A tranquil crossing of the North Sea and a good night's
sleep later we awoke approaching Europort in Holland.
Stennaline offer an Eat as much as you like
breakfast for 10 Euros, half price for under 16's, so
we decided to fuel up for the day's exertions. It took
an inspection of Arthur's passport to convince the stewards
that he really is only fifteen he got very good
value for his 5 Euros!.
Loaded up like mules once again, we staggered our way
out through customs and across to the railway station.
I have to report that it is not much fun getting twelve
items of luggage, two of which I can barely lift, and
two tired and emotional young boys on and off trains,
up and down stairs and escalators and through crowded
station concourses. Arthur has been a real asset because
he is very strong for his years and inclined to be cheerful.
Ian has been grimly stoical but I know his dodgy knee
is giving him grief. However, we got ourselves to Amsterdam
Central and the rooms we had booked were described as
a 4 minute walk from here. This last half
mile turned out to be the final straw for George who
went on sit-down strike in the middle of the pavement
the rest of us relayed the bags from here to
the doorstep of 61 Speistraat.
This is a most interesting address with a shop called
The Magic Mushroom and a Cannabis Cafe immediately
opposite and a scantily clad girl in lace-up boots,
sitting in her window, three doors down. The rooms we
had booked lived up to their surroundings being of a
style I would describe as bargain basement Gothic
brothel. The boys loved it at once it had
big beds and a TV and they were just happy to stop lugging
The first mission was to send Mum and Dad their Amsterdam
postcard which I duly did. We had chips and mayonnaise
in a paper cone for lunch and spent a happy afternoon
in Amsterdam's excellent Science Museum Nemo.
We had a fairly brief but intense moment of panic when
we lost George, while stopping for a drink on our way
back to the hostel. Then a rather good kebeb house provided
tea and we retired early to bed. Tomorrow we join mv
Isa which feels like the real start of our journey
we will, at last be moving West . So far we have been
5 am woke up, went back to sleep, 5:30 am woke
up, went back to sleep, 6 am woke up fell out of bed
bumped my head went back to sleep. At some point, when
I had finally got up, it was trains, more trains,bla
Arrived at the hostel where we would stay the night.
What a weird room it was - like a cross between a Gothic
brothel and a really cheap tacky honeymoon suite, with
dark wood walls and patterns on the bed covers made
from roses and hearts shapes.
So another thing I noticed is that this place is full
of prostitutes which I had been told by people was true
but I hadn't imagined so many. In the single half hour
I was looking for George, I saw two. One was in a house
just 50 yards down the road were a woman was sitting
in the basement of her house waving, smiling, beckoning
out of the window looking up onto the street wearing
just the skimpiest of clothes. As well as the prostitutes
there are loads of sex shops, there are more of them
than MacDonald's not to mention the sex museum.
The Harry Report
After we got off the ferry and lugged our luggage through
two train journeys and got to our hostel (a very strange
place indeed) I was a bit put off by the fact id have
to share a bed with my little bro in a bed that says
roses of love on it.
We had a great day out at Nemo though which is this
great big hands-on sciency thing. A couple of the things
that I remember are.
A thing where you stand on a little black spot surrounded
by bubble liquid and lifted this metal ring up and over
your head making a tube of bubble,
A creepy giant talking mechanical girl who could actually
sense you were there!, A mini water cleaning factory,and
loads more as well. We ate kebabs for tea then slept
comfortably in the beds.
Nemo was fun and quite wet. I got lost looking for the
magic mushroom shop - which I thought was a toy shop
( it wasn't ).