The Rain in Spain …..

may fall on the plain, but the rain in Amsterdam falls Everywhere!

We arrived here at 5 am – and don’t leave until 12:30.  Had a nap, then a coffee and snack, as 5 am is way too early to find anything open.  About 7:30 we headed through passport security and down to the train to head to Amsterdam Central Station.  When I was packing, I hadn’t thought about going on a reconnaissance mission, so my map and guide book and Dutch phrase book (and umbrella!) are in my checked baggage.  We had to go to a desk to purchase our tickets as the machines didn’t like any of our cards…. realized after that that most of my Euros were safely locked up in the baggage locker…. so we weren’t going to be doing a lot of shopping.

The train came right away, and we were off.  The central station is huge… and a very old landmark. I’ll have to find out more and let you know when we return in July. It is a gorgeous building with all kinds of carvings ad gold – and the clock has the directions on it instead of numbers.

When we got outside, it was beginning to rain lightly…. we ran across to the Victoria Hotel, thinking we might have breakfast in a grand old establishment.  Wrong – 22 euros per person for the breakfast buffet – and we weren’t THAT hungry.  Out in the rain – it’s coming down harder now, and David only has a shirt on – I  have a fleece jacket which is not protection either.  Down a couple of streets, and we see the “Soup Kitchen”….. toasted bagels with ham and cheese and hot coffee… within our budget, and the server speaks Arabic.

Back on the street – looking at the cool tall, narrow buildings – did you know that lots of them slant out out toward the street at the top? The rain is coming down harder – David stepped in a puddle halfway to his knee.  We found a souvenir shop that sold umbrellas and bought two  black with Holland written all over them. Coming down in buckets now… we decided there is not much point in wandering around in the rain, and made our way back to the station.  When we got back to Schiphol, the rain had almost stopped – and now we are looking out at a gray, dry day!  Go figure.

Well, we had our first foray into Amsterdam – David has never been out of the airport before.  We  know why so may photos of the Netherlands have a gray cast to them.  And we sure hope for a couple of sunny days in mid-July when we are back here and will want to be out walking and floating along the canals.  And, we will know our way around, a bit… so it will be familiar…. and I think it will be fantastic.

Here’s a bit of the decor in the cafe Rembrandt at the airport – hot coffee and strawberry pie with an inch of whipped cream to warm us up.

The photos are upoading really slowly, so when I get online again, I’ll try to get them all in here.

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