Our last full day we decided to check out the history museum. It is an ultra-modern museum with flat screen video displays you access with a DNA card to play in the correct language. Of course it took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to use them... but that's just because I'm a little slow. It is a great museum and I enjoyed learning about how the city was built on wood pilings and their evolution to concrete. This 'I amsterdam' sculpture is a miniature version of the one in the Museum Plein.
We also found time to ride the free ferry behind the train station across the canal to the North Side. It is literally a 3 minute ride across the canal and when we were asking a local some questions, she was very confused as to why we would want to ride the ferry across and then just come back again. Oh well... it was free. And it was an adventure. I had to take a picture of the bike garage. The biking in Amsterdam is just a little insane. I cannot imagine how you could remember where you left your bike and then find it again.
After our free ferry adventure, I was able to take a little self guided tour inside St. Nicholas Catholic Church. It was spectacular. Catholicism was banned in Amsterdam till the 1800s so there were no big churches like this one before that. Amsterdam was tolerent thought and Catholics worshipped in secret... like in people's attics. I didn't get to visit Amstelkring and the secret upstairs chapel (Our Dear Lord in the Attic) but would like to if I ever make it back.
This little lizard garden was near our hotel in Leidsplein. I just thought it was cute.