susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

No tulips :-{ but last week ...

I went to Amsterdam for a couple of days - Easyjet - and because it's January, there were no crowds, which made up for the slightly glum aspect to Amsterdam. It's the first time I've ever been there, rather shameful, really, given it's a very short flight from Stansted. I walked so much (in the wrong shoes, of course) that I ended up with monster blisters on the balls of my feet. I knew you'd all want to share that. I hung over the edges of the bridges over the canals and thoughts of living on houseboats in a city centre drifted idly through my head ... I had intended to cycle through Holland for a week last year, but was so broke it couldn't happen. Now I've been there, I'd definitely love to go back with my bike - preferably in springtime, to see the blossoms on the trees. I didn't do any touristy things - just no time - but I got a good idea of the place, went to a couple of bars - one for breakfast, one later on for coffee, where they had oriental tufted patterned carpets on the tables, then on to a tram to the station, where the double decker trains were so sumptuous, both I and a group of Brits wondered guility if we'd wandered into first class by mistake. Apparently not ..

Oh, and outside the station was a multi storey bike park - NEVER seen quite so many in all my life, and remember I live near Cambridge. How on earth do you remember which bike is your? They all ride the old black sit up and beg sort, but with no hills, they're great.. lethal when you want to cross a road, though. First, the bike lane, then the car lane, then the tram lane (shoe heels caught in the tracks - yikes! Like an old silent movie where the heroine is tied to train tracks) and just when you've reached the middle of the road, you've got to negotiate the same again in reverse. My head was spinning, looking in all directions at once, I felt rather queasy..

I had to walk miles in Schipol airport - everywhere is a long way from everywhere else - or at least, so it seemed to my poor feet, who were on a go-slow and threatened to strike if I didn't give them a rest. Airports these days are fairly horrible places - my bracelets there and at Stansted made the alarm bells ring out, and of course big mouth has to say sarkily: 'Hm, these are very dangerous bracelets,' or some such idiocy to the security people. And at Stansted, I had to take off my shoes TWICE! Within a few yards.. Better safe than sorry?

I'm now reading 'The Man In Seat 61' ( about going everywhere by rail - and yes, he does make it sound so very much more appealing.


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