Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 1: Are we there yet???

  We traveled for days and days to arrive in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  Well, that is a slight exaggeration, but by the time we sat down for this beer and some local cheese it felt like it.  We began out journey with a ten hour drive to Orlando, where we flew out of to facilitate childcare.  Bright and early the next morning we caught our flight for Amsterdam via New York and Dublin.  A train and tram ride later and we were finally at our hotel. What a joy to see the familiar faces of cohort VIII on the connecting flight and crossing the street in front of the hotel.
  My first impression of Amsterdam is, "Holy Bicycles", I nearly got run over several times before figuring out the sidewalk/bike lane set up.  After lots of walking around taking in the sights we found an Indonesian place for dinner.  Research told me Indonesian cuisine in the Netherlands was very popular dues to the Dutch colonization of that area.  We tried a rijsttafel, a uniquely dutch dish that allows you to sample many dishes at once.  The food quality was excellent , but Indonesian just wasn't our thing.
  Sunday morning we set out in search of a Mass.  Our search was unsuccessful, but we did end up touring the Oude Kirk, a stunning old church that now serves as a museum.  The church was once Roman Catholic and evidence of the destruction that occurred during the reformation was plain to see.  Not to mention we quickly discovered we were walking over tombs in the floor of the church.  Next we toured the Heineken factory, and many of the other wonderful sights of the city.  At last it was time to meet for dinner and get this educational journey started!

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