Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Integrated Transport

I loved our visit to Amsterdam!  One of the things that is immediately apparent is that they have actual integrated transport. 

One can get off the plane, collect your luggage and walk to the train station.   While we were collecting our luggage, we bought a 5 day train/bus/tram ticket from a chipper and cute as a button helpful person right next to the luggage carousel!  It seemed to be a good idea to get the transportation portion of our budget out of the way.  A train caught at the train station (waiting time for train 15 minutes) will take you right into the centre of Amsterdam . . .

From Amsterdam Centraal - Dutch spelling folks ;-)  You walk over to the tram stop and wait for your tram.  In this instance the wait for the tram was 8 minutes.  The tram takes you to about two blocks of your hotel.  Genius!  I was impressed by how all the different modes of transportation are integrated.  Our tickets were good for the trams and buses all over the city.  You "checked on" to each bus or tram by presenting your card to an electronic sensor and it "blipped".  At the end of your journey, you checked out as you got off by presenting your card to the sensor once again.

We followed the directions and got off at our stop . . . but got a bit confused as to which direction to walk .
We figured it out.

The above is a put together by the hotel we stayed in while we were there.

So from the time we landed until we were knocking on the door of the hotel was less than an hour.  We had taken a train and a tram with very short walks and brief waiting times.  I loved that!  I know how UNintegrated transportation is if one arrives at Glasow airport. 

We walked/took a tram everywhere on this trip.  My poor feet suffered.  I am unused to walking quite so much.  I should walk more.

The other mode of transportation in Amsterdam are the canals or grachten (plural of the word gracht).  Boats are still a viable form of transportation in Amsterdam though there is no public system on the canal.  If you want a boat ride, you're going to have to make friends with a boat owner OR go pay to go on a canal tour. 

We did that!  We followed the advice of the Lonely Planet guide and went to Boom Chicago on Leiseplein where we booked passage for a boat tour the following day.
It was like being on your pal's boat.  Everything was easy and relaxed.

Everywhere you go in the world, you can always find an Irish bar.
Beautiful old warehouses with the old canal access.  So beautiful.  I loved the architecture and the huge windows of the buildings.
Seven bridges view
The old houses all have tilted fronts and large booms with hooks on them.  Front doors are small and staircases inside are narrow and steep.  If you wish to get furniture into the house, it is going to have to get hoisted through a window.

I can only imagine the sort of canal tour that we took is at its best on dry summer days.  What can be nicer than sipping Heineken as you glide along the canals, taking in the sights.


joared said...

Enjoyed your trip account and photos.

Oh how I wish we had more integrated transportation systems in the good ole USA -- all the major cities -- here in L.A. and where I live an hour northeast of the downtown area. They still haven't been able to get a decent system going to get to the airport -- no wonder we have so many autos on our freeways.

Shammickite said...

I'm so envious! Amsterdam is one of the places that I would like to visit.... maybe I'll get there one day! Love your pictures. I'm so glad you had a good time.
Didn't attempt any deep sea diving in the canals, then?

Robin Jack said...

I believe anyone who is planning to visit Amsterdam should read this blog. It is really helpful, and also it can save you a lot of bucks. One thing I personally liked is that this integrated transport let evolve the city in its own way.Boat transporting

Robin Jack said...

I have so many wallpapers of Amsterdam in my computer, this city is really beautiful. But I didn't know that this city has integrated-transport, it really saves the chaos in new city. For countries which do not have integrated public transport, there people need to suffer a lot and if private transport is available it charges a lot.
Boat Transportation

Robin Jack said...

Amsterdam is a city of dreams for me, one of my friends has been there and he showed me all the pictures, he had along with videos. It made Amsterdam my dream city, he too mentioned that the city has great transport but he didn't come up with the term integrated transport. I will keep this quality of Amsterdam in my mind.

Marine transportation