Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Peek at Amsterdam and Netherlands

A short business visit to Rijswijk, Netherlands in mid July gave me a one afternoon’s time to stroll the streets of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a city by canals, It has relatively narrow streets, wide canals. Canal cruises are a favorite mean to see the city. There were many tourists walking in the street, like busy street in Shanghai, China. There were police cars but I saw more police on bike patrolling the busy street of Amsterdam.

There are several big churches for the several street I walked on. It seems that there are churches in every direction. Another distinct feature of the city is that there are Muslims everywhere (by way of look and cloths), I saw them in the streets and on the trains – many Muslim women taking their kids to/from Amsterdam.

Netherlands has the most impressive public transportation: Trains, buses, trams. There are two catagory of train carts - 1st and 2nd class. The train runs regularly, reaches most locations. The trains are handicap and bike friendly - there is bike section on every cart. The following picture shows Amsterdam central train station. It seems that the trains are run on honor system for train tickets – no body check the tickets for getting on or off the train. It turned out that there are inspectors checking tickets at peak hours.

The Dutches I met were friendly and everyone can speak English! I got many helps from them when purchasing train tickets from kiosk.

Netherlands is a flat and green land,. It is as level as water surface. It has many sheep and horses on its green land. I did not see stand alone houses there. Most residential housing I saw was cluster homes, town houses and apartment buildings

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