I sat up in my bed and looked around the room.  After emptying both of my backpacks, cleaning them, and refilling them I was getting hungry.  I grabbed an apple and headed through the pumpkin orange lobby to the hallway.  The sun was shining all the way down the brown-painted hallway.  I stood on the sidewalk outside the hostel and ate my apple.  I waited for clouds or rain but nothing came.

I threw my apple core in the rubbish bin and headed east.  I decided to follow the canals from the center out until I reached Vondelpark.  Looking at Amsterdam on a map this looks like a very simple task.  The city is shaped kind of like a horseshoe with a rectangle at the top.  The rectangle at the top is Centraal Station.  The horseshoe underneath is a series of canals that are formed by progressively larger horseshoes.  When walking them it is a tangled web of alleys and one lane, one way streets shared by bicycles, pedestrians and automobiles.  Here are some pics from my wanderings in the sun…

 When you come into Amsterdam this is where everyone starts.  This is Centraal Station Amsterdam.  From here you can take buses, trains, metros, or trams to the airport, Moscow or just about anywhere in between.

 This is an inset of the right tower of Centraal Station.

 At the corner of Nieuwe Brugsteeg in the tight streets of Amsterdam.

So finally I reached Vondelpark.  It was nice to see people seated on the grass instead of hiding under trees from the rain.  The lawns were filled despite being two months before the high tourist season here in Amsterdam.  Here are a few things I saw in Vondelpark before reaching my destination…

I was near the middle of the park and I was beginning to wonder if I had lost my way.  With one sudden scent I knew I was close.  In the center of Vondelpark is a garden with dozens of flowerbeds.  On my first trip to Amsterdam there was not a single flower.  I had hoped that this time would be different and the lingering, sweet smell assured me that it would be.  Here are a few of my favorites from the gardens in Vondelpark…

I spent the afternoon in Vondelpark and by evening made my way back to Dam Square for the carnival celebration.  I have more pics and stories but this is my last night in Europe for a while so I am going to get out and enjoy it.  Until our next adventure…

 

 

 

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