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Amsterdam 52.372800, 4.893600
Where’s the gondolas? Oops, wrong country.

Amsterdam was high on Robert’s list (aren’t we punny?), so we got out our Fodor’s and found an “eclectic” hotel, the Hotel Impala. The Impala is in an old house (600 years or so) that is narrow, tall, and long. Our rooms were upstairs. The first one was huge and at the back with no view. However, they needed the room for a group, so we gladly moved to the front of the house overlooking the junction of two canals.

The steps up were incredibly steep and narrow and we weren’t sure the elevator would make it either, but we managed. When we first got back, we recommended the place, but some reviews have lead us to not do that anymore. It’s been so long and we don’t know anything about the place as it is today, so, if you go, you’re on your own. But, it was fun at the time.

We didn’t take many photos or videos because we were too busy gawking at everything. And Robert had to visit every coffee shop we passed.

Amsterdam is in a probably never-ending project to take apart old homes, rebuild the foundations, then rebuild the homes. Walking around Amsterdam there are so many places that it must be a very expensive and time consuming project. But, because of the way Amsterdam was layout and built, homes are sinking into the ground.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. The only time we ever had any problem riding European rail systems was in Amsterdam and the only dim spot of the trip. We had streetcar tickets and knew how to use them. On our way to the train station, we boarded in the middle of an obviously new streetcar. There was no usual ticket punch so, slightly confused, we sat down to look around for a place to get the ticket punched. We didn’t see anything and before we could find out what to do, two police officers came by and asked for our punch tickets. We thought he was going to punch ours, but no, we hadn’t punched them and we were riding illegally and would have to pay a $60 fine right now. Even though we HAD tickets, they weren’t punched, and they wouldn’t budge. Robert was very upset with the lack of any reason or appeal and an aggressive attitude not worthy of someone visiting their home. The fine was no big deal, we screwed up, but the manner of the police was arrogant and not the least friendly. Over a stupid rail ticket. Anyway, we got off the streetcar and walked to the train station just to calm down.