A COUPLE WEEKS AGO, on April 13th, I flew to Amsterdam for a quick business trip. It was one of those “fly in, have a dinner, spend an afternoon, then fly home” trips… which are kind of crazy when you spend 18 hours in the air for less than 48 hours on the ground.
But I always try to make the most of these opportunities — you never know if you’ll ever get the chance again! So I didn’t spend much time in the hotel room.
It was an overcast morning when we landed, and the hotel didn’t have a room available yet, so I dropped my luggage with the bellman and went out and took a canal ride to at least get a glimpse of the city.
Saw lots of things I would have liked to have had the time to explore, from the Heineken Brewery to Ann Frank’s house… but I did stopp off for a couple hours at the famous Rijksmuseum, to see some classic Dutch paintings, including some original Rembrandts.
By the time I came back outside to finish the canal tour, the sun had come out, so I got a little glimpse of Amsterdam on a sunny day.
Then it was off to a business dinner (ironically, at an Indonesian place – so I didn’t try any Dutch food!) I stopped off after dinner at “Hoppy Days,” a little craft beer bar near the hotel and tried a local IPA – Hop Machine Extraordinary Ale. You have to keep your priorities in place when you’re on the road – hops before bed!
The next morning we rented a car and drove 2.5 hours to the city of Aachen, on the German border, for the main meeting of the visit. After an afternoon of discussions, we got the chance on the way out of town to stop at a 1,200-year-old cathedral built by Charlemagne (and what became his final resting place.)
It was late when we got back, but not too late to stop and buy a wheel of Dutch cheese before the flight home the next morning – my one souvenir of this trip. And after walking through the Red Light District (where the prostitutes really do stand in windows beneath red lights!) I had a nightcap at London Bridge, a British pub before bed. And that… was that!
It was a quick trip, but I still managed to see some things, try some beer and take lots of photos!