Arrival: Amsterdam

The train from Paris to Amsterdam was a good idea. Similar to Amtrak, but the passengers treated it less like a bus. It was very full, but comfortable (good seats, plenty of legroom, and excellent ventilation—plus the obligatory broken toilet). Mostly agricultural landscape until we got to Brussels, then it was more urban and got progressively cleaner as we headed north. (Paris still needs a good steam cleaning, in my opinion.) The ride was smooth and fast.

The Amsterdam taxi driver drove like a Chicago cabbie (except he wasn't rude to bicyclists or pedestrians), but he was very nice and even wore a jacket and tie behind the wheel of the Volvo. We got delayed by a closed road, but it wasn't too long to the house boat. Thank goodness for Google Maps, as I immediately recognized it. It looks more like a squat bunker than a boat.

After meeting the owner and learning all the ins and outs of the place (how to make coffee, lock up, etc.), we were on our own to enjoy watching the recreational traffic on the canal. Many boats, full of young and old. As I write this at 11 pm, it is very quiet and cool. Lovely.

Barring the occasional game of "where is the light switch?", everything has gone smoothly. We will likely visit a museum or two tomorrow, once we figure out how to buy a transportation card.

Photos: the view from the living room and an evening visitor (looking for food).

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