Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Amsterdam and U2 (Day 1)

I'm so glad our 8:20 am flight to Amsterdam was from the much smaller and easier to navigate London City airport. We did lose another hour in the time change, and our train ride from the airport was a little crazy. After we left the station, we ended up walking a bit and then finally just getting a ride from Uber to our hotel. We were pretty tired by the time we got to our hotel at 11:30, but thankfully our room was ready for us! We stayed at the The Albus Hotel which was in a great location in the city center.
(photo taken from the internet)
Each room was pretty unique, and I don't think any two were exactly alike from the way it sounds.
(photo from internet)
Our room was very similar to this one. Not very large, but definitely big enough for the two of us. The bathroom made us laugh though, because when we walked in the door, you pretty much walked straight into the shower. Definitely an open concept with just a glass partition separating it from the rest.

As we were entering the elevator to go up to our room, Mike's brother came up behind him to surprise us! He had come over with his wife to see U2 that night as well and had arrived the day before. Eight years ago, they had been with us in Dublin to see U2 and we had a great time hanging out. So we had been looking forward to our trips overlapping in Amsterdam.

Despite being a little tired, we decided to head with them to lunch at The Three Sisters Pub in a cool square right around the corner from our hotel. 
After lunch we decided to walk around for a bit before going back to the hotel to rest before the concert that night. 

This photo has so much I want to remember about Amsterdam. I loved the canals, all the boats on the water, the unique homes and architecture, bikes everywhere, and the crazy way they parked their little cars so close to the canal!

We walked by the Anne Frank house, but the "free" line was way too long to get in. If you are going to Amsterdam and visiting the Anne Frank house is on your list of things to see, I would recommend getting tickets well in advance. 

At this point, Mike and I headed back to our hotel for a nap before the concert. 
Ready to go see the band. Crazy lighting in our hotel room right? But it was fun.

We walked to the train station. And while waiting in the long line to purchase tickets for the train,  Mike realized he had left our paper tickets at the hotel room and wanted to have them just in case. So he ran back to get them and made it back just as I finally got up to the ticket machine. We bought our two tickets for the Metro and went to get on. It was packed!!! And it got more and more crowded the closer we got to Amsterdam ArenA. Thankfully the concert was indoors because it was lightly raining by the time we arrived.
Love that incredible stage. And what a great feeling to be down on the floor again.

Just the two of us - Amsterdam for the U2 Joshua Tree Tour, July 30, 2017
We didn't get there until around 6:30 pm, so we couldn't get as close to the stage as we would have liked.  
But we were close enough.
Quite the crowd behind us and all around us. General admission is definitely not for the faint of heart if you are going to be in the middle of it and are less than six feet tall. (lol) I could barely see at some points and it was hot and crowded at times. There are only a few bands I would do it for these days. U2 of course, Radiohead, The National, and possibly Noel Gallagher.
And look who it is - Noel Gallagher! His band was the opening act and I had been looking forward to seeing him a lot. I love Noel Gallagher! I always said out of the band Oasis, he was the brother with the talent. Anyway, it was great to see him live.
And then it was time for U2 and Joshua Tree. I will admit that I cried a little during Where the Streets Have No Name. I was thinking back to my very first U2 concert - another Joshua Tree tour back in 1987 where they opened with the very same song. And it was so great to hear it again and think about what this band has meant to Mike and I over the years.
That screen is amazing! And I love all the visuals that were directed by Anton Corbijn. He always does great work.
One of my favorite parts of the show actually was the segment with Beautiful Day and Elevation. Those two songs always get the crowd jumping! And during Beautiful Day there were a ton of colorful balloons floating around that were so fun. I hadn't seen or heard of that being done at any of the other shows on tour. I know they didn't have them two nights later in Brussels.

After the show was over, getting back to the train was insane! The station was just a short walk from the ArenA, but the crowd was all trying to jam through the first main entrance. Mike decided we were going to just walk to the next station where it wasn't so crazy. But as we started walking we noticed another entrance to the station that nobody had really noticed yet. So we managed to bypass a lot of the crowd and made it on the train and to the stop by our hotel around midnight. We grabbed some pizza from a little place close to our hotel and finally got to sleep around 1:30 am.

And just like that, our first day in Amsterdam was over!

Steps walked - 18,186
Miles - 7.8


  1. How FUN!!! LOVING all the photos!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Great photos and wonderful memories for you! xx

  3. Sounds like quite an adventure and I admire your dedication to U2.

  4. Looks like such a wonderful trip! I enjoy seeing all of your photos. :)