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I spent a good part of the day again cruising around on my peddle bike.

I road through several parks today where I didn't see anything too interesting other than a good close up example of a thatched roof and came across a tree which kind of feel over but still seems to be alive an well.

I made my way to Amsterdam's World Trade center and a new office and apartment complex next door. This is the WTC.

Here's a couple interesting buildings next to the WTC. Signs in the area mentioned a Expo XXI but it's not clear from their web site ( if that means there are going to try to host a future World Expo like that in Vancouver in '86 ( or that coming up in Shanghai in 2010 (

After I returned my rental bike I took time out for a beer, then wandered around a bit on foot. Bikes are definitely great for covering longer distances around here, but they are a bit of a pain in areas full of pedestrians. There are literally thousands of bikes in this city of all shapes and sizes imaginable. Most bikes look to be in decent running order but others have seen better days and some seem to have been abandoned like this one below.

At dinner I was chatting with one of the locals next to me and according to him there aren't many parallel parking spots next to the canals these days. Spots like this one below are an accident just waiting to happen and people have frequently driven over the edge while attempting to park. Fortunately the water is only a few feet deep so the risk of drowning is low. Apparently one thing you should know before attempting to parallel park here is that if you do go over the edge stay with your vehicle. If you stay in or on your vehicle you and it will get rescued for free. If you leave your vehicle it will cost a lot of money to have it removed from the water.

After dinner I finally had a chance to visit the Anne Frank ( house and museum. All the other times I went by there the line up was just too long. This place is where Anne, her parents, an older sister, and four others spent just over two years in a "Secret Annex" hiding from the Nazis. The museum did a decent job of telling the story of Anne and her family and it was kind of interesting to see the hiding place first hand.

Tomorrow I leave Amsterdam for Lille, France, were I'm going to pick up a rental car to drive to Normandy. I will make a quick stop or two in Belgium on my way to Lille, but I'll basically be just passing through.