Amsterdam: Quiet Morning Jaunt.

I was awake by 4:00 am. By 4:30am, I was meditating. By 5:30am, I was strapping on my runners and headed out in the 'Dam to see the world waking up around me.

It's a slow wake-up in this city, I've learned.

As I walked briskly through the pathways of the city, across canal bridges and through hidden alleyways, I got stares by people I would pass (and there weren't many) on the streets. All were men. A few tried to engage me in conversation. My way of brushing them off? Saluting them and saying "Good morning" as I kept walking.

Did I feel unsafe, you may be wondering. No. It was light out. And I kept myself aware of who was around me at all times. This town is loaded with hotels every few blocks. I knew I could easily scream or run to one if needed. However, there are plenty of cities I've visited where I would NOT go for a morning jaunt like this. But Amsterdam? I have felt safe here.

Besides, it was great to be able to freely take pictures as I walked... Not feeling like I am on display as a tourist.


And... I managed to locate a tapas restaurant that Frogger and I ate at nearly give years ago! I may go back there tonight for dinner!

I did come across a gang of young adults on bikes down one of the canal streets...

Youth! Probably been up all night, heading back home to sleep.

There were so many gorgeous alleyways, loaded with bikes and little garden planters...

It makes me excited for my new bike, which should be delivered to my parents' home in Arizona. I can't wait to cruise Encinitas on it!

This is a very beautiful city as it wakes up...

It started to sprinkle as I walked back to my hotel to start getting ready for a Bikram class this morning. Cleansing me before the new day starts.