A Travellerspoint blog

Amsterdam - Tuesday, 26 July 2011

semi-overcast

Up early today as our excursion for Zaanse Schans left at 8.00 am. A one and a half hour bus trip. First stop was a cheese factory

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and then to Zaanse Schans to see the windmills. So picturesque and so Holland. We watched a demonstration of clog making and of course, Phil bought a pair.

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We climbed up a windmill and walked around the beautiful little town. Took some great photos.

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As we were leaving Zaanse Schans, I noticed a good old Southern Cross Windmill in one of the paddocks. What is a Southern Cross Windmill I hear you ask? Well, a Southern Cross Windmill was made at the Southern Cross Foundry in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia (my home town) and that Foundry was once the largest privately owned Foundry in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Back on board for lunch.

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The food and wine is plentiful and lovely. Every day we all assemble for a briefing about the next day's activities. It is the Captain's Welcome Dinner tonight so we all dressed up.

We are meeting some very nice people from Australia, USA, Canada, England and New Zealand.

Posted by gaddingabout 21:53 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Amsterdam - Monday, 25 July 2011

overcast

Cool and dry (rained at 4.00 pm just as we were leaving the bus to board the boat)

Checked out of the Rho Hotel at 11.00 am and walked a few metres to the Krasnapolsky Hotel and made contact with our Scenic Tours guide, Dewi (pronounced Devey).

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Went for a walk, found that the Dutch Museum was open, so spent a couple of hours in there. Really good and the art was lovely.

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Found a lovely enclosed community off a busy road, dating back to the 1600s. One original house was left and had been renovated.

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Had a light lunch at O'Reilly's Irish Pub (soup for me and a Caesar Salad for Phil) and then went back to the hotel to wait for our Scenic shuttle bus to the boat.

The boat and our cabin is everything and more I imagined it would be.

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Our Butler's name is Evahn and does amazing things with the towels in our bathroom!

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Our cabin is up on the top deck and is great. We met Josie and Bernie from Melbourne while waiting for the bus. On the way to dinner we met Yvonne and Tony from England, Tony and Elizabeth from Perth, Sandra and Tony from England, Jo and Joe from Perth and Louise and Jack from Florida.

Dinner was fabulous. Buffet with delicious salads and cooked mains if you wanted. (I had smoked salmon and caprici salad and Phil had salad and chicken breast and pistachio icecream) Going to put on weight here! Unlimited wine, beer or soft drink with meals.

The ship holds 166 passengers.

Posted by gaddingabout 21:25 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Amsterdam - Sunday, 24 July 2011

rain

Caught the hop on, hop off bus to the Rijksmuseum. Pouring rain and very windy. Phil has a rain jacket and an umbrella and I have an emergency poncho. My shoe leaked and the bottom of my pants got wet and my jacket sleeves also got wet. Very miserable. The paintings were good - Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas. Bought some prints at the shop. The Van Gogh Museum shop is next door. Popped in there and bought a fridge magnet.

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Walked in the rain to the Hermitage Museum and had lunch at an Irish Pub on the way (Phil had bangers and mash and I had a BLT). The Hermitage had an exhibition of Icons from the St Petersburg Hermitage. Just gorgeous. (Can't find these photos on the computer at the moment, but whenever I do, I'll download them!) It is raining harder and blowing a gale, so we called into a supermarket for some nibbles and then caught a taxi back to the hotel. Everything is sopping wet. The weather in Amsterdam has been dreadful. I don't have the right clothes which is so annoying. They are all at home. I hope it warms up soon. I am sick of wearing the same things, day after day.

As we had a big lunch and late nibbles, we have decided not to go out for dinner tonight. In France, Belgium and Holland, there are no tea making facilities in the rooms and no moisturing cream either. I have now run out and my skin is feeling like dried up old sandpaper!

Coffee shops legally sell marijuana. You go to Cafes for normal coffee and Coffee Shops for marijuana! The hop on, hop off bus and canal barge are not good value. They take more than an hour to do the circuit and aren't very frequent.

Posted by gaddingabout 19:08 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Amsterdam - Saturday, 23 July 2011

all seasons in one day

Woke up early, had breakfast and then went to the big man's shop to get Phil some trousers. Didn't fit. Went to the shoemaker and bought some odour eaters for Phil's shoes and had my camera strap stitched.

We caught the hop on, hop off canal ferry to the Rijksmuseum however, the canal boat driver told us we could get a refund on our hop on, hop off bus ticket because we bought a 48 hour pass and we have discovered it takes too long on the bus, so we will only use the canals. So, instead of going to the museum, we came back to the city to get a refund on our bus ticket, but they wouldn't give us one. Another day wasted! By now, it is very windy, freezing cold and raining.

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Had lunch at Delifrance (ham and cheese baguettes and custard croissants) and then a beer at a pub and back to the hotel to read and watch TV and rest - warm and dry.

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We went out for dinner to a nice restaurant - very welcoming. When we only ordered soup and entree snacks (tomato soup, traditional Dutch veal croquettes and cheese and gerkin platter), they took away our cloth napkins and replaced them with paper ones! We questioned the waitress and she went and told the big fat owner (who looked like Peter Abels) and his wife who were in the restaurant, having a drink. When they left, he went out of his way to walk past our table and said something in Dutch and all the staff laughed. Not very nice.

During the afternoon, we saw Anne Frank's house

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and on the way back to our hotel, ended up in the red light area and saw the girls sitting in the windows.

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Posted by gaddingabout 18:52 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Amsterdam - Friday, 22 July 2011

sunny

Had a fabulous sleep and both woke up late at 9.00 am and rushed down for breakfast. Exploring Amsterdam today.

The main square (Dam Square) looks a lot friendlier and safer in the light of day. It is a pretty wild place at night!

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We bought some tickets that last for 48 hours for the hop on, hop off bus and barge. We went for a round trip on the bus to get our bearings,

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had lunch (toasted ham and cheese Panini) and then went on the canal ride.

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We tried to buy Phil some trousers but couldn't find his size. We have found a shop down near the flower market and will go there tomorrow. Bought some wine and chips for "happy hour" before dinner.

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We had dinner in an Italian Restaurant around the corner from our hotel. I had a Caprese Salad and Phil had Lasagna. We sat in the window and watched the passing parade. We are the oldest people here. Everyone is 20 and off their face on marijuana. They can buy it legally in the coffee shops. I have never seen so many young people in the same place before - lots of groups of young boys.

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Bought some postcards and wrote them all and posted them. The weather has changed for the worse again - cold, overcast, windy and drizzly. I am sick of wearing the same clothes. I only have one set of warm ones.

Posted by gaddingabout 16:21 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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