Travel Days always have the hint of anticipation, and to tell the truth, a bit of anxiety. Packing to not forget anything, giving ourselves time to get to the station, catching trains, making connections. Today was no different.
We packed up early and had breakfast at the hotel, meeting a hostess wo had been in Salinas three weeks ao, visiting her sister! The world keeps getting smaller. We caught the local tram to the train station, then onto the train, giving ourselves several hours for our layover in Antwerp. We had the option, why not see something of a different town? In Antwerp, we got off the train and walked up the Meirstraad, a very busy shopping street, full of busy, corporate stores: Forever 21, H &M, 4 McDonalds in 5 blocks, Nike… Not to our tastes, really.
We had some coffee and pastry and then headed back to the station to catch our train to continue to Amsterdam….but look! there’s a cathedral, and look! there’s a string trio playing classical music on the sidewalk. We looked, we listened. We had lots of time. Or so we thought.
When we got back to the station, we had missed the train by minutes…instead of leaving at 13:30, (1:30), it had left without us at 12:30. A small panic attack and some euros later, we were re-scheduled on the next train, with Bridgett and I getting the ‘jump seats’ in the baggage area, since the rest of the train was full. They were great! Cushy and warm with huge windows on either side….and we had the whole compartment to ourselves! I recommend them.
We got a taxi from the Amsterdam station to our apartment. A short while later, up three steep winding flights of Dutch stairs, and we were in our spacious, airy Amsterdam apartment with a view of canals, streets and ducks. Time to rest up and out for dinner at “in de Buurt”, a local hangout with good food and drinks for good prices. Great folks, too!
Oh, a word about prices. If you want to feel good about how much your dinners out are costing you on vacation, start in Paris. After that, everyplace else feels very reasonable.
Looking forward to the Van Gogh Museum !