Getting there is half the fun..

A forum where you can read the great
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

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Getting there is half the fun..

Postby TAK » Mon Sep 11, 2:38 am

When Holly265 and I had to go to Amsterdam to pick up our residency permits by mid August, we started looking for cheap tickets on the web. For about a week every time we would look they would be in the $800's to even over $1000.00. There was a week our houseboat was not rented from August 4 to 10. I blocked out that time with CityMundo.

Finally Holly265 found some tickets in the $400.00 range to Manchester England but we would have to leave in July. Arriving on August first we had 3 days to spend in England. We booked the flight and went on Channels for advice on getting to Amsterdam from there. We got a wonderful response from many Channelites from the UK.

We found a ferry boat that goes from Newcastle UK to Amsterdam. On Boner's recommendation we booked that trip. Thanks Boner, it was very much a part of our adventure.

The foremost Channelite that came to our aid was Mark1. I had met Mark1 at a Katzu meet up of Channelites and later he came by my houseboat a little early in the morning for me. LOL. This generous man took a day off from work, met us at the airport, took us to his home, where we met his fiancee. Then the 4 of us spent a fantastic day touring York. We walked into the city through a gate in the old wall down streets that had buildings hundreds of years old to the York Minster. That's a huge gothic church that rivals Notre Dame in Paris. A huge organ with stone vaulted ceilings and stone that looks like lace only carved from stone. An interesting dance group was performing in one section of this church . From there we wound our way to the UK National Railway Museum.. This was several gigantic buildings with the actual trains that Britain had produced as it led the world in the railway industry. With cut-a-way views of the engines. A trough that you could go under one to see the running gear. But the most memorable exhibit was the cars designed for the royalty. Each generation of the royal family had cars designed especially for them.

After the museum we took a ride on the York Eye. This is a huge Ferris wheel that gives you an unprecedented view of York and the surrounding countryside.. It was a little stormy and that brought out Mark1's dislike for heights. LOL. He braved the dreaded wheel, then we went on to walk the old York wall for about a quarter of its circumference . I could imagine medieval armies defending York from Vikings and other hostile forces from this wall. Shooting arrows from the castle notches or pouring boiling oil down onto invaders.

We topped the evening off with a dinner at an extremely good Indian restaurant near Mark1's home. The Tandoori chicken rivaled Channelite Beer's fabulous concoction that we had last winter. Back at Mark1's we vaped and settled in for a deep nights sleep. Our first in England.

The next day Mark1 took us to Leeds where we could rent a car. I had my reservations about driving in England but I gathered up the courage and did it. The car was a small Vauxhall. Thank god the foot pedals are the same but it seems every time I would go to shift gears I would grab the door handle. Actually it wasnt too bad driving on the Interstate type highways like the M1. All the traffic around you is going in the same direction and the oncoming cars are way across the median. You just have to remember to exit to the left. The secondary roads arent too bad except when two or more of them come together in a round-a-bout These are traffic circles that you must go around in a clockwise direction. I did that most of the time. Except when Holly265 pointed right to the road we should be on just a few degrees to the right. I started the turn and met head on with another car coming around the circle. We both stopped without hitting each other and I received a few choice words. I really felt like the dumb American.

On uk*bag*lady's generous invitation we drove down to Evesham to meet with her. This wonderful Channelite took us on a walking tour of Stratford Upon Avon. The abundance of old black-and-white houses were amazing with all kinds of patterns. Looking at the narrow boats on the Avon and walking through the grounds of a centuries old church yard, we had the best time. Then meeting up with Mr. uk*bag*lady in Evesham for a walking tour of his city. His pride of place is outstanding. The old bell tower was playing its music and more black-and-whites we walked until dusk. Then a great dinner at a Chinese restaurant. We made our good byes and I drove to Birmingham to stay the night. This was the hardest part of driving in England. At night you see the cars coming towards you then they whiz by you to the right.

The next day we drove through the beautiful English countryside up to Newcastle, turned the car in, and took a cab to the ferry boat. This is a huge boat that took on hundreds of cars and trucks and many passengers. It had 4 bars, 4 restaurants, 2 theaters, and a casino. It did rock a bit on the North Sea. So everybody appeared drunk as we walked around the isles. Or maybe they were. Our room was small with bunk beds, but the boat rocked us to sleep. The next morning we were in Amsterdam.

We were back on our houseboat early with enough time to set up my computer, make a few repairs, and get ready for the Gay Parade the next day. The people of Amsterdam, of all sexual orientation, embrace this parade where the floats really float. All the bridges and both sides of the Prinsengracht are packed with people. We had one of the best views from the roof of our houesboat with few of our friends.One of our friends posted over 200 pictures of the parade most of which he took form our houseboat.

The next week we enjoyed our stay on the houseboat, as always. After missing the opportunity to get fish&chips in England we went to Als Plaice on Nieuwendijk. We had the mushy peas, which were just like the ones holly265 made from the mix*bag*lady gave us. We dealt with Dutch bureaucracy in getting our residency cards. I guess 1 out of 2 wasn't bad. We were assured the other one would be ready for us in October. It had been approved but not issued. We walked miles (kilometers) around Amsterdam just enjoying the city and the markets. We met up with Oracle and Philosopher Rick at Amnesia. Later we went to Oracle's new apartment on the fifth floor of a canalhouse with a roof garden that's outstanding. You can see for miles around the old city.

Yes, getting there was a lot of fun thanks to my Channelite friends in England. I have already started a thread about coming back to the US during the RED ALERT.

Back in the USA where it is almost all work.


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Postby mark1 » Mon Sep 11, 9:58 am

Hey there TAK & Holly......good to see your report on the boards and I am so pleased that you enjoyed your time in England.
It was a pleasure to see you both again and no problem at all to help.....I wouldn't let any friend step off a long flight and straight in to a car in a strange country if I could help it.

Jesus, it was high on that damn eye!! It wasn't so bad whilst we were going round, but I did start to feel a little nervous stuck at the top with the wind rattling through the capsule.

Your visit made us get and out and about to see some local stuff we just normally wouldn't consider doing....glad you came.

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UK/NL Trip

Postby uk*bag*lady » Tue Sep 12, 4:47 pm

That was a vey nice report TAK. I'm so gald that you both enjoyed all aspects of your few days in the UK and I'm sure that the residency papers (well paper, for now!) made the whole trip worthwhile. It was a pleasure to meet you both and I hope to do so again before too long. Take care.


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Postby oracle » Thu Sep 14, 4:55 pm

Hey TAK....going there, is only half the fun, when you don't know, where you are going......



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