We have arrived in Amsterdam after a car ride (Hamamatsu to Nagoya), 3 flights (Nagoya-Narita, Nrt-Helsinki, Hels.-Amst.), a train ride (Schippol-Amst.), and a walk to our Vrienden op de Fiets (Friends of the Bicycle) homestay apartment. 22 hours from door to door, but still considerably easier than my first day with Una last year, getting to our place in Ypres, a forty-hour ordeal.
Weary from jet-lag and the inflight movie marathon, it takes Keenan 2.3 milliseconds to conk out on the Helsinki airport floor. …but he perked right up when I rousted him for our last leg to Holland. Such was his excitement that after I asked him to turn around for a pose and brought the camera back up to my face he had bolted ahead and disappeared into Finnair.
Keenan was fascinated with the train station at Schippol airport so I handed him the camera and he went snapshot crazy. Here are some of his shots:
Without a cell phone in Europe, I’m going to be communicating via email and skype. I found a wifi spot and called Mr. de Vries via skype and let him know we’d be coming. He was waiting at the platform at Lelylan station but we went straight for the exits and missed him. After waiting a while, we got help from some friendly locals and went in search of the deVries’ place.
Just after we found the place ol’ deVries coasted in on his bicycle. He welcomed us in, we showered up and headed out for a bite to eat and a tour of the neighborhood. It was 8:30 by the time we sat down for chow at a turkish fast food place, but still plenty light out.
then we took a walk. The local supermarkets,
Albert Heijn and Dirk van den Broek,
If I open a supermarket in the States it will be called Daniel William Shumway.
Dangerous crosswalk? Three damaged poles. It says, “Don’t report. We’re on it, already!”
…Hey. Is that??.. Aha! It is!
After our walk, we met friendly Mrs. deVries (the most common surname in Holland, she said) and settle in for the evening.
Vrienden op de Fiets is a network of folks across Holland and Belgium mainly but also around the rest of Europe and the world, who offer a clean room, shower, storage for your bicycle, and a hearty breakfast for only 20 Euros per person. It’s a fantastic deal, especially in an expensive country like Holland, and much more interesting than a hotel, IMHO.
Here was our cozy room at the deVries home.
next…a morning walk in Amsterdam, and off to Amersfoort!