And thus beginneth the last full day of my European River Cruise. Tomorrow we arrive in Amsterdam to be unceremoniously thrown off by 9 a.m. I have ordered a taxi to take me into town to my hotel at 9:30.
Cold, blustery, intermittent rain, and me with still no jacket. Poor me. Poor, poor me.
Before leaving ship we have to settle up for any/everything we've charged on board, plus 168 euros—12 euros per day—as a gratuity for the crew. I also gave my cabin steward, Rumen, 20 euros for his courtesy and attention (and because he is a real sweetheart).
Last lunch over...a very nice dutch cheese soup with an assortment of open-face sandwiches, including bagels and lox.
Just passed a full-sized replica of Noah's Ark, just finished and which will be setting off to tour several countries.
I have the sliding glass door open just a crack (I open it all the way when taking photos) and the wind just started howling through as though it were Northern Wisconsin in January.
We aren't scheduled to arrive at Kinderdijk until 3:30, but it's only 1:30 and we've stopped and seem to be tying up. No idea why. Raining heavily. Cold. We moved on, with no explanation of the stop.
2:35 Passing through a very large city. I had no idea what it was until I asked: Rotterdam.
Arrived at Kinderdijk about 3:30. Cold. Drizzling. I put a long sleeved shirt on over my short-sleeved shirt and the second of the two plastic ponchos I'd brought with me. This one was blue and didn't look quite so much like I'd just stolen a dry-cleaner bag. Still, it was overall a bold fashion statement even though Viking may never let me on one of their ships again.
14 windmills in the very small area, all of them private houses except for the one which is open to the public. I do not think I would rush to buy one. Very small on the inside and, because of the small space, the stair are more like ladders. Still interesting and I certainly could not have gone home without saying I'd seen a windmill in Holland.
The Last Supper just completed, goodbyes to newly-minted friends whom I really enjoyed meeting, and who were all more than kind to me. People start leaving the ship for the airport at 4 a.m.! I plan to get almost everything packed before bedtime.
And so the river cruise portion of my adventure is over. Too quickly. But it was a wonderful time and I still have three days in Amsterdam to look forward to, and then four days in New York, but I know they'll fly by as well. I only wish I could afford to travel almost constantly. So many things to do, to see, to experience. And now I can start planning for my next adventure...a cruise to the eastern Mediterranean, I think. I'll start from Rome, see, and then....
Looking out at the sky to the west. Heavy, dark clouds. More rain, undoubtedly. Well, bring it on. I'm up for anything.
Dorien will be posting frequent blogs and photos while on his current European River Cruise. You can see the photos on www.doriengreyandme.com...scroll down past the blog. You're also invited to check out his website at www.doriengrey.com.