Opening up Amsterdam

Didn't see much of Brussels. When the bus we were in moved out of the city, I thought I was just lucky enough just to catch a glimpse of an Oriental Museum and then of course, the most astonishing building in the world, too - the 103-metre or 335-foot Atomium. The building was built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair and in the 70s, I had seen it featured in a contest form for a soft drink. This strange monument represents a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The rest of the journey to Holland was rather unmemorable. It was dark when we reached Amsterdam and to make matter worse, it had started to pour. Strangely, perhaps due to some agreement between the two countries who were part of the European Union, we did not have to stop at the border to have our passports stamped. I would not have known that we had left Belgium if not for the sole windmill I saw in the distance. In Amsterdam, we had to lug our luggages in the rain and we had a hard time looking for our hotel. Neon lights lit the streets and I saw an adult shop. It was in the red light area we were staying in but we were more concerned with food and bed then. When we hit the street the next morning, it was really quiet. The rain had long stopped and the sky had cleared up. It was a cold, crispy and indeed a beautiful morning. We came to an old church and then as we walked on, Amsterdam seemed to open up. I felt like walking into a scene in an Aesop tale...









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Travel tip: Bring along an umbrella or a raincoat.

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