April 29, 2016
The night before we had decided that we would take a cab to Centraal Station and then catch the train to Delft. Delft is really charming with interesting history especially related to the Dutch monarchy. Not to mention the Delft blue pottery and it's the home town of the Dutch Golden Age painter, Johannes Vermeer. It sounded like the perfect way to end our month long holiday.
Except the weather changed our plans. Through the night I could hear the solid pounding of rain on the skylight in the bathroom. Unfortunately when we all met for breakfast it was still pouring with little chance for the weather to change. Our bone chilling experience to Keukenof was fresh in our minds so the trip to Delft was off. We brought out our ipads and started formulating a plan B.
We ventured out with our raincoats, umbrellas and more layers of clothing than the day before. We decided to do the hop on hop off canal boat because it was covered and warm. The canals in Amsterdam are interesting and the architecture or size of homes varies in the different canals. Thankfully we were protected inside the boat when it started to hail. Yikes! We rode the boat for an entire loop and decided to get off around the Anne Frank House. It had stopped raining and hailing - whew! Most of us have been to the Anne Frank House so we had no intention of visiting. I am always amazed at the length of the line to get in. If you have never visited, I highly recommend a visit but you should purchase your tickets in advance.
We decided to stop and have something warm to drink and a bite to eat. By the time we were finished, the rain stopped. It wasn't warm but at least we weren't getting wet! We walked to Dam square and there was a fair going on complete with haunted house, ferris wheel and Drop of Doom. Instead of mini doughnuts there were pofferjtes so we had to indulge (again). We walked through De Bijenkorf, the large luxury department store off Dam square. We just looked, no shopping - we have no room in our suitcases! We wandered over to Centraal Station and through the red light district before getting back on our Hop On Hop Off Canal boat for more touring. I should mention that most of us are sick with a cold and our energy is pretty low and we are tired out from our vacation. We had tickets to the Van Gogh museum for 5pm. It was really busy and hard to get a good look at most of the paintings. I've been to the museum before so I was searching for my favorite piece - Bedroom in Arles - but it is on loan to another museum. Drat!
We decided to get some salads at the grocery store and eat them in our room (the big room) back at the hotel. After dinner James and I went for a walk in Vondelpark before calling it a night. If the weather would have cooperated it would have been great to rent bikes to ride through the park. Next time...