I'm sitting at a little Italian café that has wifi, so I'll see if the pictures load faster. Fingers crossed...
This is the Royal Palace, right in the center of town. I don't think the Queen lives here. I think it is just used for ceremonies and the like. They say Queen Beatrix is so down to earth that she can sometimes be spotted riding her bike around the Hague...just like everyone else. The whole town is in high preparation for the historic ceremony that will take place here at the Palace in late April, when the beloved Queen Beatrix plans to abdicate the thrown passing it on to her eldest child, Willem-Alexander. After a long line of first-born children being female, Willem will be the first King of the Netherlands in 128 years.
And the palace is guarded by Batman! Actually, this guy's just making a buck posing with tourists like me, but this is typical Amsterdam. You never know what you may see.
Birds are everywhere. These are being fed by the 2 women in the photo and are very excited.
Mmmm! Waffles with all kinds of goodness piled on top are popular here...as are many kinds of tasty treats.
We have car parking garages and they have bike parking garages. This one is right down from Central Station.
How cute is this place?
Here come the bikes. Notice that they are all in the same lane. Large streets like this one have a sidewalk for pedestrians (the cobblestone to the left of the bikes), a bike lane, a car lane, the tram lanes in the middle, and then car, bike, and pedestrian lanes going in the other direction.
Another cute residential street.
I liked the two buildings at this corner...they each have just a little lean.
A big monument at one of the squares.
I almost bought a bouquet of these for my room...but I have no vase and I'm hardly ever in my room.
This old gothic cathedral is right across from Central Station. Look at all the bikes parked in front!
And now for the few pics I took while walking around last night. All of these are from the Red Light District. I've heard that you aren't supposed to photograph the girls up close, and this is a PG (or at least PG-13) blog anyway, so these are all long shots.
This is the steeple of what is called the "old church" lit up at night. This church is in the Red Light District...as are schools, funeral homes, markets, etc.
This is from across a canal. Each lit window on the ground level contains a live girl for sale. The windows where the lights are off and the curtains closed...business is already being transacted.
Looking down another canal in the Red Light Dist. Again, every window with a red, pink, or green light contains a human being...on display and for sale. Actually, "for rent" is probably a more accurate term.
Same place, just with a closer zoom. There were lots of people out gawking...tourists just like me.