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Home Run, Last Days Amsterdam

Thursday. After discovering our hotel was without a liquor license, I tried to cry myself to sleep, but to no avail. So I switched on the TV and what a revelation. There were 10 channels available and 6, over 50%, showed English speaking programmes. Not dubbed in Dutch but with Dutch subtitles. And what a mix. Included a dated English movie set in WW2, in a German prisoner of war camp with plucky prisoners fooling the Germans, who were often portraid as dumb. Think the English made hundreds of this type of movie.

Friday 5th. A lazy start after working out how to operate the shower. Jumped on to a tram outside the hotel, the tram containing a conductor in a little box like area towards the back. Here one bought tickets. We jumped trams and did some exploring, had brunch then joined a group on a canal boat trip. This trip was run by a company called Lovers, but it didnt work for either of us.. Then the rain came, and like many European cities, there are no verandahs/awnings sheltering pedestrians. So we joined the wet ones running up a street to find some muppet had decide this was a good opportunity to bring out the street cleaner. Approaching along the footpath a funny little machine pissing water and creating a spray with brushes. So somewhat damp we then jumped onto the wrong tram. Finally found the right tram then could not remember which stop to get off. Anyway got back to the hotel, and went out for dinner with ALCOHOL, great. The restaurent loved us by giving us a free limoncelo.

Saturday 6th. Now only 3 full days left in this city. What did we do ? Well after much soul searching we decided not to go to the following listed as "must see" museums. The museum of, Bags & Purses, Erotic, Cheese, Tulip, Hash,Marijuana & Hemp, Pianola, Torture, and Pipe together with the Prostitution Information Centre. What information is required? Presume its a prepaid service probbaly with credit card facilities.

So we took a combined bus and ferry ride into the countryside to see and go through a windmill , went to both a cheese making factory and a waffle bakery, watched how clogs were made and had a very late lunch/early dinner in a place called Volendam. Interestingly, the windmill was used to cut logs whilst one nearby was making oil. And we thought windmills were for grinding corn. What was also interesting was the canals and dykes used to drain the land. Jan & I could not live in the counrtyside, with the land about half a metre above the water and every paddock wet with large puddles and crisscrossed with large drains which flow to small canals. So endeth today's geography lesson.

During today's outing, met a 37 year old single woman, an Italian primary school teacher with a tatoo on her left shoulder and nose piercing. She was disappointed with the male friend who had accompanied her to Amsterdam. She was adamant he was not her boyfriend, but all he wanted to do was stay in the Red Light District, whatever that is. Somehow think she will not be seeing him again.

Sunday 7th. Gave church a miss and made our way to the train station, travelling to Utrecht. A less than 30 minute ride to one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands. This city boasts a museum quarter with reportedly several museums within a stone's throw of each other, so we took a plentiful supply of stones. The city was bigger than anticipated so we spent a day doing touristy things, departed late afternoon, leaving the stones behind and returned to our dry hotel. Went to a nearby Chinese restaurent for dinner, there being only one other guest. This made me suspicious of this eatery's reputation, more so as about an hour earlier a chap opposite had been calling for his dog which seemed to have disappeared.

Monday 8th. Our last day, for tomorrow we fly homeward to Singapore. Two things we have noted when comparing Amsterdam and Berlin. We thought there were lots of cycles in Berlin, but Amsterdam beats it hands down. Also bike parking is a problem with one bikepark on a barge moored in a canal. Secondly, we have hardly seen or heard the police. In Berlin the police presence was noticable and often sirens heard. Does this mean there is more crime and villians in Berlin. Who knows and who cares.

The final to follow.

Posted by JJ Europe 2017 11:39

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