10/01/2009 – Windmills and Coffee Shops

Today we docked north of Amsterdam and rode the bus into the city, where we took a canal cruise, looked at Rembrandts & Vermeers in the Rijksmuseum, had lunch at the Five-Flies Restaurant, then walked the city for a couple of hours.

On our drive in, we saw windmills everywhere.  Denmark now gets 23% of its electricity from wind and plans to grow this to 40% in a few years.  Netherlands is at 5% and growing fast.  Will the US ever get serious about renewable energy?

Amsterdam is a great walking city — as long as you stay out of the bike lanes!  Bikes have the right-of-way in the bike lanes that parallel all the streets, and will run you over if you stray into their path.  Tourists learn quick to identify bike lanes and look both ways.  Everyone bikes — they have 2500 bike parking spots at the train station which is overflowing.  They are about to add 10,000 more spots.

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