. At 6 we met up with the representative for our boat tour and were guided with the rest of the customers to the tour vessel.
Most of the canal cruises are on large glass topped boats with 50 passengers or more. "Those Dam Boat Guys" offers an intimate cruise on an open boat with a maximum of 10 passengers. You are invited to bring wine and snacks on board and to introduce yourself to your fellow passengers. Blankets are available to fend off the night chill. The guide is friendly and knowledgeable, although his frank use of language could raise an eyebrow. We totally enjoyed our tour which even extended beyond the chartered 90 minutes.
After our canal cruise we walked back to our hotel hoping to have dinner but the hotel restaurant was closed. There are a lot of restaurants in the area so we walked around and finally settled on a small place called London Bridge Pub where we sat outside under heat lamps and enjoyed some wine and dinner.