Our Dam Trip, August 5-8,2016, so far


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August 9th 2016
Published: August 9th 2016
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THE BASICS

We left Logan Boston on a Friday night and arrived in Amsterdam the next morning. Our "boutique" hotel is in a great location, near the church where Rembrandt is buried as well as the Anne Frank house, the Homomonument, and the residential Jordaan district with canals galore. Since a Gay Pride two week celebration is culminating, the mood was festive and colorful. AND a band played loudly in front of the church until midnight. We walked and napped on Saturday and Sunday. After a lovely canal-side dinner on Sunday night, we walked through the red light district and observed some very bored women busy with cell phones. Monday we joined throngs at the Van Gogh Museum and walked and walked. We are now at the airport waiting for our flight to Copenhagen where we will board the Zuiderdam for a 29-day cruise.



THE FLUFF

We have endured three alarming situations so far, and are hoping to be calmer from now on.

#1. We left for Logan quite early, planning a leisurely dinner there before our flight. After printing our boarding passes, we got in line to check bags. I happened to glance at the boarding pass - the flight was leaving two hours earlier than our trip documents said!! Despite long lines,we got on board on time,very ready for liquid refreshment.

#2. Bicycles! I'm near rethinking my enthusiasm about widespread bike transportation. Here they have the right of way, period. And the transitions between bike lanes and sidewalks can be quite subtle. Three times, I got confused and was nearly mowed down. The motorbikes drive very fast and sometimes disregard lights, but at least there are far fewer. Cars seem relatively benign.

#3. Delta had an outage yesterday which affected flights worldwide. We are flying KLM, which is a Delta partner. At least these flights seem unaffected, but last night it was interesting to brainstorm how we would join the cruise if we missed it today.

Our arrival at our hotel was also somewhat alarming,actually. The door opened to a very steep and narrow flight of stairs - 20 steps, a landing, then 17 more. Fortunately, there is a luggage storeroom right inside the entry, and they carried our other bags up as well. We checked in with a sweet Taylor Swift lookalike, but then she told us we could have our room at 2:00, nearly three hours hence. Stretching out on a bed would have been very welcome, but we walked and walked. At least the human scenery was unusually colorful. Our room, at last, had a balcony overlooking the very busy street and church,etc.

After hours of rest, we walked over to the church to check out the band and people. A bunch of folks were dancing on a large elevated pink granite triangle. Homosexuals used to have to wear pink triangles to identify themselves. To celebrate the end of that, and acceptance, a Homomonument was also built in that area. Beautiful white flowers on steps down to the canal.

(I'm tired of writing. Lucky you! I'll try to continue later, but wifi on the ship can be a challenge. At least we'll be on land often, near coffee shops.)

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