Friday, August 7, 2015


We made friends with the couple who were in the cabin next to us, Sheldon and Send.  Rich noticed when we were at dinner that there was a big round table set for 10 people in the corner behind us, but every night there were only two people sitting there.  We were really curious about why the ship would seat two people at such a large table all alone, and we felt kinda bad for them!  One night when we were returning to our cabin, they were walking right behind us and I asked, "are you the ones at that big table in the corner?"  They said yes, and then we realized they were in the next cabin and we chatted for a few minutes. We told them maybe we'd come sit with them one night and they invited us to do so.  Within a night or two, we told our waiter regular table mates that we were going to go join our new acquaintances for dinner. Well, this created a huge issue with the dining room. We literally were told we had to go ask permission from the maitre' d to change tables.  We explained that we were not moving permanently but we wanted to eat with Sheldon and Send that night.  Apparently, this messes up their system and they had to change the computer to put us at that table, just in case someone else got assigned there. Now what were the odds of that?!  Sheldon told us that the table had been full and the other eight seats were taken by a group of Russians from NYC.  The first night at dinner, this group had a fit and told the waiter that they had requested a table "all to themselves."  So they were moved to an eight person table, and instead of Sheldon and Send getting moved to a smaller table, they were just left to eat alone at the big table. Kinda silly, huh?  Anyway, they were really nice and we enjoyed them a lot more than our usual tablemates.  Send is originally from Mongolia, but they both live in California now and are retired.
So they had told us that Amsterdam not only has hop on/hop off buses but also hop on/hop off boats. This sounded like fun to us so we decided we would at least start off on the boats.  We walked off the ship and headed for what we thought was the terminal, but all we found was the ferry, and then a bunch of trains and buses. We walked and walked and tried to cut through the terminal to the road on the other side, but we got to a point where we thought we had to buy a ticket for the train to go forward so we came back out and walked all the way around the huge building to the other side.  We eventually found some boats on a canal, but they were not the right ones, and a worker pointed us in the direction toward ours. Whew! We wasted a lot of time right off the bat.  Eventually we got on the boat and had to wait a few minutes for it to depart.  We rode around awhile and decided to get off at the Anne Frank House.
 Cool apartment building
 Bikes everywhere!
 Lots of houseboats on the canals

Well, the line at the Anne Frank House was super long, winding around several blocks, and we were told it would be at least two hours before we could get in.  Since we did not have a long time in Amsterdam, we decided to forego the visit there.  All we got were some pictures of the outside.

From there, instead of going back and waiting for the boat, we decided to walk around and catch the boat somewhere else.  This sounded like a good idea, but we never did find the boat again.  We spent the rest of the day walking and were sorry we spent the money on an all day pass for the boat!
 We stopped in a little coffee shop to have some breakfast
 Huge pancakes!

 Flower shops

 Sidewalk cafes everywhere

 Interesting gardens

 Store window

I've never seen so many people riding bikes! 

No comments: