Amsterdam

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Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 8:17 am

I have booked a longish (3 day) weekend for the end of April - direct service from Eurostar on the way out for a mere £35 - although I have to change in Brussels coming back at a less bargain price...

Any recommendations/favourite things?

Obviously will be going to Dille and Kamille! But also some more cultural things. As I've been a few times before, I'm interested in doing non-obvious things (although will probably go to the Rijksmuseum on the Sunday.)

We also plan to hire a car and see the flower strips and go to Keukenhof on the Saturday

https://keukenhof.nl/en/

I will be there on my own the first day.e
Last edited by Herbidacious on March 6th, 2018, 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Pepper Pig » March 6th, 2018, 8:39 am

Rembrandt's House is fab but we saw it off the back of a TV programme on it so were maybe more impressed than usual. I loved the Van Gogh Museum. We did a meal on a canal trip which was nice and we also went to an Indonesian restaurant.

I've just found the original thread where Wildies helped so much.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12166&p=318563&hilit=Amsterdam#p318563
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 8:40 am

Ah thanks. I did search for a thread as I am loathe to start new ones, but perhaps not hard enough!
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby suffolk » March 6th, 2018, 9:04 am

I agree ... van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum are both 'musts' for me ........... and I've also whiled away a pleasant hour on Dam Square, drinking coffee and watching the street entertainers 8-)

The various squares are very worthwhile exploring https://www.holland.com/global/tourism/ ... terdam.htm
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby StokeySue » March 6th, 2018, 9:48 am

Far too long since Ive been to Amsterdam, but I'm eyeing up Eurostar, so I'll be interested to hear how you get on
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby aero280 » March 6th, 2018, 9:49 am

Last time we went, a few years ago, we went out to Volendam which is an old fishing village where a few of the inhabitants still wear the traditional Dutch clothing. It has some artistic connections too. It’s next to Edam.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby aero280 » March 6th, 2018, 9:53 am

Last time we went, a few years ago, we went out to Volendam which is an old fishing village where a few of the inhabitants still wear the traditional Dutch clothing. It has some artistic connections too. It’s next to Edam.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 11:00 am

re Eurostar, just over 3hrs 41 on a direct train, so effectively quicker (for me) than flying, and less stressful.

There seem to be no direct trains returning though.

https://content-static.eurostar.com/doc ... 0UK_EN.pdf

A bit odd. I would imagine they would introduce direct trains from Amsterdam at some point which should bring down the price. I did um and ah as to whether to fly back. But even with a change in Brussels, the journey time (4hrs 46) is still comparable to flying, taking into account how long it takes to get back from an airport. Although it is rather more expensive, and there is the risk of dealys and missed connections...!. I can, though, of course, bring more stuff back (given my aversion to putting luggage in the hold for short trips... which adds to the journey time too) if I want to.

I have to say that centrally located Amsterdam hotels seem very expensive, at least compared to Paris or Rome.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby StokeySue » March 6th, 2018, 11:05 am

I had a quick look at Eurostar tickets
There is an astonishing variation in price, to the point wher it can (for me with few time constraints) be worth spending an extra night to get the best fare, might consider AirBnB
Still pondering
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 11:16 am

AirBnB isn't cheap either. (Nor Homestay.) Lodging/B&B in a person's flat/home is cheaper.

I think people have got a bit greedy re AirBnB and the like. In Paris, where it is possible to get a decent cheapish hotel, AirBnB is not a bargain or even a very affordable option, if you want a flat, at least.

Last two times in Amsterdam, we have stayed in someone's house/flat. The first time this was ok - we were on the top floor and had use of a shared kitchen, but encountered no one else. However it was a bit far out from the centre for our liking. The second time was a bit dire. The guy had clearly vacated his bedroom for us, and was staying elsewhere, but he was hovering around all the time. He was clearly a tidiness freak (his shoes were lined up in a neat row outside 'our' bedroom, and he kept putting things back in the precise location we had moved them from) and although we had use of the sitting room (and indeed needed it in view of the size of the bedroom), it was impossible to relax. Great location though.

A house boat would have been a cheaper option, but I think that requires a bit more forward planning.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » March 6th, 2018, 11:43 am

Hi
We live in Belgium and go often to Holland.

This local 'booking' site also available in English https://www.hotels.nl/indexen.html

However if I may offer a couple of tips

Direct Eurostar to Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam, excellent weekend break destination.

If going to Keukenof consider staying in Leiden, Utrecht, Den Haag or another smaller town not Amsterdam. On Keukenof's website they give all the places combi bus/entrance tickets available from. It really is so much easier.

