London to Amsterdam

Yesterday (Sunday) we departed London for our journey via Eurostar train to Brussels, Belgium where we met up with our Globus Motorcoach that would take us to Amsterdam, Holland The Netherlands. Our guide, Paul gave us the history of The Netherlands as we made our way north. The picture of the little boy with his finger in the dyke or dike or the Dutch version "dijk" was vivid as Paul explained how the area being below sea level created heavy flooding and water that needed to be diverted. Man-made canals are seen everywhere especially around farms and fields. About half way we stopped at a rest area for lunch. Besides the McDonalds there is a wonderful fresh food restaurant, with fresh fish, meat, baked bread, and desserts! The toilets are monitored for a fee by the "toiletjuffrouw" or dragon lady as Paul calls them usually a woman who collect coins upon entering. He mentioned the "penalty" for not paying. Not pretty!!

Upon arriving in Amsterdam we immediately were dropped off for a canal cruise (pictured) and when the cruise was complete the boat docked in front of our hotel to drop us off! Dinner was at an authentic Dutch restaurant and afterwards Paul took us on an evening walk around the old town. Darkness does not occur until around 11pm so the town continued very active. Amsterdam is known for their red light district. Prostitution as well as marijuana is legal in Amstedam and Paul took us for a tour through the district. Women are in windows they rent daily showing their special talents and ready to negotiate with you! The Hotel Movenpick was a modern and very clean place to stay for the evening.

I write this Monday morning around 9:30 am (east coast time 3:30 am) on our coach making our way first to Cologne and then to Heidelberg, Germany.