For those who don’t know, I have two younger brothers. Tommy lives in North Germany, with his wife and tiny adorable little human, Teddy. Nicky lives in Perth, Ausralia. I don’t see them very often.
Nic has come over to see us in Europe for a few weeks, and we all planned to go to Amsterdam for the weekend, to celebrate his birthday.
I flew out after work, from Gatwick to Amsterdam. This was my third trip to Amsterdam, so I had seen most of the Tourist stuff I wanted, this trip was to hang out with the siblings.
Nic drove from Germany, into Amsterdam (by himself, without maps, and on the wrong side of the road). Once he arrived at the airport, I think he gave up on driving, parked the car, and we just left it there. Tommy was flying back from New Zealand and we met him in town.
Nic and I wandered around the airport, using their free wifi, and facebook call, trying to find each other..turns out we were each at the opposite end. Finally found each other, lovely to see him, as it has been about a year and a half!
Family bring the best presents :) Nic bought me enough stocks to keep me going a while…
We hopped on a bus, and headed into town, to meet Tommy, who had sorted us out some accommodation for the night. It was about 11pm. Dropped our bags off, and headed out to have a quick beer and relax, as it had been ages since we had been all together.
The bar we were in kicked us out about 4am, so we wandered a bit, then I went to grab a little sleep, while the other two did.. who knows what. We all got a little sleep, then sluggishly got up, dressed and packed, to take our bags to the next accommodation.
I don’t usually bash hotels, but I wasn’t impressed with that one. It is called the Marnix Hotel, and it is near Leidersplein. Don’t stay there. The floors were pretty dirty, and their was a weird hole in the roof area. Which later, I decided, is where the rats were getting in. Yes, RATS. They opened my bag of m n ms, and opened the bags of cookies I had from England to share. They ate my jammy dodgers! :< They were obviously scurrying around on the floor while we were sleeping, having little rat parties with all my food.
Also, the wifi in the hostel was only on the first floor, and we were on the fourth, so to use it, I had to traipse down 4 flights of steep and narrow staircases to get wifi, then climb back up again to the room.
This might have all been ok, but when I informed management about their rats, the apologies, but didn’t try to make any reparations. Like they knew, and just didn’t really care. Which is disappointing, as the reception guys seemed pretty nice. But, I wouldn’t recommend them at all.
Anyway, headed off to down near Vondelpark, where we were staying the second night. In comparison, it was a dream. Quiet, clean, peaceful. In a lovely suburban street, with trees and orange leaves everywhere. Our room was already ready, so we abandoned our bags, and headed off to hire bikes.
We spent the afternoon biking around: through Vondel Park, did the sandemans walking tour, then watched the rugby in a sports bar (World cup final, NZ vs Aus, WE ROCK). Ate some foods, hung out in the main plaza, then headed home for a relaxed eveniing.
The weather of the weekend was all lovely, calm, mostly clear, crisp, but not too cold. The trees were tall turning, gold, yellow, brown, and leaves were piled everywhere. On Sunday, there was a cute little foggyness everywhere (which was affecting a lot of Europe and England, and turns out, wasn’t so much cute, as stupid and annoying), and the sun came through the mist and the trees, and it was all very pretty.
We ate pancakes for brunch, then checked out the windmill. At that point, they cancelled my flight (and pretty much all other flights going to Gatwick), due to fog. I was a bit frowny about this, but we finished up in town, then headed out to pick up our bags, and head to the airport. I Went inside to see if I could talk to a desk person, but the line for that stretched a long way around the airport, and I gave up. Good thing too, I would have been in that line all night. Called up Dale, who sorted out switching my flight to leave Hamburg the next day at 7am, and a hotel right next to the airport. Tommy drove me to Hamburg on the way home, which was quite nice, as we got to hang a bit longer, and I got to see Kati and Teddy briefly. There was fog, from Amsterdam, all the way.
I caught the stupidly early flight, after not much sleep. Departed a little late, and arrived in Gatwick a little late, but made it to work by 10am on Monday, so not too terrible! Good thing I’d done that , and not waited in line, as the flights all got pretty full.
It was a bit of a crazy weekend, and a busy week, and I am only just recovering.