I was reading through the Amsterdam Pocket Guide that Philip sent me, and it gave me a few ideas for stuff to get up to in and around Amsterdam:
Cycle around town. How is cycling in Amsterdam different from cycling in Oregon?
Smoke up (not usually my thing, but hey, when in Rome…)
Meet someone who lives in a houseboat, try to get an idea of why they live there and what it’s like
Part of The Netherlands is below sea level, the water levels are rising; what are the locals’ takes on this?
Go to the Waag (city centre, southeast of Oude Kerk, after the small Chinese Quarter) for the Rembrandts (I’m a bit of a Rembrandt nut). His The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Diejman, two of his most famous paintings, have hung there since they were painted in XXXX.
See Rembrandt’s house on Jodenbreestraat)
De Gooye windmill – only windmill left in the city centre
Vondelpark – a park named for a poet? Count me in!
Figure out this whole “when is Holland not Holland” thing
Have a park picnic in the Bos
Bus/cycle to some nearby villages
Go to Gouda for some gouda cheese (my favorite)
Countryside bike ride
Hang with some day campers – day camping is pretty popular in Netherlands parks
Kunstmarkt: indy art market for independent artists. That’d be a neat place to meet some interesting people.
Albert Curperstraat. Open-air street market. I love these things, especially wandering among the produce.
Smoke an Amsterdam cigar? The Netherlands has a pretty thriving cigar industry.
Uitmarkt. I may be leaving Amsterdam on Aug. 24, but I could be there still in time for this. Uitmarkt is a week of music and theater, free to the public (I believe) that goes on during the last week of August.
Eat lots and lots of rijsttafel – good ol’ Indonesian food, maybe up to 30-some courses with rice. I like the sound of that.
On Kolksteeg, de Wildeman for beer tasting: over 50 on tap, 100 in the bottle. I wonder how many I can get through…