Friday, July 26, 2019

Amsterdam -- Friday, July 26, 2019

After a nice breakfast in the hotel, I set off for the VanGogh museum (having bought my ticket on line last night). I got to the museum using public transport. I had purchased a 24 hour pass last evening. The system is very efficient, and easy to navigate. I started at the Central Rail Station, a couple of blocks from my hotel, and used one of the kiosks to get specific routing instructions to the museum. The kiosk even printed them out for me. I took the subway and then switched to a tram, and there I was.

My ticket was for 9:45 am, but there was no problem entering earlier as the museum was not yet very crowded. I chose this museum (over, for example, the Rembrandt museum) because Van Gogh has always been one of my favorite painters. Unfortunately, my very favorite, Starry Night is in a different museum. But his famous Sunflowers is here on special exhibition, and hundreds of his other works. It was a very worthwhile morning.

The sculpture has nothing to do with the Van Gogh museum behind it, but it seemed to make a more interesting photo. The building behind is the special exhibit hall (Sunflowers), while the main museum is in a separate four story building off to the right.

The Van Gogh museum is behind me; the Rembrandt museum is across the pool.

This afternoon we had our first meeting, a safety briefing, followed by bike fitting and a (very) short test ride. It was still hot enough to work up a sweat. I am trying something new this year -- incorporating very short videos (prepared with an app called Relive) to each day's blog. Here is the video of today's ride.  With the possible exception of Copenhagen, I don't think I have ever ridden amidst so many cyclists. You really have to have greatly heightened awareness. Even though there are dedicated bike paths, you have to watch for crossing bicycle and motor vehicle traffic and lots of cyclists in front of and behind you.

We will get together this evening for more formally introducing ourselves and then having a group dinner. I think that there are sixteen of us on the first part of the tour (maybe even a couple of last minute additions -- I will have to check tonight.

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