June 13, 2006

Chilling in Amsterdam; Copenhagen First Attempt

Filed under: People,Places — Cory @ 7:48 am

 [ Jason and I with our bikes in Amsterdam ] We arrived in Amsterdam Sunday evening around 4pm, and immediately had to wait for an hour at the travel center to reserve our overnight coachette to Copenhagen for the following day. At 5:05 we learned from the door of the tourist information center that they close at 5:00 on Sundays, which made finding a hotel a little more interesting. Someone at the bus station pointed us in the direction of an area of town with lots of hotels, so we took a trolley there and walked around until we found a hotel with a room available. We ended up staying at the Omega Hotel, which was a nice little bed and breakfast type place that even had free wifi (but still no A/C).

Monday morning we went out for breakfast, checked out of the hotel, took our luggage to the train station and rented bikes for the day. Our first stop was the Rijks Museum (Rembrandt), followed by the Van Gogh Museum which had several pieces that I recognized, including Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom.” After eating a late lunch and picking up some groceries for the upcoming overnight trip, we headed back to the train station to drop off our bikes and wait for the train. My pictures from Amsterdam are here.

We took the train from Amsterdam to Duisburg, and then caught the overnight train to Copenhagen from there. When we exited the train station in Copenhagen on Tuesday morning I realized that I did not have my camera, which was in my pocket when I boarded the train. I ran back down to the platform but the train was already gone. Eventually I found an elderly woman who told me the train was about 10 minutes away being cleaned. She made some calls, located my camera, and told me to come back in 30 minutes to pick up my camera. Yay for nice people!

During all of this running around in the airport I had noticed several flyers for the “International Rotary Convention.” While waiting for my camera to show up, Jason and I walked to the local tourist information center to find out where we could get a hotel. “None. Nothing in the City. No rooms available. Sorry.” Uhm… so we decided that maybe the tourist center only dealt with large hotels, so we walked around to find a smaller one that might have vacancies. That’s when we learned that 18,000 Rotarians were in town for the convention, and one hotel told us that there are only 10,000 beds in the city. We got a second opinion to be sure, and heard the same answer. Armed with Eurail passes, we ran back to the train station just in time to hop on a train to Stockholm (which apparently we needed reservations for, but again, yay for nice people!). Since we have first class tickets for the Eurail our seats are really nice, and there is even wireless and power on the train!

Instead of going from Copenhagen->Oslo->Stockholm, we are going to see Stockholm->Oslo->Copenhagen so we will be back after the 14th, when the Rotary convention is over.

The weather has been absolutely perfect so far, even for the 5 days I was in London.

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