Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Visit to Amsterdam, a Walk in the Rain and the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel

We arrived in Amsterdam and hustled off the train as quickly as we could since the stops seem short. We’d packed light, thanks to Rick Steves’ travel tips at www.ricksteves.com/,but we still had plenty to carry. Paige had much more than me with her laptop, her art books and multiple cameras, but she never complained about it.

Amsterdam's Centraal Station
photo by Ijanderson977 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Centraal Station in Amsterdam is massive with no signs for direction like we’re accustomed to in airports. The limited signs available were not in English, of course, and now I was wishing I’d spent some time researching and writing down important Dutch train-related terms. People were walking in all directions, so finding the front of the station took a bit of time.

A tiny portion of Amsterdam's Centraal Station interior
By Hide-sp (Hide-sp's file) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) via Wikimedia Commons

According to the map, the hotel was close to the station, so we decided to walk. Our hotel should have been easy to find, but it was pouring rain. Traffic Amsterdam-style is heavy near the station. You have to watch for trams, bicycles, cars, buses and other pedestrians. We were holding umbrellas, lugging our luggage, and I had to stop every block or so to check the map. Oh dear! 28 years of following Mark around blindly (he is not directionally challenged) while he led the way was bearing its fruit.

Paige and I were pretty happy to find the hotel and thrilled that they allowed us an early check-in. We were able to change into dry clothes and take a little nap. What would we do in the pouring rain anyway?

I was thrilled to spot this sign. The hotel advertises it is a three-minute walk from Central Station.  I think a sprinter with no luggage might make it in three minutes if all the lights were green and no other traffic existed. It took us many more minutes because of heavy rain and our challenges with directions.

The hotel exterior in the evening    
www.marriott.com photo

The Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel Lobby  
photo from www.marriott.com

The hotel lobby seating area    
photo www.marriott.com

Our bathroom had been compact, shiny and immaculate before we came in to dry off.

Our sleek, contemporary room--an efficient use of space. 

The rest of our room. We had a frig. and a good sized closet, plus across, next to the bathroom was another closet for hanging clothes.   We were happy here.

An hour or so later, the rain had stopped and we chose to begin our Amsterdam adventures with a tour of the Anne Frank Huis. 


Robin J. Steinweg said...

What posh digs!

You write such interesting details; I feel I'm there, too. Well done. You should write for travel magazines or books!

Lori Lipsky said...

Thanks, Robin. Glad you're along for the trip.
If you know someone who wants to pay me, give me a holler!

The Prude said...

I love the contrast between the super contemporary innards of the hotel and all the old, old buildings along the street.
I got a good chuckle from your description of the '3 minute walk'
I am loving Amsterdam! So glad we don't have to leave yet!

Lori Lipsky said...

Prude, I hope to make the few days in Amsterdam last for a while. We loved our visit there. Paige liked it so much she dreams of living there someday.

Joanie said...

Great pics! I love living vicariously through you world travelers!