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Published: June 20th 2015
Thursday 18 June
Zachary still battling his cold so another interrupted night. But we managed to get ourselves up and moving and Heather headed into Amsterdam to go to the Anne Frank House for opening time. She wasn’t the only on with this plan and the queue was about 90 minutes long which was manageable. Zachary and I stayed at the hotel for a while and then headed into Amsterdam with a plan to meet Heather about 12:30.
First thing I needed to do was get a new phone as mine had finally given up the ghost. A lady at Tourist Info pointed me in the direction of an electronics store where I managed to purchase a basic Android phone for €70. With a bit of help I got it all up and running. We then wandered up Damrak towards Dam Square and had our lunch and a bit of a look around. I found the city to be rather dirty and too busy and cyclists are everywhere. It was also bloody cold and very expensive! I had fond memories of my last visit to Amsterdam and I was a bit let down.
Heather had had a very good visit to Anne Frank House and we met in the Square, from where we headed towards the Rijks Museum. After finally finding where to buy tickets (the signs were unclear at best) I was surprised to find no queue and no wait time to go in. So I went in and finally got to see it! I think I can now say I have seen 2 of the world’s top 5 most famous paintings in real life.
Meanwhile Heather and Zachary had gone to the Science Museum. Amsterdam is in no way a child-friendly city and they were lucky to find this place. It was very hands-on and Zachary had a great time.
We wanted Chinese for dinner but the Chinese restaurant we found was ludicrously expensive so we settled for a café which had lamb stew and cottage pie. Zachary had very little but he is getting the hang of the idea that if he doesn’t eat the dinner on offer then that’s it until breakfast!
Back to the hotel then and bed for Zachary and a bit of online bridge for us.
Heather’s cold is now kicking in so hopefully she recovers quickly. Friday 19 June
A very good night’s sleep for Zachary and he has woken up with his cold mostly gone. The exact opposite for Heather though.
After talking to Oma, we decided to head for Volendam this morning. Neither Heather or I felt any great compulsion to go back into Amsterdam. Too cold and wet for a canal cruise and while I would have liked to go to Anne Frank House it wasn’t a must-do for me.
A good choice as Volendam is a really nice little town on the harbour. Lots of places to eat and drink and shop. We bought some “clog slippers” (see photo), went to a cheese factory, and had poffertjes. All rather Dutch I thought! Then it was back to get our luggage at the hotel and on to Central station at Amsterdam. We got on a train to Rotterdam, only to discover that we had to pay a “supplement” of €10 each because it was a fast train. So we got off at Schiphol and got a train with no supplement.
From Rotterdam a quick connection to a local train to Maassluis West where cousins Hannie and Anja picked us up.
Zachary quickly made himself at home and after his bath we had a superb home-made lasagne for dinner.
Zachary has been extremely contrary today. I’m not sure why he gets in these moods but it makes the days very long and tiresome when he is in them. We are going into Rotterdam tomorrow to visit Blijdorp Zoo before dinner in the city with the extended family which will be nice. Hopefully Heather’s cold improves and Zachary’s ears work.
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