Back from Amsterdam with some observations.

<p>I just returned from my trip to Amsterdam. The trip was primarily for [|CivicActions] to have what we called an “off-site” which is kind of funny because we don't have a “site” so our 4 days spent on Amstelstraat would have better been described as an “on-site”. We engaged in the typical retreat exercises: trust falls, obstacle course and smores. Actually we did none of those. We did produce an amazing array of “wall charts” and other assorted notes. We met with [l:|Greenpeace International] (twice) and hung out with [|Drupal] developers from around the globe as well as a bunch of guys from [l:|Bryght].</p>
<p>More on all of that in separate blog entries. Among the things that amazed me about Amsterdam was the overriding sense of egalitarianism. I was constantly surprised and pleased by how even the society seems. All manner of people ride their bikes and walk everywhere. Women carry their children (sometimes as many as 3!) in bins mounted to the front of special bicycles! There were hardly any big ostentatious cars or suvs. The curbs were low. This might seems like something trivial, but it broke down the barrier between street and sidewalk and pedestrians and bicyclists as well as scooterists flowed naturally between the two domains. There was a constant dance between the different forms of traffic and it all seemed to work just swimmingly.</p>
<p>The public transit, from the train to the city to the trams that criss cross the city was clean and quiet and efficient! Airport to Centraal station in under 20 minutes! The scale of the city was very human, from the height of the buildings to the length of the blocks, it all contributes to making it a superbly walkable city.</p>
<p>I think that I will definitely be going back.</p>