Pedal, Pedal, Pedal

One thing I’ve learned in my short time here in Amsterdam is that the Dutch LOOOOVE riding bikes.  They love bikes so much that they have two to three story parking lots just for bikes.

Bike Rack at the University of Amsterdam
Bike Rack at the University of Amsterdam - the Netherlands has more bikes than people

In the honor of the Dutch culture, Sammy and I decided to rent bikes and take a little cruise of our own.

Sammy on BikeFirst, we went by one of the grand canals in Amsterdam, and, because it was a holiday weekend, we were able to see a ton of activity on the waterCanal. Next, we cruised along a local street market searching for something to eat.

Unfortunately, Sammy decided to wander off, and we got separated. The bike trip became a solo mission!

Off on my own I went and made my way down the river passing many really unique buildings such as the NEMO Museum, which is a museum dedicated to all things science. NEMO

I also passed the historical Maritime Museum, which had a ton of really cool boats anchored at dock.  My next goal was to make it all the way to the North Sea, which was about fifteen miles to the East.  Unfortunately, the only path that I could find without the use of a GPS was a six lane highway- definitely not suitable for my bike!  Instead, I rode south to see Amsterdam University.

University of Amsterdam

The University was beautiful, everything looked brand new, and being the architecture dork that I am, I rode everywhere looking at all of the amazing buildings.  After my time at the University, I went by Middenweg Park which is where EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, in the area comes to play sports. The park was beautiful! It had what seemed to be over fifty turf soccer fields, and it contained numerous playgrounds, sand volleyball courts, tennis courts and an indoor ice rink.  I spent about an hour and a half just weaving around the park paths watching people play both soccer and field hockey.  After exploring the park, I made my way home.  Another interesting feature of parks in Amsterdam is what I call “kid parks” because everything is miniaturized, even the park itself.

Little People Park
Little People Park

Although I lost my biking partner, the day turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had to date in Amsterdam.  Overall, my route went through at least five different cultural neighborhoods: Chinese/Vietnamese, Jewish, Middle East, Jamaican/Carribean and African; lasted about four hours; and, took me over twenty-one miles throughout the city.

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