A Travellerspoint blog

Day Three - 's-Hertogenbosch & Sint Michielsgestel

overcast 19 °C
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Happy Birthday Matt - got to have a brief chat with him on his 22nd birthday.

We headed south of Amsterdam today to 's-Hertogenbosch, about a one hour train ride, to catch up with our friend Marie (played for TEM in 2007) & her family. She met us with her 2yo son Sepp & showed us around the town & made Ian try a Dutch tradition - herring with salt (see photo) - I declined the offer!! Called into a local bakery where she purchased more Dutch delicacies - can't remember the name - bit like an oversized profiterole filled with cream - soooo nice. Visited St John Cathedral which is where Marie & Hugo were married - magnificent church.

From here she drove us to her home in Sint Michielsgestel about 15 min from the town centre. Their home is located in a beautiful village, very rural & quiet but has all amenities just down the road. Marie is going back to part time work after maternity leave (she had Leonore 4 months ago) in the local clinic - she only has nine weeks to be a qualified GP.

We spent the afternoon with them, Marie took us to the local pub to try more beer & more local snacks & later in the day we rode around the area - really beautiful & quiet. Enjoyed dinner with them before Hugo drove us back to the train station around 6pm.

Great day & so nice to see a non touristy area. Thanks Marie, we owe you when you are next in Australia.

Posted by pitchersontour 22:15 Archived in Netherlands Comments (1)

Day Two in Amsterdam

semi-overcast 19 °C
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Body still unsure of time zones, awake at 3am - took a sleeping tablet & woke at 7.45. Ian had been tip toeing around from 6am!!

Decided to hire bikes for the day given my dodgy knees & also wanted to see as much as we could - got them around 9am. In the first five minutes I was nearly taken out by two Dutch riders as I looked left instead of right - was banned from riding in front for the rest of the day!! Made our way to Van Gogh's museum, (passing the Heineken Brewery) - being there so early, we only had a very small queue to wait in. Spent a few hours wondering through, I found the story telling of his history fascinating & his paintings amazing - highly recommend. Grabbed some lunch in the park & headed to Anne Frank's house - the queue was massive so decided to do this on another day. From here we rode around & ended up at Brouwerij'tij Brewery (located in an old windmill) - no tours on, so Ian decided to taste five of their beers (in sample sizes) with some sausage & cheese. If you don't like cheese don't visit Amsterdam, it is everywhere. Upon leaving the brewery Ian hit a kerb & nearly fell off his bike - says it had nothing to do with the beers!! Slowly made our way back to our hotel around 4.30pm & returned the bikes.

Rested up & put some photo's up on this blog - check them out. Ventured out to have dinner in the red light district, Monday night at 10pm & there are people everywhere - quite an eye opener. Ironic to have a beautiful church in the same lane as red light rooms - only on Amsterdam I suppose. Took a while to find a pub to eat in, many of them offer loads of beers but only with snacks. Settled on Cafe Stevens where we spent a couple of hours.

Posted by pitchersontour 22:36 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Day One in Amsrerdam

overcast 15 °C
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Woke at 4.30am with my phone saying 6.30am - it hadn't changed to the local time!!! Ian was lucky & slept a couple of hours longer. Regardless it was just nice to get a decent block of sleep. After spending the night at an airport hotel, we packed up & left around 10am, walked back to the airport to get breakfast & organise train tickets to get to the city centre.

The train signs on arrivals & times were a little confusing - we sat as it said our train was 20min away, the train before arrives & then someone starts calling out Amsterdam Centre - so we have to run with our luggage (along with others). People asking each other if this is the right train, no one was sure but hoped it was. We met a poor Syrian girl whose English was fairly broken, when the train stopped at a station she tried to ask a staff member where her station was (she had it written down) - he just ignored her as he got off to look at people getting on, she asked him about 4 times. When he got back on & the train was leaving he looked at her note & told her that was her station - she should have got off. She had tears in her eyes & told us she had been on 4 trains trying to find it. We got off with her at Amsterdam Centre., found her train line & explained to get off at one stop, gave her a big hug - I hope she got there okay.

Walked to our hotel & left our bags as check in was 3pm. Went for a walk to look around, located a supermarket (AM), got a local SIM card. Ian had to try one of their chocolate waffles (it was amazing). Went on a Yellow Bike 3hr tour with a group of 13, predominantly Australians, a couple of Brits & Americans - can highly recommend this. Amsterdam is beautiful & this bike ride was a great way to see certain land marks & learn more of their history. What you do notice is the amount of people that smoke, took Ian to point out the smell of canabis to me!!

Booked into our room, did some food shopping, stopped at a pub built in 1723 for a refreshing beverage, had dinner in our room & hit the sack early. Will get some photos up soon.

Posted by pitchersontour 23:05 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Finally Arrived

15 °C
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26hrs after leaving Melbourne at 2.40am, we have arrived in Amsterdam. At least it is now 9pm here, so can go straight to bed. Had an unexpected stop over in KL, thought it was direct to Dubai. The holiday begins tomorrow.....

Posted by pitchersontour 11:59 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Packing Day

sunny -24 °C

So it is now 12.04pm on the 2nd October and we leave in about 14 hrs - think it is time to start packing now that I have just finalised all hockey & work items that I can think of. Ian has headed into the Grand Final Football Parade to watch the Eagles, given he will be on a flight to Dubai when they play (yes, he did book our flights himself quite a few months ago!!)

Taking the boys out for dinner tonight as it is Matt, Josh & Ian's birthday whilst we are away (will also be a belated celebration for Dani's birthday a few weeks ago). Josh will then take us to the airport.

Be in touch soon xx

Posted by pitchersontour 19:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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