Truth be told, the pot and the prostitution were minor challenges compared to what I consider to be the thing that is the most irksome about the city: Its countless bicycles coming at you from every direction.
Does Northern Europe exist in snow? The travel industry says no. Ski areas aside, most tours and cruises adventure to Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands in June and July, when the days are stretched out and soft, like fondue that's been melted in a pot.
It had been more than eight years since we were in Amsterdam. When the much-reconfigured Rijksmuseum re-opened, we were ready for another visit to the Netherlands. It was just a matter of following our usual practice of finding a musical event around which to build an itinerary.
It's always hard knowing what to do on a layover, unless you are lucky enough to be at an airport that has been perfectly designed for travelers. Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is one such delightful locale, with so much to see and do it makes you want to stay longer.
Going on a short press trip to Europe is never a walk in the park. It is more like a headfirst plunge into the local art scene: Exploring, tasting, inhaling it 24/7. And that's exactly how it was during my recent visit to Amsterdam.