Thursday, October 23, 2014

Amsterdam part 2

Brendon, Asher and I headed back to the boat as my back was starting to take strain from carrying Asher through her nap time.
We took these photos (left and below) from the same spot. Such a unique city.

And we took this photo of the boat we were staying on. A deceptive shot as it looks like the masts are part of our boat. ;-)
One with the name of the boat.
Our tiny little 4 bed room.
The photo is a bit deceptive as the gap between the bottom and top bunk was not as small as this looks and even Brendon was comfortable under me. Asher slept with me and Graham and Aleks had one child on each of their beds. The beds were long enough too and Brendon managed fine. The top bunk just looked really short because of that wall. We found the beds really comfortable and felt it was a great choice for accomodation.
Graham and Aleks brought some cheese and meat for us to have with bread for dinner (gluten free bread for us three). It was lovely to just sit and relax and talk to the other guests who were all very friendly. It was a lovely spacious dinning room and the coffee machine was on and it only cost 1 Euro for a cup.
The coffee is a bit of a story too. Germans like their coffee VERY strong. So although we were adjusting - we still added a bit of hot water to the machine made coffee. It sure is growing on us though.
Brendon went on deck to take some photos in the evening.
This is the biggest floating chinese restaurant in Europe.

Below: The view of the main road. We were far enough away to not hear any traffic. It gave beautiful lighting though.

Breakfast was included with the accommodation and we enjoyed plenty to eat. Cheese, meat, hard boiled eggs, bread (she even had rice crackers for gluten free people which I thought was cool) with loads of toppings as well as cereal, yoghurt and free coffee.
Brendon and I got packed up quickly as we wanted to get to have a canal tour before our train left at mid day.
One interesting thing that was pointed out was these hooks at the top of the houses (I put the red circles around them). They are for hoisting furniture up to get through the windows as the stairs are normally too narrow.
Loads of house boats along the canal. It was amazing to hear how many there are in Amsterdam.
The tour "guide" was a recording and it played in every language of the current passengers. So the driver just checked languages as people got on and programmed it to play accordingly. We had at least 4 or 5 different languages represented on our boat.

Above: This was the best we could do. The ideal would have been having another boat heading down towards us (which we saw at the previous bridge).
Left: We saw a few draw bridges too.
More modern apartments blocks.
We ended up not going past Ann Frank house but heard from Graham that they ended up on a canal tour too and did go past it. It wasn't anything really special to see. So we didn't miss out on much. It was a lovely experience and we got to see a lot and learn a lot about the city.
Just some photographic proof that it was us. :-)
When we got to the open water he sped up quite a bit. It was interesting to see how fast the boat could go. I was thankful it wasn't too bumpy though as Brendon does get sea sick.
Our train trip home was even more eventful than our trip up. Most of it went fine - with the girls running up and down and having a great time. The issue arrived when we got to Bremen and had a car that needed to get home. This time Brendon and Zophia went with Graham in the car and Aleks and I anticipated about a 15 to 20 minute wait for Graham to get them home and then come and fetch us at the Ottersburg station.
What we did not anticipate was the amount of traffic there would be. The normal 30 minute drive took them well over an hour. Then there was an accident between the Ottersburg station and their home - so Graham could not even get through to us.
Aleks wanted to walk home within 5 minutes of us arriving. I felt we needed to wait (and didn't like the thought of carrying Asher all that way).
After feeding Asher though (my milk was the only thing available for her dinner) and waiting an hour - I agreed that we had no choice but to start walking. Asher was now ready for a sleep - so I needed to have her in the sling anyway.
We spotted many of these "double story" bike racks. I got a photo from the train on the way home.

A canal on our way home. We also saw windmills but could
not manage to get a nice photo of one.
I felt better walking along the road so that we could spot Graham (and have some light). We then saw the accident and were very relieved that it was not Graham's car involved.
Eventually we stopped at a Chinese diner to buy some food to take home with us and Aleks checked her phone again. She was surprised to see a missed call from Graham. She quickly called him back. They had gotten home, he had tried to come but seen the accident and gone back home. Charged his phone and tried to call. He quickly came and picked us up (now that we were passed the accident he could get to us) and we were VERY thankful to all be reunited and enjoy a lovely Chinese dinner - TOGETHER. What an adventurous and full two days we had.

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