1 October 2023


A sunny day in Amsterdam encourages a lot of people to head out to spend some time at a park.

Another day, another train… Since my last post I’ve been and gone to Amsterdam. As I had written earlier, there was not much in Koln – except this massive Cathedral…

As you pull into the station… You couldn’t miss this!

You really couldn’t miss it as it was this huge thing next to the train station. And yep, inside it was just as big! It was definitely taller than my block of apartments back at home, but only one floor?! Go figure! I think the Catholic Church could have / would have saved space and money in its construction with lower ceilings (or put in 5 other floors!)

Anyway, the trip into Amsterdam and even finding a backpackers accommodation was quite easy. I had been there before and knew my way around. I chose to stay a bit out of Centraal station and the red light district, but towards the restaurant and cafe area, near Liedseplein and literally a roll out of Voldepark.

Arriving in Amstrdam Centraal

Not many stories to tell in Amsterdam – ok, that may be a bit of a lie, so perhaps the best picture I can present is this: a sports bar with a decent meal of potatoes and unlimited ribs for €9.95, every Champions League game on it’s own tv screen and 10 Jäger shots for €10. I think you are all creative enough to come up with a version of the night…

The following day was a bit of a “go-slow” day, enjoying the great weather like the thousands of others at Voldepark… I was wondered with so many sun baking and relaxing in the sun if locals actually work on a Wednesday. Two nights in a backpackers was good. I was in a four persons room with a weird (or was it typical?) Austrian and a Canadian traveller. After the first night I was there, the Austrian had been upset about something and stormed off to another room in the hostel. The Canadian was happy to talk and we had a good laugh at his foul mood.

As I write this, I am bound for Paris. Sitting in a Thalys that I had boarded in Brussels. If you wanted a more boring train station, it’s Brussels Zuid. Even its surrounding shops and street reflects corporate boredom. Ok, maybe not that fair, but after an hour wandering this major train station I couldn’t find a place to get my usual shot glass and postcard. But I did manage to find two watch shops 20 feet apart (maybe people are always running late?) I did achieve one thing at the stop – and that was to get two boxes of Belgium chocolates. Tick that off my holiday bucket list.

Mayhem in Brussels. I was lost and these people looked it too!
Thalys… Cruising from Brussels to Paris

Anyway, I’m just about to pull into Paris Nord station. Wish me luck! (or wish it to the French!)

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