Today was a travel day to get us from Paris to Lelystad, The Netherlands. While I don't love France as a country (largely in part because of the rude treatment of Americans I have experienced) it is a beautiful country to drive through. There are the canola fields and beautiful farmland. I try to take as may pictures out the window of the bus as possible.
After a comfort stop (bathroom break), we stopped at Antwerp, Belgium. Now there's a city in which I could spend more time! Once we took a quick tour of the city we had free time for lunch, shopping or both. Belgium is famous for the French fry. The story goes that some soldiers had fried potatoes lengths in Belgium but thought they were in France (French is one of the languages spoken there) so the soldiers dubbed the potatoes French fries. Belgium takes pride in their French fries (frites). They are fried two times which makes them crispier on the outside and more tender in the middle. They are most often served with Mayonnaise but you have several choices of toppings. We had ours with mayonnaise and ketchup. Wow, Were they good! Next up
was the Belgium waffle. Typically the waffle is served with your choice of chocolate, strawberries, cherries, and whipped cream. The place we went offered a special with cherries, chocolate, whipped cream and ice cream! Oh My!!! It was so good! Belgium is also famous for its lace!
Back on the road again with a couple more comfort stops (and bus driver rests) and we arrived at out hotel in Lelystad. We just had time to check in and go to dinner. My goodness the dinner was great! The vegetables were so fresh and delicious. I wasn't to wild about the fish...it was a little strong fishy taste for me but everything else was very good. Our room here is great. Very large and roomy.
One of the challenges we have not talked about are the shower challenges in this country. Most of the places in Europe do not offer washcloths, so when we get the we are excited. Also many of the shower stalls in these countries only have half a door. That makes it challenging to take a shower without getting water all over the place! Also turning on and off the showerhead and getting the water
the right temperature is also a challenge. There doesn't seem to be any standard plumbing here at all!
Tomorrow is a day we have looked forward to for this whole trip. We get to go to Keukenhof Gardens, the Tulip Gardens, in Amsterdam. That is the main reason we decided to take this trip at this time of the year. Many of the tulip fields have already been cut, but Keukenhof remains open until May 21st. We are taking the train from Lelystad to Schipol (Amsterdam's airport). From there we will board the Keukenhof buses, visit the gardens and return to the airport. If we plan to visit Amsterdam we will have to take a train or bus to the city center and then take the train back to Lelystad. The tour that we are with has a different plan for the day that does not include the gardens, so we are venturing out on our own. Not to worry, our group is at about 15, so we are not going it alone.
So tomorrow's blog should be filled with pictures of beautiful and unusual tulips and other flowers. Can't wait!!!
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