DAY 10

Disembarkation day is always a long one. From the time we set out our bags at 7 am until we finally returned to our Amsterdam hotel room at 4 pm, we had walked more than eight miles. Here’s a little of what happened in between…

After our final breakfast on the Viking Lofn, we boarded a bus for the very short drive to the Movenpick Hotel. We checked in but our rooms weren’t ready. Luckily, we didn’t have to worry about our bags. Viking kept them until about 11 am and then had them delivered straight to our rooms.

Meanwhile, we set out with our local tour guide Heleen for a walking tour of Amsterdam. We learned about the canal system and the types of buildings in the old town, but this was a fairly general tour. We didn’t see a single cathedral!

After the tour ended in Dam Square, we purchased two-day tram tickets (14.50 Euros each) at a kiosk and went straight to the Rijksmuseum. We had not purchased museum tickets online, so we had to find the ticket window at the Museum Shop across the street. Our tickets were for 2 pm so we had time to stop at the nearby Cobra Cafe for a tasty lunch. Dennis had a sandwich with Old Amsterdam cheese, fig chutney and walnuts. We shared a huge slice of apple pie for dessert.

Let me digress here and say a word about public toilets in Amsterdam. They charge 1 Euro to enter the toilet. At the toilet downstairs from the cafe, I was able to pay with my “touch” credit card. When I entered the ladies’ room, I selected a stall, shut the door and realized the door was see-through glass. Only when I locked the door did the glass turn opaque. It was definitely an experience!

The Rijksmuseum had a lot of school groups, so it was a bit noisy and crowded. Despite the relatively high rate of Covid here, the Netherlands has lifted all restrictions; hardly anyone other than us was masked. But we saw works by Rembrandt and Vermeer and many others. Spectacular! We took the tram back to Centraal Station, which we can see from our hotel room. But it’s a good little walk, dodging bikes and cars and trams and people.

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