Thursday, March 16, 2017

Amsterdam & flight to Cape Town

On Tuesday Mom and I took the bus into town so we could see the far side of Amsterdam (as opposed to the side closest to our hotel). Two steps off the bus and down an alley we see this gem. 

These buildings! They kill me! I die of the beautiful!
 We strolled down side streets and across canals until we found Stephen & Penelope's, a super cool yarn store, in a very trendy neighbourhood. Across the street was a burlesque shop, down the road a bondage store, then right in the middle, a fabric store and a yarn store. And the people travelling through this neighbourhood were also very interesting to behold :)

Look! Another building!

I was surprised to find out that this is a restaurant.
Not sure the history of the building.

The Royal Palace

Grand Palace Selfie!!!

I died laughing when I found out this was a shopping centre. 

bikes everywhere!

Yes, I made it out without purchasing any tulips.

This amazing tile mosaik was in an alley connecting a shopping street with a main street.
It was totally steampunk themed.

Mom on the canal cruise

The only part of Amsterdam where you can see under 7 bridges in a row.

I was sad when I saw this.

The oldest building I noted, 1655.

We headed back to the hotel after the canal tour, in the dark, to pack and get ready for our early morning flight to Cape Town.

We had booked a shuttle for 6:55am to get to the airport for 7:30 to give us lots of time before our flight at 10:15.
Except our shuttle never came.
And then neither did the taxi they called to replace that.
Then I got stern with the hotel staff, who were being far too relaxed about us getting to the airport.
Then mom started yelling.

It took an hour for things to escalate like that, but seriously, an hour came and went and still no ride to the airport.

Finally a cab came. He asked where we were from, and I said, "Canada. And usually we're much nicer, but we're having a rough morning". The hotel staff had spoken to him in Dutch, so I don't know what had been said. He laughed it off, and we talked politics instead - you know, nice, safe, neutral territory.

The 15th was their election, and I asked how he felt about it. We talked about Trump, and he said they had their own Trumpesque candidate and he was afraid that the people would vote him in.
I was glad to land in Cape Town to the news that they had not voted him in. Way to go Netherlands! <3

We tipped the cabbie well. Not only had he gotten us to the airport in record timing, but he'd helped to erase the morning from our minds. By the time we got through security, we were feeling much more relaxed.

The flight was MUCH better. We chose aisle seats across from each other, but the plane was also much newer. The seats were comfy, the leg room was ample.

We landed after the 11 hour flight and our hosts, Leslie & Celia, were there waiting for us.

We were up late into the night chatting.

Today's adventures are about to unfold, so that's it for now :)