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June 9th: Our First Day in Amsterdam

Our hotel – the NH Barbizon Palace Hotel – is very close to the city center, and right around the corner from the Central Train Station. Next door is the Basilica of St. Nicolas, a beautiful revival-style church, which includes both Neo-Baroque and Neo Renaissance.

Our hotel itself is quite unique – to build it the NH Corporation acquired several houses in the block, and created the hotel on the ground floor, with elevators and connecting hallways in the interior. Consequently, rooms are either up a few stairs from the hallway, or down.

Because we arrived at the hotel very early in the day (9:30 am), our guide for this portion of the tour took us on a brief walk to acclimate ourselves to the region while our rooms were being prepared.

We walked up and down a few of the narrow streets and over bridges, looking at houses which appear about to tip over, and some of the canal-side houses.

In the evening, we were treated to a few delicacies and a glass of wine, while we attended a short briefing about our stay in Amsterdam, and then sat down to an excellent meal of salad, roast chicken, and dessert. Since I couldn’t eat the sweet pastries, the staff very kindly got me a fresh fruit plate.


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