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Europe Day 2 – Amsterdam, Utrecht, and José’s First Concert

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by Troy Grosfield
Date
May 27th, 2010
Category
Travel
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I’m surprised how everyone here speaks English.  Everyone is very friendly and easy to ask for directions.

Jet lag is a killer and has made me semi delusional because I’m so tired.  Had to nap to a bit to get my feet under me again.

Finances

Get cash at your destination ATM, not the airport.  I did the exchange at the airport at about 1.4 dollar to euro compared to 1.22 dollar to euro at the local ATM in Amsterdam.

Transportation

Train Station and Bikers

Train Station and Bikers

There are designated bike paths next to the roads.  Almost everyone travels by bike.  The bikers get very angry with ignorant people standing in the middle of the designated paths.  The locals will likely ring their bells in anger and give you dirty looks (speaking from experience).

Public transportation here is fantastic.  The people not traveling by bikes or scooters take the tram (light rail).  It makes it very easy to get around the city.  For the few people you do see driving you will notice the cars are all nice including cabs.  Most people around here drive Mercedes and Audi’s.

First ate at Café Lusthof.  Asked for a translation of the menu and told her I was pretty hungry and her response was “we don’t have any of those American size sandwiches”.  Put everything into perspective on how the American portions are so much bigger than in other countries.  You also will notice drinks are served in smaller glasses.

Downtown

Downtown is a very cool scene. Outside it has an older shopping district feel, old school feel outside, new school look inside. There are long strips of shopping which seem to be busy all the time regardless of the day of the week.

Utrecht

Hitting up the train to go Utrecht to see José’s concert.  Central station in Utrecht is very crowded. Tons of shopping all aroud. Very large shopping areas attract very large crowds. It’s a fit city with lots of walkers. People definitely get their daily dose of exercise with the alternate means of transportation.

Jose's (aka Puerto Plata's) First concert

Jose's (aka Puerto Plata's) First concert

Excitement in José’s face when his ‘family’ showed up was priceless. It was very clear he was happy to see us there to support him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen José smile so big before. The venue was nice with stadium seating and a dance floor in the front where a lot o the dancers were. The concert was a huge success!

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