Holland's train website ns.nl (in english) also has a great Days out section with train and entrance to various things included. Some very good deals on it.

Whilst Amsterdam is indeed a nice place to visit I highly recommend staying somewhere else and doing a day trip. Last 2 years it has got far busier and more expensive .

Enjoy your trip
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Seatallan » March 6th, 2018, 1:36 pm

musselsandfries wrote:Whilst Amsterdam is indeed a nice place to visit I highly recommend staying somewhere else and doing a day trip. Last 2 years it has got far busier and more expensive .


Seconded. :tu:
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Prettykiwicrazy » March 6th, 2018, 1:45 pm

I love Amsterdam. Went last year and hoping to go again this year. The Van Gogh museum is excellent and the whole Museumplein area is stunning. Definitely do a canal ride. We looked at AirBnB and found it very expensive so found an apartment on bookings.com
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 2:04 pm

Thanks. A bit late for me, as everything's booked, but perhaps useful for others.

I am rather set on Amsterdam though anyway. There are things and shops I want to visit that will take more than a day. I am also keen to drive around independently on the Saturday. I am an enthusiastic photographer and want the possibility of stopping if I see anything.

Can you go directly to Rotterdam by Eurostar? I have to say it is the novelty of going directly that is partly prompting me to go at all...
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Cinnamon Sally » March 6th, 2018, 2:14 pm

We are going for three days the week after next. Will report back but in the meantime will monitor this thread for ideas too!

I've been before but OH hasn't. The Rijksmuseum is incredible but I didn't get around to the Van Gogh Museum last time so that's on the top of my list. Hoping the canals will thaw enough by the time we get there to do a canal cruise. I also really enjoyed a "rijstaffel" meal in one of the city's many Indonesian restaurants so am hoping to do that again.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » March 6th, 2018, 2:20 pm

Yes...the direct Amsterdam train will also call at Rotterdam.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 3:30 pm

Another time perhaps, then.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby suffolk » March 6th, 2018, 3:58 pm

musselsandfries wrote:Whilst Amsterdam is indeed a nice place to visit I highly recommend staying somewhere else and doing a day trip. Last 2 years it has got far busier and more expensive


Hi Musselsandfries :D
Back in the day when I lived in Suffolk we used to go over from Harwich to The Hook of Holland on the overnight ferry ... a quick train journey into Amsterdam ... a day sightseeing etc and back on the overnight ferry, dozing in a couchette ... half an hour's drive home and a lazy day and an early night ............ very civilised and without all the expense of staying in Amsterdam.

We used to do a similar trip to Bruges too ... a beautiful place and incredibly 'civilised' :D ... happy memories 8-) Don't think I've got the energy to do that now that I'm retired and have more time :rolleyes: :lol:
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby StokeySue » March 6th, 2018, 4:10 pm

I always think of Amsterdam as I have family there, but I've lost touch since our parents passed on
Would think of staying outside
Been playing with Expedia, looks as if the cheapest option for Amsterdam for me would be to fly and book hotel as a package, Eurostar seems very expensive and very few direct trains
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » March 6th, 2018, 4:22 pm

Sadly Bruges also suffering from it's popularity these days. However 5pm onwards most tour busses leave. It's wonderful getting ' lost ' along the canals until you find a local bistro/cafe.

We do love Holland...even a very non-sporty person like me loves cycling there..!!

Amsterdam to Keukenhof...

The last few miles is always very busy traffic wise...we are lucky that we get as close as possible then cycle.
If you are 'walkers' then I recommend you opt for furthest away parking sand just walk last km..
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 4:51 pm

I have a friend there. Not sure if I am going to suggest a meet up or not.

Yes. I think Eurostar who't be competitive until they have a direct train home and thus don't need to use Thalys.

But I like the idea of doing it by train, if only once. My husband is thinking of coming home from Karlsruhe train at some point... just to see what it's like
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby suffolk » March 6th, 2018, 5:31 pm

musselsandfries wrote:Sadly Bruges also suffering from it's popularity these days. However 5pm onwards most tour busses leave. It's wonderful getting ' lost ' along the canals until you find a local bistro/cafe.


I remember wandering around the centre of Bruges with a friend a few days before Christmas in the early '80s with the loudspeakers in the streets playing Abba's 'Following the Piper' ...very atmospheric and of its time .. but you probably had to be there :lol:
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 6:03 pm

I once went on a day trip to Bruges from Oxford. By coach and ferry :shock: Come to think of it, did a car and SeaCat trip with my sister from there too. In the days when flights were unaffordable for me and going abroad was a rare treat and had and almost had sacred status.

