All good things come to an end!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
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Trip End Sep 11, 2007


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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Travel Tip 29: If you are stuck in Amsterdam without a Wine Opener, most of the little corner shops will not only offer to open your wine in such a dilemma, but will also supply plastic cups for your benefit. Now that is what I call personal service!

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So with the week coming to an end slowly but surely and using the last couple of days to just kick back and relax before getting back to the hussle and bustle of London city. A decision had to be made - that of doing absolutely nothing! Yep that meant Nicola and I would invest many hours sitting by the canals drinking wine, whilst eating cheese and bread (made at the Holland Cheese Farm mind you) - doing completely nothing.

Now to most of you that might sound relaxing or some might even say lazy, but trust me it is harder to do than you think. You have to plan the outing to ensure that you have not forgotten anything - because nothing could ruin a day more than forgetting a precious item required to complete the day of nothing. Secondly, when working yourself into the position to accomplish "nothing", you need to ensure that everything around you is positioned in such a way that minimal human strength is needed to continue. For example, the wine glasses (in our case plastic cups) and wine bottle(s) need to be beside your right hand side for ease of pour age and on the left, a selection of CD's, books and writing materials just in case you can some sort of motivation. This kind of planning is critical, to ensure a relaxing day is had by all.

But we did manage to get off our arses and head out to 'Schans Zane' where the windmills are located. With the gorgeous weather (and sticky humidity) we had experienced, the day we actually decided to head out and do something active - it decided to rain. Rain like it had not rained before!

So standing at the train station looking at the crap weather and realising we are actually at the wrong station, we decided to do what Australians do best. Head back to the local area and go drinking!! But alas, the gods were looking down on us and as we headed towards the train the rain stopped and the sky opened up and the sun shone with all it's glory. So change of plan 34 for the day, Nicola and I got the correct train station instructions and worked our way to the place of Windmills.

"Ahh - aren't they pretty" is all you can say about Windmills. They do not do anything that is mind blowing, the take the wind in their arm things and rotate around. Reading up on the history of the area (because I am so so cultured) I was informed that this area once contained over 100 Windmills and now there are only 5. I guess modern times caught up!

We spent the afternoon walking around and going up to the top of one of the Windmills for some grand views. From there we visited the Cheese Farm (not really sure what it is a farm because I did not see any animal cheese walking around the grounds). Of course I had to try every single piece of free cheese available and when there was nothing left on the plate, I patiently stood by the plate until it was refilled. Hmmm cheese!

Onto the "Clog Factory". Do not get me started on why people buy them today, because I know that they are not going to wear them again after this week. I can see it now.... "Darling are you ready to head to John and Mary's BBQ?" - Yes, Dear; just trying to work out which pair of clogs look better with my dress and pigtails - Not going to happen!

But I was well impressed with the guy making the clogs the traditional way. But his presentation was spoken with the native Dutch tongue and therefore I had no idea what he was talking about. Yet his facial expressions did all the explaining necessary.

As any tourist attraction, there has to be an oversized something... Outside the Clog Factory there are two pair (yes two separate pairs) of oversized bright yellow clogs and a enormous Yellow Clog which two people can comfortably fit in think about all things 'Clog'. So with these attractions it had Photo Opportunity written all over it! But unfortunately the lady taking the photos for me decided that the shot would look "Oh so much better", with the black camera strap hanging down the front of the lens - lets call it creative photography!

After some more time wondering in out of the same soveniour shops that we had walked in out of down the road we took off and acknowledged that it was worth the effort to get out for the day. The plan now - head back to the park and drink wine and eat cheese. That is more like it!

Next day and we are off - well the truth be told that I knew we had a flight from Amsterdam between 12 noon and 10pm. Yep yours truly had forgotten the time of departure! So the decision was to head into the airport early and see what time the flight was and perhaps get on an earlier flight. Hell the worse thing could be we would have to sit in the airport for a couple of hours...

7 hours waiting + 1 hour delay is a long time to spend in the airport. All this for a 40minute flight! We could have walked there by this time!! There is only so much you can do and there are only so many people you can look at and laugh at as the try and make their flight - when stuck in an airport. By the time we got home (London) - I was exhausted!!

So with the end of travels official now and the title of "unemployed bum" taking stance it was time for reality kick in.

Saying that just wanted to thank all the people who I shared my travels with over the last 7 weeks or so - all the way from Spain and Bull fights, Clubs in Vancouver, Beaches in the middle of Canada, Random Bars in New York and Canals in Amsterdam - Thanks to you all!!

Of course I will keep you all informed of things happening in old London town and with the summer kicking in rapidly I believe it was going to be some fun!

Until next time
Justin

P.S - Once my photos are developed I will upload some for your viewing pleasure.
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