Hi Again from Amsterdam, (a while ago now as time is flying!!)
After our train trip a quick walk around the main town but the heat is beating us again so after Dutch pancakes and a mountain (I wish) of ice cream we scurried back to our apartment and a BIG fan for afternoon of rest or at least a siesta and then a hunt for an air conditioned restaurant!
The next morning hoping the countryside would be cooler we trained (not the one we were supposed to) and then bussed (they are redoing the train line, no advanced warning on the net!) and finally arrived at Zaanse Schans to check out the area of old traditional villages with windmills, cheese, clog making and other industries surrounded by farmlands along a canal system which was the old way of life. Aside from the heat (I actually wore a hat and for those who know me this is extremely rare) it was very pretty and interesting, BUT...yes always a BUT....the powers that be have decided to build their entire industrial area around this little cute conclave...REALLY!! Gorgeous one side of the road, ugly factories and smells the other.....except the Cocoa factory that smelt of chocolate!! Nice, but in the heat even chocolate is not tempting!!
We decided to do some more of downtown Amsterdam before a candle-lit canal trip starting at 9pm, as it doesn't get dark till around then. Hoping we could stay awake (better not find those cookie cafes beforehand but we have seen cannabis ice cream, that is tempting--it is VERY hot!). Another thing not helping our climate woes...as there are so few trees or any shelter on footpaths or in the streets this means the Asian tourists are out in droves with their umbrellas, the poor Muslim ladies covered from head to toe in black (which makes me feel hotter) and the rest of the populace almost naked which makes everyone distracted, including Kev (see, I told you it was wise to not allow him on a bike!).
Talking about naked, before the canal trip we checked out the famous red light area with the Ladies on display in the windows (not naked but tastefully dressed for their chosen careers!). The night life is full on and I'm sure many hangovers and apologies are experienced the next day!!.I thought Bangkok was bad!! We have found going out earlier than 11am you are basically on your own except for bike riders on way to more normal work lives..
The 2 hour candle lit canal trip was the best!! Much cooler, we had a table for 4 and only us on it which meant we got a full bottle of chilled white, red & rose (Italian & delicious) plus a platter of cheese and biscuits all to ourselves!! The guide was good fun, the tour great and although still warm, very bearable!! The city at night when lit up is beautiful, unfortunately during the day the litter is horrible (mainly cigarette butts as everybody still smokes here) and this really distracts especially when we love France so much and litter control is so much better there. Yes, we did leave the non-chilled red and then stumbled home on a very efficient metro (for once or maybe we didn't notice the delays?). p.s. If ever here, you have to do this trip...the cost was about $23 Aus PP! We kept waiting for the sting...but it never happened! You gotta win sometimes!
We also fitted in a hop on / hop off bus tour (it was just too hot to walk and hoped for a fast bus to create a breeze! No breeze just sunburn!) plus the Rijksmuseum (with A/C) to see the painting of Kev's supposed long ago relatives!! Two famous brothers Johann & Cornelious De Witt who were the good guys in the battle of good against evil in the 1600's and they got executed for their troubles which has been immortalised in paint!! Kev is sure to attach this lovely event for your enjoyment..or NOT! I normally don't last a long time in museums but I couldn't take my eyes of those A/C outlets!
We move on to Switzerland next and the thought of those snow covered mountains are definitely drawing me in...BUT, I just checked on the net and 34-36 degrees predicted for the 4 days we are there...and I actually packed a coat and matching scarf!! Hope that snow doesn't melt, but then I could wear the scarf with my swimmers, colours would go!!