Well, after a fairly long 12 hour train ride and multiple change overs, I’ve arrived in Amsterdam. And really, this is what i’ve been waiting for! A city that feels welcoming, that dazzles me, makes me feel like a little boy in his first floor to ceiling sweet shop, ecstatic, awestruck and wanting to get my fingers on everything….

And this was while being sick!

The streets in the inner city, mostly cobblestone, some bitumen, shared between cars, trams and bicycles, with the mighty bike dominating and deferred to at every intersection, turn and crossing. So many bikes! It’s like being on a Jean Pierre Jeunet set, waiting for the surreal moment to turn to fantasy, the bicycles to turn to some mythical creature and fly away…. Just so different to the bicycle battles of the Brisbane beat, the mock lanes pretending to be dedicated to riding, really just another space for vehicles to overtake in or park.

My experience of the people here, so far, and it has only been one night and a morn, is so different to Vienna and Budapest. In both those cities I found people quite cold, working on their cool routine, the deliberate look aways upon eye contact, that sort of thing. Just my experience, mind you, not a complete dis on all people who live there! Whereas here feels more my style. From minor nods to full blown smiles there seems to be a general interest in acknowledging that two humans are passing each other in a public place.

Can’t wait to feel better and get on a bike….