Call it your typical autumn morning in Amsterdam. I spent an hour or so wandering the streets, enjoying the foggy views of the canals and the local scene before it was time to head back to the Central Station and eventually Schiphol for my flight home. Except I missed my train. And for a very good reason.
I was only in Amsterdam for ~18 hours and that was going to be plenty for me. The night prior involved a rather disappointing dinner at the Street Food half of &Samhoud Places (drowning in sauce, uninspired flavors, borderline surly service) and a brief wander through the quiet canal neighborhoods. Well, quiet-ish for an evening on the fringes of the famed red light district.
The morning, though. I planned for that to be the good part of the trip. I’d need to be up early to get some time in town but the vibe of a city waking up is one I always love except the part about my needing to be awake so early to experience it. Still, that was my plan. Right up until I slept in. But I had an hour, maybe 90 minutes if I pushed it tight at Schiphol, and that was all I needed to enjoy my side trip to Amsterdam.
Fog hung low over the city giving the buildings in a soft edge. It was spectacular.
The cute little side alleys were no longer filled with loud drunks; they were empty save for the occasional local headed to work on a cool, gray morning. This was the sort of thing I wanted to see in the city.
After the allotted hour I made my way up to Amsterdam Centraal Station; it was time to return to Schiphol and my flight home. I bought a ticket and headed for the platform when a sound caught my attention. Music was playing, but not piped in from overhead. I wandered towards that side of the station and was treated to a show.
I have no idea how long he had been playing but eventually he glanced at his watch and noticed that it was time to go. And with a bit of a flourish he did exactly that; no need to really bring the performance to a close; after all, he was just having a bit of fun on one of the public pianos in town.
Yes, I missed my train because I stopped to watch. But that’s OK. There are plenty more trains to the airport and experiences like this make travel all that much better.
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