Sunday, 6 April 2014

I'm here!

It's my third day in Amsterdam.
We (my sis and I) arrived safely at Schiphol airport from Brisbane, via Singapore on Thursday morning to a bleakish 9 degrees Celcius. First stop was at an airport coffee shop (not THOSE coffee shops!) for a typical Dutch Chocomel (Hot chocolate) with a small dish piled high with whipped cream on the side and a small biscuit - stroop wafel (syrup waffle). Very yummy.  Outside to catch a taxi and $82+ Euros !!, ($122AUD) later we arrived at my sister's small but lightfilled flat on the Northern outskirts of Amsterdam. Her 2nd floor, 1 bedroom unit  balcony looks out over a treed area, which in turn borders onto farmland crisscrossed by the typical Dutch 'slooten' or ditches or small canals. It's quite amazing how close she lives to rural Holland. Yesterday morning we went for a long walk along the dyke with views of a typical old fashioned farming village with a church steeple popping out through the morning mist. Ducks, grey herons, geese, bustards and all kinds of waterbirds abound.
Birds also feed off the seed trays that my sis puts out on her balcony. A big fat grey dove fed for some time yesterday without it worrying him.
Yesterday we also visited some friends in a special garden village. It was a lovely sunny day for it.
I am still feeling the jet lag and am trying to get onto Dutch time, which will happen soon I hope.

Friday we went shopping at the local shopping centre which is right next door to where I'm staying. I am amazed at how low, especially the food prices are. Even though they are in Euros, they are considerably cheaper than buying food in good old Brisbane. There is a weekly (every day) market at the end of the shopping mall with cheeses, tulips (very cheap too  - 20 tulips for $4.95EU about $7.50)! and clothing...the usual market stalls that you find anywhere.

This coming week I hope to get into some sightseeing in the inner city.
The weather has been very warm this spring for Dutch standards and the people are amazed at the temperatures and how early  the foliage on trees has come on and flowers have blossomed. I haven't been cold hardly at all and ofcourse shops, house and vehicles are at a constant temperature of around 20C.

I''ll post a few photos for you to enjoy here now.

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