I just got back from an Altra International Summit in Amserdam of The Netherlands. Another stamp on the passport was a lovely experience. We arrived this past Tuesday morning and spent the next three days in meetings. There were some break off opportunities to run through a couple city parks, around a lake and then through the dunes and along the beach of the North Sea. It was great to spend time with all of our European distributors and get to know them better.
After the summit we had a full day free before we were to fly out. Kevin and I researched what we could get done in a day and set forth to blitz through it. We met up at 8am to grab some breakfast in our dressy running gear with our rain jackets all set for the day. We made our first trip up to the train station to purchase a Holland Pass. This pass would get us access into 6 different museums and sights.
We then hopped on he tour bus and road it halfway around the city past some cool sights and museums.
We then arrived at the Reijksmuseum and got some culture. I have never been one to understand art so a visit at a quality museum was a very new experience. The line to get in without tickets was crazy long, so thankfully we did the Holland Pass to be able to bypass that line and get right in.
Luckily there was a great app that we downloaded for the Reijks that took us through a 90 minute tour of many of the key pieces of the museum.
After the Reijks we headed over to the Van Gogh Museum, but the line was insanely long so we headed by the hotel really quick and grabbed a drink and brief break. We then ran up towards the Jood Historical Museum with a brief stop for a bite to eat.
Running through the streets of Holland was a lot of fun. The buildings, canals, shops and history was amazing.
There is a lot of Jewish history in Amsterdam as the Jews migrated from Portugal between 1600-1800. Then there was the tragedy of World War II where three-fourths of the Jewish population of The Netherlands was eliminated through the concentration camps. In memory of the Jews there are various sites throughout the city, one of which is the Jood Historical Museum. This was a really neat site that took us through the Grand Synagogue and New Synagogue and much of the Jewish history in Amsterdam.
After the Jood Historical Museum we went around the block to the Hermitage Museum. This is a sister museum to the larger Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. It contains rotating exhibits. The current exhibit was about Alexander I, Napoleon & Josephine. It was a really neat exhibit to see the clothing that they wore, the weaponry that was used and the history and relationship between these three key pieces in European history.
We then made our way over to the Het Scheepvaartmuseum or the National Maritime Museum where we learned about the warships, travels to the East Indies and the Dutch East Indy Trading Company. We were also able to tour through a ship from the 1800s.
As it was starting to approach 5pm we had a couple more stops to make, including the Van Gogh Museum. We needed to boogie back across the city to Museum Square and hit up the Van Gogh Museum before it closed. We couldn’t make it all of the way without a quick stop at one of the best ice cream places around. We had tried to stop by the night before, but they were closed so we ran by on the way to Van Gogh and it was worth it!
We made it to the Van Gogh museum with a much shorter line, but still a bit of a wait. The museum was packed so they could only let in as many as were leaving. Luckily it only took about 30 minutes for us to get in since we already had tickets (Thank you Holland Pass!).
After the Van Gogh museum we walked casually around the rest of the city taking in sights and sounds. There is so much to see, but I feel that we accomplished a lot. We wrapped up the day with a walk past many canals, a good Dutch dinner, and a walk past the Anne Frank home. We were unable to get in on a tour of her home due to time and lack of ticket availability, but cool to walk past anyhow.
All in all it was a great blitz around the city of Amsterdam. We saw a lot, got in over 9 miles of running, 3+ miles of walking, 5 total museums and lots of sites around town.