We had a day in Bruges last year on the way back from Normandy via Maastricht. I didn’t enjoy it that much I’m afraid. Perhaps my expectations were too high...and I wanted to get home.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » March 6th, 2018, 6:03 pm

Piped music in French towns is not uncommon too.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Amber » March 6th, 2018, 9:38 pm

Back in the day when I lived in Suffolk we used to go over from Harwich to The Hook of Holland on the overnight ferry ... a quick train journey into Amsterdam ... a day sightseeing etc and back on the overnight ferry, dozing in a couchette ... half an hour's drive home and a lazy day and an early night ............ very civilised and without all the expense of staying in Amsterdam.

We used to do a similar trip to Bruges too ... a beautiful place and incredibly 'civilised' :D ... happy memories 8-) Don't think I've got the energy to do that now that I'm retired and have more time :rolleyes: :lol:


We did a similar trip on the Harwich-Esjberg ferry, excellent value for money. Do they still do such trips?

Bruges was good, especially the station, but that brings me back to finding my red wine restaurant. I did actually find the bank receipt recently :shock: ;) :D. I wonder if it’s still there?
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Amber » March 6th, 2018, 9:39 pm

:shock: red wine fondue restaurant! :o :D
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Zosherooney » March 6th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Amsterdam was our first (chaotic) holiday together, it was meant to be Denmark but it is a long long story and a funny one if you consider making a film about it.....
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby StokeySue » March 6th, 2018, 10:34 pm

Because my Dad's stepsister lived in Amsterdam, it was the first bit of abroad I ever went to
We flew into Schiphol and the plane crossed the road on a zebra crossing to my amazement (the road has long since been put in a tunnel)
Had a lovely time
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby StokeySue » March 6th, 2018, 10:47 pm

Amber
Just had a though
On TripAdvisor there are 4 restaurants listed as serving fondue, and another has recently closed
Any of these look right?
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurants-g188671-Bruges_West_Flanders_Province.html
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Cinnamon Sally » April 3rd, 2018, 10:20 am

Thought I would update now that we're back, although I'll be honest and say that we tended to stick to the obvious things, mainly because OH hadn't been before and was keep to do the main museums, see the big sights etc. One thing that struck me was that a lot of the Indonesian restaurants seem to have closed down in recent years. I recall them dotted along every street along with Argentine steakhouses. Still a lot of the latter, and we had an excellent steak dinner on the first night but we had to look hard to find an Indonesian restaurant serving rijstaffel. Luckily, google came to our rescue and we enjoyed a fabulous meal at a place called Kantjil & De Tiger. A lot of folk had recommended Sampurna which was actually close to our hotel but it was fully booked every night we were there!

I loves the Van Gogh museum, which was the main sight I hadn't previously visited and we also had a fabulous time just wandering around the streets, stopping for coffee, beer, apple pie... every so often and just soaking up the atmosphere with a spot of people watching. The Jordaan area was particularly good for this.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Seatallan » April 3rd, 2018, 11:47 am

Glad you enjoyed yourselves Sally. Gosh- last time I was there you couldn't move for Indonesian restaurants! I wonder what's changed and why?
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby StokeySue » April 3rd, 2018, 12:45 pm

As with some Indian restaurants in the UK, I don't think young Dutch-Indonesians who have been through their excellent school system want to run back street restaurants
My local Chinese takeaway has been run by more than one generation of an extended family, but the "heir" is at the best school in the area and will go away to uni I expect, and not return to work

I'm definitely thinking Amsterdam now, I too have always missed the Van Gogh museum (either I went with my parents who'd been too many times already or it was closed when I went later)

Tnaks for the review CinSal
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 3rd, 2018, 7:56 pm

SNCF will be striking the day I travel back. Looks likely that my train from Brussels will be affected. This stopped me having my afternoon nap! (anxiety!)

I shall ring Eurostar when I get home. I am fearful they won't want to deal with the Amsterdam-Brussels part of the journey.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby EmWilk » April 3rd, 2018, 9:49 pm

CinSal, my friend lives in Leiden now but used to live in Amsterdam and she loved the Jordaan area... she had her little boy whilst living in Amsterdam and said Jordaan was full of baby boutiques and trendy parents, yummy mummies and the likes!

I would like to go over and see her actually but don't think I'll get there this year. I was talking to a colleague who also went this weekend and said how I love breakfast at bagel n beans... simple things :lol:
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 4th, 2018, 9:16 pm

I am booked into a hotel in the Jordaan. There are a couple of good markets there too I think, plus my favourite clothing shop that sells King Louie (nothing to do with Disney!!!) slightly retro looking clothes. I think the rubber duck shop (that's all they sell) is there too! Various nice cafes (of the normal, not naughty, variety) too...

