October 14, 2013

Canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands - Of Canals & Gay Kinos

The canals of Amsterdam
It has been raining non-stop since Day 1 when we arrived at Europe 4 days ago. Sometimes it pours, sometimes it drizzles and sometimes, it is a mix of everything. Throw in a below 10 degrees temperature and cold bitter winds, it made walking along the beautiful streets and canals of Amsterdam a dreary affair. 


Big Bone Guy and me have been gearing up for the run ever since we reached Europe, but the weather practically taunted us for the past few mornings. Despite repeated urging from us, Alcoholic refused to do any run during this trip and did not even bothered to pack any running shoes. 

His philosophy," Space is a precious commodity when traveling and running shoes is a waste of Space!" 

Luckily, on the last morning at Amsterdam before we were due to travel to Germany by rail, the weather held up for that few moments in the early morning of our departure. Strapping up, we quickly ran out of the warm apartment into the frigid streets, did a short warm up and broke into a run, hoping that the exercise will melt away the cold.
The start of our run: Outside our Apartment
Lots of waterfront properties around here!

The not so nice stretch of the canals
Amsterdam is a delightful place to run, as long as you stay along the canals and the main streets. 

Running along the canal will offer you a tranquil experience as swaying trees and the flowing water will make you feel at peace.

Running along the main streets will offer you a piece of the city's history as you run past beautifully designed European style architecture and historical sites

Running along the smaller lanes however, will have you trying to navigate the narrow pavement, dodging overfilled rubbish bins and dodging water bullets as vehicles drive past pools of water thanks to the last few days of rain.

The run took me to some of the major landmarks of Amsterdam like the Waag (Oldest non religious building in Amsterdam), Bascilica of St Nicholas (One of the Oldest & Major Catholic Church in Amsterdam), Centraal Railway Station (Yes, with 2 a's), a statue of Bredero (Famous poet playwright) , Nationaal Monument (WWII monument), Royal Palace of Amsterdam ( Palace... Enough said, read yourself!).

The Waag
Basilica of St Nicholas
The Amsterdam Centraal Train Station
Statue of Gerbrand Adriaenszoon Bredero
The narrow side streets. Look at the obstacles along the pavement!
Gay Cinema shop, pretty common sight.
Nationaal Monument
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam
My initial plan was to cover the entirety of the old city stretching from the Central Railway Station to the North, to the Museum belt to the South. However, my injuries from my previous Tiong Bahru run started to flare up, after hitting the 1km mark. I hadn't done any runs every since that incident and hoped that my knee has recovered enough to allow me to enjoy my runs in Europe. Doesn't seem like the case for now. The pain started to intensify upon hitting the 2km mark and I alternated between hobbling and jogging the last km.

"Okie, that's not too bad." I was consoling myself. "Maybe after a few more days of rest, my knee can recover enough to do a longer distance." 

In any case, I have agreed with BBG to do a short 30mins only run and we will meet at the pavement of our apartment within that allocated timing. 

I hobbled back to our apartment right on the dot but BBG is no where to be seen! I called Alcoholic who was probably still dozing away on his bed to let me in, away from this freezing cold... but no one picked up the phone!

As my body started to cool down and my sweat started to contribute to the freezing cold, the clouds started to open up with small droplets descending from the sky. This is when I saw Alcoholic swaggering back. He was apparently inspired by our determination to run in this freezing morning that he decided to take a walk himself. 

I complaint about the cold and begged him to let me into the warm apartment while he sniggered at me for torturing myself by running in the cold during our vacation...  


Selfie with Royal Palace




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