Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Spent the night in Amsterdam, but a good sleep it wasn't. Very hot even though we had air-conditioning, the beds had big heavy doonas and the strange bed didn't help, maybe night will be the night I get to sleep.
Up at 6:30am, showered and off to breakfast. We had a schedule tour planned which left at 8am to Zaanse Schans to view the windmills of Amsterdam.
On the way we stopped at a Cheese Factory where we were given a demonstration and their cheese making process, very interesting I bought a fantastic cheese grater. Ater another 30 minutes we arrived at the village of Zaanse Schans, this is a working village with 4 windmills and lovely little cottages nestled by the canals. During our drive to Zaanse Schans we saw a number of Dykes.
Back to the ship for lunch as we set sail for Cologne at 1pm.
During lunch Roma and I met up with our new friends Marilyn from Sydney, Harry and Vicki from Perth and Elke from Darwin. I was soon to find out these 4 lovely people would be helping me enjoy my holiday.
After lunch we all went up stairs to the sun deck to watch us sail out of Amsterdam harbour and sail on to Cologne, on the sun deck we met up with Kevin and Wendy from Melbourne. Kevin works with Simon Gallagher and Julie Anthony
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Arrived in Amsterdam after a 13 hour flight, Scenic Tours met us all at the airport and we were all bused to a hotel were we stayed until 3:30pm. We were put in the conference room, with tea, coffee and juices plus lots of cakes and snacks. We were told we could leave our luggage there and armed with maps Roma and I hit downtown Amsterdam.
The temperature in Amsterdam was 35 degrees and I still had my winter top and jeans on, plus soxs and sneakers - was I hot YES, YES. But forge on we did. We caught the local train out to Haarlem, Haarlem is the old part of Amsterdam and was very pretty with step-gabled houses and plenty of cobble stones and not too many push bikes. Haarlem also has the impressive Butchers Hall dating back to about the 1600 and the Gothic Church of St Bavo which includes an organ dating back to 1738 but alas the church was being renovated and we were unable to go inside.
Back in Amsterdam it's self it was beware of push bikes. My god they are every where and will knock you down without stopping, ring, ring of their bills is all you here. There are 3 sections to the roads.
1. Push Bikes
You have to avoid all 3 as pedestrians do not have right of way.
But we made it, with our trusty map, we found, the canals, the red light district (but no girls home or were they busy - all chairs were empty)
Coffee shops, what can I say, these shops were the busiest with people hanging out the doors or sitting on the footpath outside. Needless to say we didn't go in. I know I said I would but it just didn't look safe.
When we got back to Asterdam from Haarlem we set out to find Anne Franks house which wasn't very impressive as it was just a normal house front on the canal.
Now we headed back to the hotel for our transfer to the Scenic Emerald which we were to spend the next 3 weeks on.
Our cabin was very small and Roma and I were always trying to get around each other. But we worked out a schedule which worked.
Dinner on board and then we headed back out into Amsterdam and did a canal cruise around the city very interesting, after that we located the Red Light district but as I said before, NO girls - Guess they were busy. :)
Back to the ship for a good nights sleep.
Location: Singapore, Singapore
Day One - Heading to Singapore.
My flight left Brisbane at 2:45pm on SIngapore Air, the movies weren't to my takes but I got to watch a few things. I was lucky enough to have the 2 sets to myself so I was able to stretch out and move around easily. Food was OK. We arrived in Singapore after 8 hours in the air.
I have a 3 hour stopover in Singapore and Roma (the lady I was sharing the trip with arrived an hour later). There were a number of other passengers who were doing the same cruise as me on the next leg Singapore to Amsterdam.
Not so lucky with this section of the trip, it was squishy and tight as I had a big guy in the middle, never mind, I used the online learning center to teach myself some Dutch and German. You know common words and phrases.