Greetings from Amsterdam! Arrived here from Casablanca Friday night; we’ve had two wonderful days here. Tomorrow I will meet with the chairman of ACI Europe, Ad Rutten. Ad runs Schipol Airport and has done a tremendous job these past six months addressing direct fallout from two very difficult events these past six months: the Christmas bombing attempt and the volcanic eruption. More on all that tomorrow.
We’ve never been to Amsterdam before and it is rapidly becoming a favorite. We’ve ridden throughout much of the canal system, stood in the room in which Anne Frank hid from the Nazis for several years, seen Rembrandt‘s works including “Night Watch,” Vermeer‘s unbelievable rendering of the “The Milkmaid,” several hundred Van Gogh paintings, and taken the Heineken Experience tour. We’ve eaten great traditional Dutch food, seen beautiful architecture and gorgeous flowers. And we’ve only scratched the surface.
One of the neat things about this place is that it attracts people from all over the world. We’ve ridden boats with people from Bosnia, Canada, Australia and New Jersey. We attended mass today in a beautiful little church with as diverse a congregation as you would ever see (including a kid in a Dodgers t-shirt).
Probably the only other place I see such diversity is back home (students from more than 80 countries attend the high school my kids went to, TC Williams in Alexandria). Maybe that’s another reason I like this place so much and feel so comfortable here.