Subject: RE: One Day in Amsterdam
Hi Frances!

If I could share with you my brief visit to Amsterdam. I had one full very-rainy-day where I trained in and out of Amsterdam from Haarlem (before a Rick Steves tour). That day was spent strolling the streets, crossing as many bridges as I could :) and browsing through the street markets. Therapeutic :)

My second day was sunny and the tour group trained in from Haarlem. First impression = BIKES!

We caught the tram straight to Anne Frank's house and were there 15 minutes before opening but it was already queuing (it was early June if that's a factor).

Dam Square was absolutely bustling when we were there. Trams ducking and weaving with crowds all around. A couple of us were lucky enough to be admitted into the Beijinhof (sp?) for a look. It was serene and very pretty. We also had a quick tour of the Rijksmuseum - viewing the Nightwatch was a must for me (after seeing the tiled version in Delft!). But the highlight for me was the time I spent in the Van Gogh Museum. There was a wonderful collection of Van Gogh's works. And then I spent some quality time in the Museum gift shop :) Outside the museum there was a lovely open area (park?) with a small gift shop which had prints and novelties, and another stall selling ice creams, chocolates and *amazing* hot chocolate! A lovely spot to sip and people watch. Then we had a canal cruise. The cruise was great - try for a window seat - witness the hooks for hauling furniture up to the higher floors, the leaning houses, the skinniest house, the 7 bridges (I didn't catch them all!).

Have a wonderful trip! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia