We were up early and got the two trips to the station done on time. Graham then wanted to just check that we had everything and asked if I had the bahn card. I didn't. I knew he had bought this for me for our train trip to them, but didn't realize that it was also used for this booking. So the decision was quickly made that he, Asher and I would go back to the house, get that and then drive to Bremen to meet them there for the next connection. We didn't have time to get to the house and back for the the Otterburg train's planned departure time. The train ended up being 20 minutes late - so we would have made it - but as Graham's phone went flat - they could not call us to let us know.
Graham and I had a nerve-racking trip to Bremen. There was so much traffic and it was pouring with rain. We knew what time the next train was due to leave and we only just had enough time to make it. We had planned to park at a shopping centre - a 5 minute bus drive from the train station.
|I love this photo at the train station - with Dads and daughters.|
Welcome to Amsterdam.
And what a beautiful central station. We arrived around 1pm and our first goal was to find a place for lunch. We had been advised to stay off the main road (tourist prices) and rather head down the smaller streets to find more value for money.
Below: Crossing our first canal and what a great view of these very typical Amsterdam houses.
Our check in was early in the afternoon - so we were able to drop off our bags and explore the town more easily.
We managed to find a ATM to get some cash and had a good laugh. Graham went first and I thought it was in Dutch - so I was trying to follow along. I then put my card in and it was all in English. Graham said his actually came up in German - but he was thrown because he was expecting Dutch. While other machines we used would ask for our language preference first, this clever machine just read the card to know what language to use.
Left: Girls having fun together.
Right: The streets were much busier now and we had quite a few experiences with the cyclists. It's funny that I would get this guy in the photo though - I think he was the only person we saw on a racing bike - with a helmet. Most of the bikes are like those below - with wide handle bars that allow you to sit upright while you ride. And helmets are not a legal requirement here or in Germany as they are in New Zealand.
Below: We got into the centre of town to see the Palace on Dam Square. A nice opportunity to have a photo with my brother. :-)
Soon after this we gave up the hope of reaching Ann Frank House and so Brendon, Asher and I headed back to the boat. I will leave the rest of the photos for the next post.