We travelled through parts of 4 different countries before noon today! Granted it was small parts of some, but we woke in England and are settling in to sleep in Amsterdam. Are you wondering how early we started our day? Too early for our hotel dining room to be serving breakfast...so they provided us a Chef in a Box!
What is a Chef in a Box I thought? Well silly me, it's Orange juice, a cereal bar and Corn Flakes with "long life" milk! If I was a betting person, I would probably bet that not one of you had "long life" milk with your cereal this morning! I was anticipating the worst, but you know it wasn't bad...honest! One of many "firsts" for me today.
After all heads were counted we started our adventure.
We crossed under the English Channel aboard the Eurostar. A high speed train that reached speeds of 300km. Per hour. Another first for me!
After traveling through parts of England and France we reached Brussels, Belgium. Yes indeed...another first. Exit the train and board another luxury coach and we were on our way to Amsterdam.
I mistakenly change Holland for Netherlands but today realized they are not the same...Holland is a province of the Netherlands. As you might expect, we saw windmills, canals, and dikes/dams. I saw very few tulips because most of them are in green houses and they were well past their prime in the areas we were in...so no tulip pictures. What I did not expect to see were the throngs of young people, some smoking some really "funny" smelling "cigarettes" on the main streets of Amsterdam. What I also did expect was the thousands and thousands of bicycles.
Bicycles are everywhere, there are triple decker parking lots for bikes and every street you look down is totally congested with bikes! Totally mind boggling!
I have to say that a walk down the main street was a bit disheartening, because I thought that was all of Amsterdam...but after taking a dinner cruise down the canals for several hours this evening, we got to see the beautiful, historical parts of the city. It was raining so most of the pics were taken from inside the bus but it gives you an idea. I really did not feel comfortable in the hordes of people on main street, but there really is so much more we would liked to have seen ...Van Gogh's museum, tulips, cheese making, the making of wooden shoes etc. but with a very tight schedule we must move on tomorrow.
Because over 25% of the Netherlands are below sea level and reclaimed land from the sea, many of the older buildings have shifted.
Take notice of the above picture. The house to the right of the tree is about 3 or more feet from it's neighbor at the bottom and almost touching at the top!
Lots of firsts for me today and who knows what tomorrow holds... But for now it is bedtime... Slapp lekker.