Posts Tagged With: Ferry

2nd July: 2nd day in Amsterdam

Later breakfast again at 9:3,0 nice not having to be up at 6 am. A bit strange that there is no more biking until I get home.

We left the hotel and walked to the metro to head back into town to look around a bit more. We needed to make a change after one stop to get onto a different metro, as there is part of a line closed. As we got onto the next train we realised we were on the wrong train and went to get off, but only Shellbe got off before the doors closed! So much easier these days with cellphones in this situation. Very quickly worked it out and then ended up back on the same train heading into the central station.

I had wanted to go to the Anne Frank museum but had been unable to get tickets on line. They appear to be sold out for months (I later discovered more are released online daily at 8:45 and 11:30am). The website said you could buy them at the actual museum for after 3:30, so we headed off to the museum.

Outside the museum were some guides, so I asked one where we went to get tickets. His reply was “Where they are sold, when they are selling them”, so I asked when are they being sold, and no lie his response was “When we are selling them”! What a great asset he must be.

Thankfully we found another guide who had an understanding that their role was to be helpful, who advised they go on sale at 3:30 if there are any left. They don’t know until that time how many there will be. Sometimes very few. As it was only 11am I was not inclined to start queueing, and Shellbe had been there before when she was here as an exchange student.

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Outside Anne Frank House

We went off and continued looking around and came across a cheese museum. We had great fun looking at the different cheeses and trying some. The cheese came in all colours, including green (pesto as an ingredient), bright blue and bright red (not sure what was in these). We also enjoyed trying on the traditional cheese making clothes and taking photos.

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Dutch cheese maidens

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Coloured cheese anyone?

 

After this we went to a tulip museum and then decided to have a cold drink. We stopped at a place by a canal (but I guess hard not to in Amsterdam) and watched people going by.

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A’noon beverage time 🍺

At this stage Shellbe headed off for the rest of the day to catch up with a friend who was an exchange student at the same time as her, who has not longed ago moved to Amsterdam from Turkey. Brett and I had lunch and watched the crowds for awhile.

We then headed back to the Anne Frank Museum as as an ex-work colleague of Brett was in Amsterdam with his wife and they had tickets at 3pm to the museum. It was about 2:30pm and quite hot, so while we were waiting I decided to sit against the wall in the shade, and found a suitable space and sat down. I felt people tensing around me and looked up to see people glaring at me from all directions! Oops! I had just sat two spaces from the front of an exceedingly long queue of people who had been waiting for hours to get museum tickets! So I moved from there very rapidly, apologising and assuring people I wasn’t trying to get tickets. Brett caught up with his friend and wife (which was when I discovered tickets were released online twice a day).

We then went off and continued sightseeing. Later in the afternoon we caught the ferry from the central railway station to north Amsterdam, where the annual TDA alumni dinner was taking place. Given these are generally across the other side of the world from me I haven’t attended one before, but it seemed a good opportunity given we were already in the city (which of course was the reason for the timing).

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Party boat on the Brouwersgracht

The ferry that we caught was just for foot passengers and bikes. At the dinner we sat with Yvonne, Scott, Ruth, Peter and John H, who had all been on our ride. Apart from that, the rest of the diners were TDA staff or Dutch, bar one other rider who had flown in from England.

There was not really any mingling, and apart from a quick welcome from Henry and auctioning of a book, it was pretty much like any other riding day dinner of the past month, so not high on my priority list to attend another one. The food was Tapas.

A number of us shared a taxi back to the hotel.

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Bikes, bikes, bikes everywhere near Central Station

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Day 15: Monday 28 Nov – Wellington to Picton

Today we only had to ride 4km to the ferry and then 1.5 km in Picton to the camp.

Even though the ferry was not sailing until 9am we had to have our bags out by 630 am as the trucks needed to get down to the ferry to queue. There were no breakfast facilities at the motel so we were told we were going to get a breakfast pack. Turned out it was a breakfast and a lunch park. It was huge, a plastic supermarket bag full of food. A smoothie, a fruit drink, an orange, a banana, a fruit log, 3 small packets of savory snack biscuits, 2 cheese segments, 2 rolls with frankfurters, a Muesli bar, and a round plastic container 250gm of nuts. How many days was this for again?

I had been a bit nervous about the sailing as I suffer really badly from motion sickness and the past few days the seas had been really rough.Thankfully today it was really quite calm. I had a nice ride along the water front and crossed over at the Westpac stadium and down to the ferry. I could not believe how many people there were as foot passengers – the terminal was packed. Usually when I catch the ferry I am driving a vehicle.

We had to walk our bikes as a group onto the vehicle deck.

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The ferry we travelled on to Picton

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Onto the boat

We were sailing on the newest Interislander ferry, which had some really good seating facilities. I got a good seat at the back of the boat, with a nice view out over the water. The sailing was three hours and really calm all the way across. Once we got into the Marlborough Sounds I even managed to get a blog update done.

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Sailing to the South Island (Photo and Caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Once we got to Picton we had to go to the vehicle deck and wait to be let off. It was a bit unpleasant with all the cars with their engines running, but luckily they let us off  quickly.

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Waiting to get off the ferry

A short 1.5km ride and we were at camp by 12:30 pm. We arrived before the trucks, so had to wait for them to arrive so we could get our bags.

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Sunny and warm in Picton (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

Once we had set up our tents Brett, Michele, Tony and I walked into the town and had a look around. We stopped at a bar with a nice outside area and had steamed green mussels in wine and garlic, wedges, and a ParrotDog Pilsner, then we moved to the next bar. Tony, Brett had I had a Kereru Pilsner, and Michele had a cider.

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Lazy afternoon in Picton

After this we walked around Picton looking at the shops. I tried a couple of hairdressers as I badly need a hair cut. Although they said “no appointment necessary” they were both fully booked. I will have to wait until after the ride.

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Another ferry in the Picton Harbour (Photo credit: Michele’s Facebook)

We called into one more bar on the way back to camp and saw “Pisco sours” on the cocktail menu, so we decided that as we had all done the section of the South American ride where they were from, we would have one. Well, although they are on menu clearly they are not popular as the bartender had to ask another bartender and they had to refer to notes, and they took over 45 minutes to make. They were not worth the wait but the thought was good. As I said to Michele – we will remember them more because of the disproportionate amount of time they took to make, and how uninspiring the end result was.

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Disappointing Pisco Sours

Dinner was fresh cooked (lemon) fish with couscous and a broccoli salad. Tony and Michele shared a bottle of Vidals (Hawkes Bay) Pinot with us.

We have a new rider called Justina from Switzerland, she has come all the way just to do the two week South Island ride. Every rider’s nightmare: she arrived but no bike or bag! Hopefully it will be sent on tonight’s ferry.

Tomorrow is the birthday for both Emily (the tour leader) and Mika (a TDA worker). A couple of the riders had organised cakes, candles, and cards, which we all contributed to and signed. After dinner we sang happy birthday and had cake and candles.

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