'Canal cruise more fun than landing in the ocean'
Hardly four hours, the first people to walk on the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin and their companion in Apollo 11, Mike Collons, spent in Amsterdam. A lightning visit that was much shorter than their 22-hour stay on the moon. After their 45-minute visit to the Royal Palace, the group went to the Rokin, where a large group of people was waiting for the astronauts. At the canal boat of Reederij P. Kooij, in which the astronauts were scheduled to embark on a cruise through the canals, they were welcomed by Mayor Samkalden and aldermen Bootsma, Polak, Elsenburg and Hamm. The canal cruise then departed to the RAI.
There were not a lot of people along the route, with the exception of the school children who had been given time off for the occasion. At the Apollo hotel, chefs had lined up, each with a letter in front of them, which together formed the sentence Apollo Hotel greets astronauts of Apollo 11. That is where Mayor Samkalden gave Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin the cross pin of the city of amsterdam. After their visit to the Congress center in the RAI, the astronauts proceeded to Schiphol, to have lunch with several guests, just before they would continue their goodwill trip, to Belgium.