Friday, June 8, 2012

Two Cities, Day 7: Amsterdam

This was the last day that my I amsterdam card was valid (and only until 10am), so I had to make sure to see the NEMO Science Center. I arrived at the same time as a bunch of kids on a field trip, which was... loud.

The NEMO building.

On top of the building, they have tiered seating with a view of some of the city. 

There were some fabulous boats in the harbor. 

One of the signs in the electric power area of the museum. 

I was honestly hoping for a museum like the Seattle Science Center, but it was nowhere near as good, sadly. But the kids had lots of fun screaming!

My next stop was to see the mills! Something that I have always wanted to do because we live so close to Lynden. This was the first one I saw in Amsterdam:

Called Meelmolen, Flour Mill 'De Bleeke Dood' at Lagedijk, Zaandijk. 

There were five mills off in the distance. 

Me and the mills (molen in Dutch)

It took me at least ten tries to get a good picture and there were locals down the street watching. Tourist alert!

It looked so much like Lynden! Felt like home. 

Straat & Dijk... come on, really?

This is the street I had to walk up at 4am to catch my train back to Brussels. 

Got me my Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, bread, cheese and Bible. Couldn't be a better situation. Especially sitting in Business Class, where I had a whole room to myself. 

Of course, the controller came by and told me to change to second class like my ticket said or pay to stay there. I chose to move. Getting back to Bordeaux was an intense journey. I left the hostel in the Red Light District around 4am (this is technically Day 8), and the receptionist said that even the thieves were at home asleep. There was a taxi driving by every minute, it seemed like, so I wasn't worried too much about being mugged without witnesses.

I caught my train at 5am and headed to Brussels. I had five minutes to catch a shuttle bus that would take me to the Brussels Charleroi airport. The ride would take one hour, so if I missed it, I missed my plane, which was set for take off twenty minutes after the shuttle arrived at the airport. Thankfully, I found some security guys to point me in the right direction, and I got on the bus just in time. Got to the airport and the man who checked me in told me there was no need to run to the gate. I was finally able to relax.

The plane got to Rodez, France with no problems, then it was taxi to the train station (my taxi driver was really nice and fun), train to Toulouse, then on to Bordeaux. Finally home around 8pm that night.

Whew! What an adventure!

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