Friday, August 03, 2007

July 2, Amsterdam

I wake up fairly early, promise to pick Marko up from the railway station, and go to the city. The city looks like it hasn't awakened yet, at least for the most part, in spite of it being Monday and all. Many stores open at noon on Mondays, and many don't post their opening hours so I don't know when they open.

A bookstore (De Slegte) on Kalverstraat. They have last year's editions of Dorling Kindersley travel guides for 10 euro a piece. A few books jump right into my arms and refuse to go away until I buy them.

I find Marko and we go to the boat, where we drop the luggage off and pick Ville up. We go downtown, to Zeedijk, Nieuwmarkt and Dam.

It rains every once in a while.

The royal palace is closed due to circumstances, as a sign helpfully informs us. Nieuwe Kerk, however, is open and pretty as ever. With stained-glass windows and all.

We find a really nice comic shop in Zeedijk, with a very talkative guy who almost makes me feel like buying Everything, but I don't.

The historical museum is better than I remember it.

We meet Leena on Rembrandtplein, which is now decorated with Night Watch sculptures, and go to a restaurant appropriately called Nachtwacht. Afterwards I put the restaurant on my boycott list because they do not bring you tap water, but their steaks are quite good.

Back at the boat we are having a geek luxury stay: a computer per person (the boat has a desktop, and everyone except me brought a laptop). We also have visitors who want food: black birds whose name I don't know (Eurasian Coot, says Pare) and a retarded swan who keeps hitting its head on the boat every time it tries to grab food.

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