Sven and Andreas' vacations – Published for friends at Wordpress :)

Month: July, 2017

One day in Amsterdam and not on the beach

Plan was to go to the beach, enjoy the seaside, swim in it and be warmed in the heart by the summer sun.

The answer is No.

There was no sun, no warming, no enjoying of the seaside – due to torrential rains that ravaged the town in half hour rhythm of ever repeating sun and rain.

So I have decided to roam around Amsterdam a bit – with my OV Chipkaart always in the pocket.

In the morning, I have done something what was on the plan for long here in Amsterdam. Typical touristic, but nevertheless very enjoyable and also protected from the ever present rain showers: A ride in one of these flat boats through the channels (Grachten) of Amsterdam. It took one hour, via headphone you were able to get explanations of all the buildings, functions and history of the city and its people.

A short rain avoidance stop at Starbuck’s was necessary not to get soaked completely.

I had lunch at Vapiano close to the big new library of Amsterdam, actually to check if they are better here than in Paris La Defense – the last visit there was so awful in customer care by the local employees that we just decided to walk straight out. And what can I say – also here I heard some guys bitching about work conditions (too much overtime taken), but with regards to me, they were very kind and the food was really excellent. And the price was reasonable.

On the way back, emergency stop in the Starbucks again. No luck this time, got nearly completely soaked in rain. So, I had enough of this weather and went back to the hotel to change clothes and to take a nap.

Later in the afternoon, the weather got better luckily. I took a walk through Amstelpark that is located close to the Holiday Inn. A mixture of planned nature, wild plant growing, zoological garden, combination of land and water arrangements. And with a little train going through the garden for EUR 2.50 the ticket. Absolutely logical, I took the ride and was not disappointed at all. Especially not by taking a bucket of White Chocolate ice cream directly after the ride. But seriously, it was very nice, even while the park is currently renewed at many places. I did not see any chicken as in Breda, but free roaming rabbits and sulids in remarkable numbers.

For dinner, I went to Wagamama, close to the Hard Rock Cafe. Loads of people there, in high percentage same sex couples as Amsterdam celebrates the Gay Pride parade later this week. As it seems, a lot of people have taken the full week to celebrate and have fun together. Once again, after our trip to Munich that led us into CSD festivities over there, it is lovely to see how people can celebrate and show their life style peacefully in colours and true love. In my opinion, it is really a pity that gay people still need to have events, however, many cultures and the thinking of the majority of people is not there yet. Not long ago, they were even prosecuted. Come on, let them live in peace and love – they don’t hurt you and your children at all. No need to be afraid of. Wake up, Europe, and join in with them hand in hand! Equal rights for equal people – everywhere, everytime!

After an enjoyable Murphy’s in the Irish pub next door, I decided to walk a bit in the general direction of my hotel. So I passed the three museums we visited already before (Stedelijk, Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum) and continued the way down the park to finally join a tram back home – rain free luckily.

With a lovely beer at the hotel bar I closed that unplanned day after 12851 steps of walking. Great, I love it 🙂


Bretzelito on tour – with Bretzelmobil!

Today, my little summer holidays started. Two weeks of vacation that are creative in itself.

People ask me… where do you go?

I tell them… I don’t know! Quite strange, isn’t it?

I take my car – el Bretzelmobil – and will drive to nice locations that might be surprising, might be preselected, might be off-track, might lead to known places.

Rambouillet, the trip starts at 0 km – of course.

First stop: CDG airport. Southern runway, plane spotting. 80 km done. Not really a photo spot that I selected, but the planes who landed on runway 28L were well in sight. Everything from super big A380s to little Embrears E170. Nobody else there, all on my own, enjoying the landing planes without being pushed around in one way or the other. For me, just priceless.

After some time, I decided to continue.

At kilometer 185, the combination of present autoroute restaurant facilities in 1 km distance and my well elaborated hunger feeling met by coincidence. However, I mixed up the exit to the rest place with the official exit from the autoroute… So, no Autogrill food at all. I was forced out on the countryside roads and tried to find my way through the Somme valley. At 194 km, I found a lovely restaurant in Feuilleres called “Restaurant du Port” – next to some locks of the river, fish farms and some fly fishing semi-professionals. A three course meal for EUR 29 plus beverages including Foie Gras and veal medallions “aux cepes” – and Badoit. Lovely 1.5 hours later and with a stomach rather be willing to go to sleep than having to drive, I continued northbound. I joined the A1 again, went around Lille and arrived in Belgium. I passed it quickly at exact 120 kmh. Kortrijk and Antwerp with its city centres vanished quickly in the rear mirror.

Entering the Netherlands and traffic got suddenly much more dense and worse.

At km 456, Bretzelmobil passed Breda.

Then… the unexpected happened. While I had sunny and cloudy weather during the trip, north of Breda, torrendous rains started to fall. The whole autoroute participants slowed down to 50-60 kmh.

I had planned to go by the Holland beach area… but with that present weather, forget about it! On the beach I need some sun and not water from below and above!

So I have arrived for the first stop – after 558 km – in the Holiday Inn, close to the RAI exhibition center in Amsterdam. Just 10 km from the beach, let’s give tomorrow a chance 🙂

Good night

El Bretzelito