September 22, 2009: Amsterdam!

Amsterdam Canal

Amsterdam Canal

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Well I couldn’t spend all that money to come to Europe to race and not take a peak at what Amsterdam’s all about! I had never been here before, and likely will not race in the Netherlands again, so I took a day to wander the infamous city.

After yesterday’s race I drove back to the airport (about 2 and a half hour drive), dropped off the car and stored my luggage, and took the train into the center of Amsterdam. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect outside of all the usual reasons why people go to Amsterdam, so I was a bit more nervous traveling solo here than any of the other solo travels I’ve taken.

After a day of touring the Red Light District, Amsterdam as a whole, fishing villages, cheese and clog makers, windmills and the canals, I was exhausted. I was also completely amazed at the beauty of the city. It was nothing like the preconceived notions that I had about the place. Sure the Red Light District was true to its reputation (and also very safe), but the architecture of the buildings, bridges and city itself was breathtaking. Amsterdam seems to be a cultural mecca for the arts, and given a few more days I might have been able to partake in them.

It was a great end to my trip. Going from the misery of being jet-lagged and sick, to the disappointment of the first race, to the growth of a good lesson of the second race, and finally to the appreciation and awe of the city of Amsterdam was quite an emotional¬† journey over the course of five days. But this will be yet another trip that I’ll remember for my lifetime.

Marken, Netherlands

Marken, Netherlands

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