Tales from the River – Traveling, 2011-09-29

September 29, 2011

We checked our luggage all the way to Amsterdam, so we didn’t have to deal with that but we did, however, have to go through a passport checkpoint.  It’s not like the U.S.A. setup, where you stay inside security if you are on a connecting flight.  We had to go out through the passport checkpoint and then back through security to get to our next flight from Madrid to Amsterdam.

Note:  You KNOW you are a die-hard American when, after landing in Madrid, you spend your first Euros at McDonald’s in the airport for a sausage and egg McMuffin!!!  Believe me, after that airline food, McDonald’s was very satisfying!

I don’t remember any of that flight.  I slept the entire way.  I missed breakfast.  I missed coffee.  I missed reading more of my Clive Cussler book!  And I was STILL sleepy when we got to the barge.

Our flight landed about 2:45 and it was 3:15 pm before the plane got to the gate.    There was a Vantage representative waiting for us and, by the time we left the Amsterdam airport, there were 5 of us in the van, plus the Vantage rep and the driver.  The only bad thing was that our Canal Tour left the riverbarge at 4 pm without us.  This was an optional tour that we had paid for and, even if they refund the money, I really wanted to take that tour.  The literature said we were going on a walking tour of the Red Light District but that didn’t happen either.  I would hate to think we came all this way and missed these two expeditions.  Oh well, that just means another trip to Amsterdam in the future.

We had a “Welcome” meeting onboard and then a wonderful dinner, overlooking the Rhine River and the banks of Amsterdam.  It was great fun watching the river traffic as we sat and talked with a couple from New Jersey and a couple from Illinois.  Yes, so far, all I’ve met on this riverbarge have been Americans, from either the U.S. or Canada.         


4 responses to “Tales from the River – Traveling, 2011-09-29

  1. I thought the trip was just for Bargemates. If Eddie Conrad is will you tell him Mike and Helen Murphy send their regards. Hope you have a wonderfu trip and looking at the map the weather looks good so far. x

  2. I saw Eddie last night and relayed your comments. There are only 10-12 Bargemates onboard, he said. I have yet to meet them but it was great seeing Eddie and his wife Sandy.

  3. Was sure you would see Eddie and Sandy eventually. Hope you can say Hi from the “I’m on Barge Time” crew.


  4. I will do so, Lou. I mentioned the crew when I saw him and he said he still has his t-shirt. I brought Mom’s with me and thought I would wear it tomorrow. It’s supposed to be 75 degrees and I hope if someone remembers it, they will stop and talk.