I woke up very early and tried to get the earliest train to Amsterdam. The Zuid/Midi station was pretty quiet at that time of the day. I had just spent two nights in Brussels. I like Brussels. It was not as exciting as London and Paris for sure. However, they have some of the best food around. The streets are safe and the people are helpful. Even in this station, I do feel safe even though it was so early.
Many cities in Europe are linked by rail under the InterCity train service. The InterCity train between Brussels and Amsterdam is not high-speed. Because of this, it took three hours to reach Amsterdam.
There is a run every hour. The coach are very comfortable and there were hardly anyone on board on this first run of the day. I managed to get a private room with six seats — comfy!
Arrived at the Amsterdam Centraal station at about 9:30am. Gosh! I feel at home already. Between all the European cities I have been too, the people in Amsterdam are so similar to the people in Vancouver. They are so friendly and patient. Each time I stop people asking for directions, they will actually stop and take time to tell me.
I wanted to start the tour of Amsterdam early and check into the hotel only at night. So, I left my baggage in the Left Baggage area and start plotting my day.
My first stop was the Visitor Centre where I got myself a 48 hours pass to the tourist spots. This pass, called I AMsterdam, came with a Guide Book and a plastic card which I can use for transit, free admissions, canal boat, discounts and believe it or not, free snacks and drinks.
I like this … this is a 48 hour pass not a 2-day pass. The 48 hour starts from first use.
More about Amsterdam tomorrow.