Amsterdam, 17 to 20 May 2013
We caught the train from Utrecht to Amsterdam which took 20 minutes, another fast, smooth, quiet train. Wow, what a fantastic city Amsterdam is. We loved it! But as we told Adam, we didn’t buy any marijuana this trip!!!! It was certainly in good supply. It’s a very liberal city which has a lot of respect for race, religion, homosexuality and prostitution. They have legalized euthanasia too (I know where to come if I need too!!).
Tom enjoyed walking through the red light district, looking at some of the 300 ‘window prostitutes’ who literally sit in windows, which is their invitation to their services. Some of them were beautiful. We saw a lot of party groups walking, and on boats. Several of them were bucks partiers with heavy Pommy accents, as well as Dutch speaking groups.
We quickly got into the practice of finding a heated outside seating area for evening drinks, to chat and watch the people go by. While sitting at the Majestic Hotel on Dam Square in Amsterdam, we were entertained by walking-police, motorbike-police and then later, a paddy wagon which ultimately loaded
2 young lads into the back. What they did, we were not sure, but we knew one thing, they were certainly ‘wasted’. Three of their friends were trying to ‘rescue’ them but they were nearly as bad. Ah the interests in Amsterdam!
While there, we went on the hop-on-hop-off canal bus. With their extensive network of man-made canals, they certainly use them extensively. We went to see the Willet-Rosmalem Museum (with magnificent period furniture and building design), a Houseboat Museum (I was surprised to see how much space they had), and the building where Anne Frank and her family and one other family hid upstairs for 2 years, away from the Nazis. While in hiding, and at the age of 14-16 years, she kept a diary. Her father who was the only member of her family who survived the concentration camps, was given Anne’s diaries which were found after the War and has now been made into books in 70 languages, and a film.
It was goodbye to Amsterdam and back to Utrecht to pick up our motor home.
Although slow and disorganized, Donna knew her stuff. After cups of
coffee at her place, lengthy chats about travel, we finally left to pick up our new home a day late. The roadworthy was completed, we got final handover from the previous owner and Tom took to the wheel. We were pretty excited as our adventure was about to begin.
We drove from Schaijk 15 minutes out of Utrecht where Antoon the previous owner lived, back to Utrecht. We had left our suit-cases, newly purchased bedding and some kitchen supplies back at our Hotel, so with a bit of effort, trying to dodge extensive road works in the CBD, asking police and then walking to the Hotel, asking staff how to get close to the Hotel, we loaded up all our stuff.
On Wednesday 22 May 2013, we navigated our way out of Utrecht at 4.00pm, with our newly purchased GPS (oh thank goodness for technology) to our 1st
caravan park with our motor home. One fantastic thing about travelling around Europe at this time of the year and with their daylight saving, it doesn’t get dark until 9.00pm. IT’S FANTASTIC!
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