I am hoping to meet up with my ex-flat mate from post grad days while I am there - she's lived just outside Amsterdam since the late '90s and I've only seen her once since then.

I have emailed Eurostar re strikes :?
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 9th, 2018, 12:11 pm

I've done it (inadvertently booked to go somewhere on a national holiday) again. My visit coincides with King's Day. I hope it's not Fête Nationale night in Paris (all night, outdoor party with PA system opposite the hotel last year) revisited.

https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-d ... -amsterdam

it could be fun though, apart from the crowds.

I am tying to be in silver lining mode, and thinking, good photo opportunities.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Kavey » April 9th, 2018, 12:17 pm

I have three posts that may be useful:

https://www.kaveyeats.com/2012/05/eatin ... ities.html
https://www.kaveyeats.com/2012/05/eatin ... -bars.html (restaurants probably out of date but I know the bars are still there, a friend went to one on my suggestion recently and loved)
https://www.kaveyeats.com/2012/05/eatin ... nacks.html (don't know which are still open, but worth having a quick google if any in my list catch your eye)
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » April 9th, 2018, 12:39 pm

You probabaly already realise that it will be extremely busy. Google Koningsdag 2017 images for a better idea.

This years is a Friday so it will be turned into a 3 day party... sound worse but it may actually thin the crowds a bit.

Warning : hope you like orange !! It is certainly an event you won't forget, but your pictures should be amazing..
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 9th, 2018, 1:05 pm

I already have mandf. Or at least I googled the event. I shall certainly be avoiding large, otherwise open areas anyway.

As I said, could be good photo ops. I will be going out of town on Saturday. But what with the strike, my timing could be better.

Bu then I did regret missing Karnival in Dusseldorf... I refuse to be daunted!
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Badger's mate » April 28th, 2018, 6:00 am

It happens that we had booked a trip to Amsterdam for last week, before this thread, or the announcement of direct Eurostar trains. We only found out that we had chosen to return on King's Day once we had booked the hotel and Eurostar to Brussels, but couldn't book Thalys for the return.

It caused us some consternation that travel on the holiday might be difficult, or that Keukenhof (the main reason for the trip) might be awkward to get to from Amsterdam. The internet was of no use whatsoever in calming our fears - the chaff to wheat ratio was just too high. I had booked the Brussels - Amsterdam leg through Trainline. They were no help whatsoever concerning the public holiday arrangements.

I can report that we had a great time. Eurostar plus Belgian railways got us to Centraal at the scheduled time, the hotel was just across the road from the station. We had a lazy day on Tuesday, reassured ourselves about the return journey, booked for Keukenhof the following day and checked out the city centre, taking in a canal cruise. Wednesday we got to Keukenhof about 9.15 and left about 6.15, a truly lovely day. Thursday we visited De Hortus, after which we bought some bits and pieces and relaxed. Yesterday we got back as planned except our train to Rotterdam was cancelled, but we were early enough to catch the previous one.

Foodie wise, we did get to Sampurna for rijsttafel one lunchtime, tried a Surinamese takeaway another evening. Mrs B insisted upon pancakes for breakfast one day and we had waffles another. Tried the apple cake, had some pea soup. I'm fond of Gouda, particularly old Gouda, so enjoyed grazing the cheese shops.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » April 28th, 2018, 7:58 am

Sounds a lovely trip, glad you had time to really appreciate Keukenhof in a more relaxed day. I realise that some people can only attend on group tours but always feel they are being short changed.

We won't get there this year unfortunately but photos on news did look stunning.

Hope you had stroopwaffel syrup on your pancakes !!
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Badger's mate » April 28th, 2018, 10:01 am

I guess coach tours to gardens are a compromise for people who want to visit somewhere but get bored with it quickly. I've heard people say they 'did' the Eden project in a couple of hours or even less - whenever we've been it was in at opening time and out when security rounded people up at the end of the day. Ditto Kew and Wisley for that matter. Keukenhof was always going to be an all day visit for us. Sure it was quite busy, but we got a boat trip through the bulb fields at 9.30 and the boat wasn't too full. Also numbers thinned a bit later in the afternoon. We were blessed, the weather forecasts varied between unpromising and dire, but the sun came out and it was beautiful.

