For those of you that don’t know, I’m a pretty big soccer fan. Admittedly, I enjoy playing it much more then watching but when a major tournament is in session, I can’t help but get into it. I’ve been a fan of the Portuguese national team since I was a child so I couldn’t help but root for them in this year’s Euro 2008 tournament. They played poorly in the qualifying games but they made it into the tournament just the same. As the tournament unfolded, Portugal quickly became one of the favorites to win the entire thing. Ah, but this expectation was short-lived as the Germans took it to them by claiming a decisive 3 – 2 victory in the quarters. C’est la vie.
Anyway, I was hesitant to attend a public viewing of the match as I knew I’d have to celebrate silently in the midst of several hundred (must of been over 400 people, easy) soccer crazed Germans. I managed to stick around until half time but I then retreated to my hotel room to watch the final minutes of the game in disgust. My second favorite team in the tournament was Holland but now that they are knocked out so I now feel compelled to root for Germany. Let’s see what happens.
Here’s a nice pre kick-off photo (Taken on June 19th, 2008) where I was still feeling pretty confident about Portugal’s chances:
Here’s a quick video clip of the crowd as Germany went up 2 – 0 just before the end of the half:
I have to start off by saying that my trip to Amsterdam was easily my favorite trip thus far. The atmosphere was intoxicating and you couldn’t help but get caught up in all the excitement. I must admit that I had quite a few preconceived notions about the city prior to visit, which were mainly negative. I’m quite happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely go back again.
Photos were taken from the weekend of June 6th
My favorite spots:
1. Canal Cruise (An absolute must if you visit. My favorite part of the trip. See sample clip below)
2. Red Light District (One word…Surreal)
3. Ann Frank House (Sombering & inspirational experience)
4. Flower Market (It’s just an amazing site to see)
5. Rembrandt House (Maybe one of my favorite artisits after visiting his astonishing home)
6. Vodel Park (Vibrant park which is also a very nice place to relax)
7. Rijks Museum (Impressive landscape…Smaller on the inside then you’d expect)
8. Van Gogh Museum (Also a must even though I’m a big fan of his style)
Canal Cruise Video Sample:
Coco’s Outback: I wanted to call out this photo as I watched a Euro 2008 Opening round match between Portugal and Turkey here. What a boistrous crowd! Good times.
Part of my inspiration for visiting Amsterdam was that commerical that Amstel placed recently where they quickly flashed hot spots in Amsterdam, one of which was the big “I AMsterdam” landmark. I just had to have a photo taken there. This location is adjacent to a large park which is flanked by the Opera House, Van Goh Museum and the Rijks Museum:
I was told by someone at the concierge in my hotel that I must have a Dutch Pancake and Heineken for lunch…So I did. Below is a Ham and Cheese Pancake with a cold beer. It was actually quite good: