Tales from the River – Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sept 30, 2011

We really must’ve been exhausted last night because we both overslept this morning. We woke up at 8:15, totally missing the wakeup call that was supposed to be set at 6:30 am! Yet after Ed didn’t sleep at all on the 28th and most of the 29th, I’m not complaining. We now have an easy-going, peaceful morning on board the barge with most everyone else on the bus tour of Amsterdam. That means that we will just have to visit Amsterdam in the future and we can spend a lot more time here, exploring the wonderful old city. We will probably wander around this area for a bit and just take it easy for today and may sit up on the top deck just watching the river traffic. I think we both need that time, although we missed the canal and bus tour.

We did indeed wander about Amsterdam near our riverbarge. The main transportation hub was only a block away so we walked over and found a really pretty and serene café. There was a good breeze, which kept us cool, and we people-watched and boat-watched for a while. Two Heinekens and tortilla and hot sauce, and guacamole were perfect for a noon-time snack. A few things that I noticed:

  • When people greeted each other, they gave each other a peck on one cheek, then the other cheek, and another one on the first cheek.
  • They drive on the right side of the road, sitting on the correct side of the vehicle!!!
  • There were all types of languages being spoken, in all types of accents, by many different nationalities.
  • We saw many old buildings, some absolutely beautiful buildings, and many new buildings interspersed with the old ones. Note: This probably wouldn’t be allowed in the U.S. In historic districts, we have buildings codes that new architecture must match the old architecture, but here, a new glass building is smack-dab crammed next to an old brick one.
  • Their hot sauce, guacamole and chips are a LOT different than ours!

This afternoon we sailed for Cologne. Sitting up on the top deck and watching the shore pass by was very relaxing. Yes, I’m sitting here now and people are giving me funny looks because I’m the only one on a laptop. But, you know, I don’t care. I type by touch so I can watch the scenery and put down my thoughts as they occur. I couldn’t do that if I were writing in my journal. Soon we go to a passenger meeting, to find out what will be happening later today and tomorrow.

They do indeed have an internet connection down in the main areas but not in our rooms, nor up here on the sun deck. That’s probably a good thing, otherwise I might spend just as much time here checking email as I do at home! No, I will NOT do that normally but this afternoon is a travel time. Now, however, I’m shutting down and going to sit in the sun for a bit.




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