Monday morning at 8:30 it was off on the TGV to Paris. There’s nothing quite like sweeping past the French countryside in a wide, comfortable seat with ample leg room at about 250 k an hour. About 10 we arrived at Paris’ Gare de Lyon, took the RER subway two stops to the Gare du Nord and had a little bite to eat. 12:30 we were off on the Thalys, the high speed train to Amsterdam. After stops in Lille, France, Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium, Rotterdam and Schipol Airport in Holland, we were back in Amsterdam’s Centraal Station about 3:45. After checking in at our hotel we wandered about the streets a bit, then settled in at a tapas restaurant just down the street for dinner. Sardines a las plancha, a bunch of other tasty things and a good Spanish red. Life is good!
We were staying at the same hotel we used when we were in Amsterdam to return the car; this time with a bigger room. Last time we only had backpacks. Our giant suitcases wouldn’t fit in that room so we did a little upgrade. Again, a great, newly renovated room and very helpful staff. We highly recommend the Hotel Linden.
The only picture I took was at night.
This time our room was up at the top right out on the end.
The next morning it was off to the Rijksmuseum. All of the times we’d been in Amsterdam in the past, the museum was about half closed in order to complete a massive renovation. Last year they finally pulled down all the scaffolding and opened up the whole thing. We bought our tickets online so we wouldn’t have to stand in the massive line and enjoyed a wonderful museum.
The big draw is Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.” By the time we got there, the crowds had gathered. Luckily its hung pretty high so it can be seen in a crowd but the pictures I took were of some other, smaller works not by Rembrandt.
"Six Wardens of the Drapers Guild" by Pieter Pietersz
"Sir Thomas Gresham" and "Anne Fernely" by Anthonis Mor
The Rijksmuseum gardens
More wandering about town in the late afternoon then a very filling ricetable dinner (an Indonesian speciality, rice with about a thousand (or maybe 10) little dishes to go on it. The goat satay was our favorite.) and our last day in Europe for this year was complete. Wednesday morning about 10 am KLM Airlines whisked us across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Houston. We’d spend a week visiting Cathy Jo’s parents and her brother (his birthday was Saturday) with a quick trip up to Dallas to see John and Patti Hardman then back home to Ventura.
Time to start planning for next year!