Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Netherlands

Carpe Diem #972 The Netherlands

On March 24, 2016, the plane touched down at the Amsterdam Airport which is located on a former lake.  Transfer to the hotel went smooth ac Dutch chocolate.  For the next 4 days areas between Amsterdam and Kinderdijk were explored.  The four tours I had arranged via the web included the 'typical' tourist stops it seems.  As first time travelers to Europe we could not have found a more hospitable land to begin our journey.  Two old greenhorns that knew not a word of any language other than English.  And a little Latin.
Iconic architecture

The first afternoon the concierge guided us on the use of the tram system. We hopped the #25 and journeyed to the canal tour area.  We merged into a group of people and exited the tram.  After the tour we again used the #26 tram to return to the hotel.  We could not get to door to open and missed our stop at the Mövenpick Hotel.

Thinking we would just ride it back around and see more of the city was not the thing to do.  It was the final trip of the day for the #26 tram.  We had ridden to the end of the line with no trams scheduled.  We watched the last tram pull from the stop as I ran old people style to the departing tram.  No phones, no way to call a cab, and without a clue as to our location, what to do?  The # 26 tram driver took a deep breath, called the office and made one extra run for the day.  He called loudly to us when we reached our stop, "This is it!"  Above and beyond what was required but greatly appreciated by the two greenhorns.
#26 from our tour bus
The friendly pub

Delft City Market
The extra effort by the # 26 tram driver was just the first of many examples where the kind folks of The Netherlands were willing to help, direct or just visit.  We spent a great time in a pub visiting with the staff and other clients.

The time in the pub is one of the highlights of Amsterdam as we were able to visit with the locals.   A tour bus driver made calls and arranged for a cab to be waiting at the end of the tour to take us to the cruise ship.  We walked 10 steps to get to the cab, another 20 to board the boat.  Such kind, lovely people in a land steeped in traditions, history and, I must add, full of bicycles!

With our host's description of another part of his homeland, it would be great to take another look around this welcoming nation.  It would be easier as we know how to make those tram doors stay open now!

nestling in the hills
floating above the lowlands
the stork flies

© petra domina 

Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for daily prompts on