On the Rails Again ...September 10 in the Netherlands
GROANS: The laundry wasn't free before we went to sleep last night so John got up in the middle of the night ... climbed another flight of stairs ...and put out load in then. It's an all in one machine ... it both washes and dries! I went to get it at 7:30am and it was still damp!! 😬 And so ... I started the dryer again!
GAHS: We had contacted our host twice over the past two days to see if we could have a later checkout (it was 10:00am) but had not received a response. So ... we panicked a bit ... hoping that we could get things dry and packed in short order ... and ... decided to get coffee and breakfast at 8:30am ... and check again on the laundry after that. Seemed like a great plan!
GRATITUDES: We headed off to a little spot we discovered yesterday that offered an American Breakfast for $4.95. They had humungous coffee cups and with 4 creamers ... it was just perfect! So ... we decided to go back again this morning. John had another apple pancake ... and well ... make no mind of the pile of creamers by my plate. I traded John my speculaas (they always give you a cookie with your coffee in Holland!) for his four creamers. I mean ... it's a BIG coffee! I think I made a great trade! 😁
GRINS: Since we couldn't check in until 3pm in Utrecht and it is only 30 minutes away ... so ... we envisioned ourselves woefully sitting with our backpacks for 4 hours at the train station. BUT ... while we were at breakfast ... our host responded that we could check out whenever we wanted!! JACKPOT!
GIFTS: So ... we got an extra half a day that we didn't anticipate to wander and wonder and while away the hours with new freedoms! And .... it is sunny and bright! 🎁🎁🎁
We spoke before about how many of the buildings have tipped forward ... but they are also built to lean a bit ... because you can't barely get your bags up the staircases ... never mind your couch or your washer and dryer! And so ... they have hooks and/or pulleys on the front of the buildings to hoist the furnishings up and the little lean makes it so that the furniture doesn't hit the building on its way up!
GAFFAHS: Along our travels, we noticed a sign indicating NO bicycles ... and yet ... the lane was littered with them. See what I mean about Amsterdam being laid back.
GROANS: We were intrigued to see them doing construction without safety precautions! They had multi-levels of scaffolding and no one was harnessed in ... and they were lifting all kind of things up the front of the building ... not using the hook or pulley!
We enjoyed the leisure of the morning ... John even enjoyed a nutella waffle with whipped cream!! And then, we went back to check on the laundry about 11:30am ... feeling guity that we had left it so long ... AND ... it wasn't DONE!! So ...we went for a sandwich. Certain it would be dry and ready afterwards so we could get to the train station by 1:00pm for our train!
GRIPES: NO! It was still not done. And ... the thing is ... with these machines, you can't just unlock the door! I'm panicking a bit now. Our laundry has been in the machine now for 12 hours ... and ... we aren't sure how to get it out! And we have a train to catch. So ... my hubby resorts to Google!! Thank goodness they saved the day and we got our clothes out ... eventually!! He was my hero in that moment for sure!!
And so ... we headed off to Utrecht by train. Somehow we ended up in first class ... but had second class tickets. Guess what? We stayed there ... for the whole 30 minuted ride. We would have moved if they had asked us ... but ... not until!
And then ... after a one kilometer hike to our accomodation ... that felt like 14 kilometers ... we got checked in and went for a refreshment! We ended up at the corner pub ... and had such a great visit with the proprietor and his one lone customer! They were so kind to us ... they didn't even charge us for our beer and wine! Wow!! Where does THAT happen?? Utrecht. Yep. Utrecht. They also pointed us in the right direction so we could get some groceries. We already loved it here!
We thought we'd head out for a small bowl of soup ... so we took Trip Advisor's suggestion for SLA. Turned out to be a mostly vegetarian health food restaurant ... yes ... it was very green. They smuggly smiled when John asked if they served croquettes. Anyway ... he ordered the gazpacho and enjoyed the ginger lemon tea ....with a slice of raw ginger and slice of lemon in it! He's not ever eaten in a health food restaurant before!
GAHS: Oh my ...and on the way there ... we had our life in our hands trying to navigate the streets with all the bicycle traffic!! We were chuckling about what to call an onslought of bikes . .. is it a gaggle ... a pod ... a swarm ... a heard ... or ... as my husband determined: "a pedal-flock". Yep. Those pedal-flocks are silent and treacherous ... they come at you from all directions and you can't hear them coming!!!!
One of the things about travelling for weeks in a row like we are doing is that we have so many sights to see and our days are chalk full of 'doings'! We are looking forward to a little more opportunity for simply 'being' in Utrecht before we hit the rails again with lots of things we'd like to see and do in Paris!
And so for now ... as long as we can avoid the "pedal-flocks" ... we are going to take it really easy for the next couple of days. A little bit more R & R is top of our list. So ... good night for now ... talk to you tomorrow!Read more