Mrs B likes her pancakes sweet (she also had a plate of little ones covered in chocolate one evening), I had a savoury one. Some Stroopwaffels did make it back home however, along with several lumps of cheese and some plant matter (no, not that :D ).
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » April 28th, 2018, 10:53 am

The actual fruit stroops are like apple or pear flavoured black treacle.. amazing with the strong cheeses.

We go most months to the small walled town just over Dutch border, we seriously have 2 walking routes. One includes the cafe with the best apple tart and the other goes past (ok goes into)the cheese and roasted nut shop !!

Our Spring break next week is Bavaria and Czechia, no doubt I will eat my own weight in Pork knuckle and Roast Duck...



Hope Herbidacious survived Koningsdag as well..
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby suffolk » April 28th, 2018, 12:51 pm

Yay! M&F ... you're out of moderation :bounce: :cocktail: :cocktail: :wave:

MIL likes coach trips ... she was widowed in her 50s and although she's now in her late 70s she's very independent and drives all over the UK, but for trips abroad she finds it simpler and consequently more relaxing to go on some sort of 'organisied trip'.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 28th, 2018, 7:00 pm

We were supposed to go to Keukenhof today but didn’t go. I felt awful this morning and most of the day. I must have got someone else’s Kings Day hangover. (Or coming down with something after two weeks of intense (over)work and stress). The weather was pants too, so not the best for seeing flowers. Probably won’t go tomorrow either. Heavy rain forecast plus OH has to travel back and I am supposed to be meeting a friend.

King’s Day was a not to be repeated day of interest... like of 1000 stag and hen nights all at the same time. Only very orange. The pee was running out of the pissoires in rivulets in some places. fortunately the celebrations seemed to stop at around 11pm last night.

I have to change hotels tomorrow. The train I was booked onto to come home tomorrow has indeed been cancelled, as I had a suspicion it would be - based on which other Sunday trains have had the chop - so I suppose I made the right decision extending my stay.

So... not been a happy bunny, but I did buy a nice dress.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 28th, 2018, 8:14 pm

Badger’s mate, how long did you have between arriving at Brussels and catching the Eurostar to London, assuming this is how you got back?
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Badger's mate » April 28th, 2018, 8:38 pm

We were originally scheduled to arrive at Brussels around 12.30 having caught the 9.52 from Amsterdam. However, there wasn't a 9.52, the 9.22 was cancelled, we caught the 9.07, changed at Rotterdam and arrived at Brussels Zuid at 12.30!! The Eurostar was the 14.56, thus we had 2½ hours before departure. We both prefer being early rather than sweating about a close connection.

Sorry to hear you haven't felt well. Thursday night was a bit noisy but we were near the station and perhaps on the edge of the chaos.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Herbidacious » April 29th, 2018, 5:28 pm

I have about 50 minutes. Which gives me 20 before the gate closes. This is all booked through Eurostar so if it goes wrong it’s there fault. I suppose. I am worrying about it, but there is nothing I can do.My Thalys ticket is not flexible. I will just have to hope that security is not slow. It took me an hour to get through it at Lille last year.
Tbh I wish I could have gone home today as originally booked/ planned. It’s a bit dismal being left behind by OH. Ah well. I plan to go to a market tomorrow that only on on Mondays. A bit of shopping maybe, then a bite to eat and the station.

Re Thursday, my taxi driver couldn’t get me all the way to my hotel. Two parties on the street of my hotel. I had no map and my google map chose to sulk. Luckily two nice young people took me all the way there!
Kings Day itself it took 40 minutes to get .25km of the way to the station. (1.8km in total) when I went to meet my husband. Took us about an hour to walk back. Should take 20 minutes. This was sheer volume of (by this time pissed) people.

MY main regret about being here on Kings Day was that everything was shut. I ended up going to Haarlem only to discover that they Celebrate it there too!

Anyway went to a brilliant photography exhibition today. New hotel is nice. V handy for the station tomorrow. It seems nice and quiet although I think there’s might be a brothel a few doors down... :o

Apologies for typos. On iPad.
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Re: Amsterdam

Postby musselsandfries » April 30th, 2018, 10:02 am

Hi
Shame you have encountered some problems with your trip. To put your mind at rest (I hope), if you have a through ticket with Eurostar the conditions of carriage state you will put on next available train.

General info for those those travelling on a through ticket in most of Europe: If you feel conection will not be reached ask the conductor to stamp your ticket with the 'delay' stamp...makes it a much quicker process when you go to information desk. In Germany we have needed this several times.

Enjoy your last day

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Re: Amsterdam

Postby Badger's mate » April 30th, 2018, 10:28 am

Herbi, I hope it all works out for you. We went through Eurostar security very quickly on Friday, good luck.
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