Euro trip day 17: Amsterdam for the day.

Do you ever wake up with that overwhelming sense that no matter what, it’s going to be a good day? Maybe its my optimistic, happy-go-lucky, Sagittarius nature but I quite often get this feeling inside me that I imagine is similar to that of how J.K Rowling describes taking ‘Felix Felicis’ (liquid luck) in the Harry Potter books.  Lucky is a good way to describe it but its more so that I feel like all the decisions I am making are good ones and are only going to lead to good results. I mean, it probably has something to do with the endorphins from my morning workout’s combining with the vast consumption of caffeine and the fact that for whatever reason this beautiful girl seems to be okay with me as company…

Al-pac-man.

The morning of this particular day of the trip I recall having that exact feeling. Laura and I headed to a pool in the early AM for a swim. The pool was clean and clear, much like most of the pools in Germany. Probably not surprising seeing as German engineering is top quality all round. After tanking out 120 lengths we returned to our Alpaca farm dwelling and had some incredible Ritter Sport based porridge whilst coming up with a plan for our day. We knew we were staying back in Belgium with family and the drive there was roughly an hour and half but I noticed that it would be feasible to drive into the Netherlands and perhaps visit one of the Cities. After scrolling through a few recommended places I discovered that Amsterdam was well within reach and that we could do a brief stop there before heading down to Belgium.

We also met these adorable kittens.

That liquid luck feeling kicked in and without question we decided that an excursion in the Netherland’s capital was only a good decision. Something Laura and I do is collect mini cactus plants, mostly bought from Urban Outfitters. So far we have them from Cities all over the UK and Europe. Amsterdam is a city with an Urban Outfitters so it seemed only appropriate to add a visit to UO whilst in town. We also thought it would be a great opportunity to take some photos along the canal and within the well known parks and flower markets that make up the City.

Before we left Hans offered to give us a proper tour of the farm and meet the Alpacas. Again, the liquid luck was kicking in full throttle and we enjoyed meeting the Alpacas as well as being told all sorts of weird and wonderful Alpaca based facts in the broken English that our host spoke in. I only wish I could speak German or any other language for that matter. One thing I learned was that Alpacas don’t spit, that is Lamas. Alpacas do however sneeze when they are eating but other than this are completely defenceless. Their fur is also used to create duvets that retain an even temperature and are recommended for people who feel extreme heat or cold during the night. Amazing, thanks Hans!

Sushi 4 ever.

We then headed on our way to Amsterdam. Whilst driving into the city we needed diesel and stopped in a service station to fill up. The pumps had signs covering the diesel nozzles with blood dutch writing saying something which I only assumed could be important. The problem was that we assumed that the services was probably out of diesel and that was why they were covered so we carried on to the next garage only to find the pumps also had the signs on. As we sat there pondering the fact that the Netherlands could perhaps be in a diesel shortage, I fortunately decided to Google translate the meaning of what was written on the pump covers. Lucky for us there was no diesel shortage just each pump had a warning sign on it to remind you that it was diesel and not petrol.

We parked just outside the centre of Amsterdam and walked in along the canals, through the parks and along the beautiful houses that make up such a pretty city. Amsterdam is known for many features but so often overlooked is how pretty it is. We sat by the canal and ate lunch whilst watching people from all walks go by. It’s funny how the city attracts equal amounts of people who are clearly on some kind of artistic pilgrimage to follow Van Goghs historic path as well as what I can only describe as “night-out-ers” who sit with larger tins and smoke blunts in the afternoon sun. It’s a cool place and although both Laura and I aren’t fans of big crowded places, I can make an exception for Amsterdam. I’m glad we didn’t stay though, I’ve been before and visited the Anne Frank museum, Carlsberg factory and Art gallery, we didn’t need much more than a few hours of walking around the streets and shops.

We left with enough time to get to Belgium for an excursion to the Carrefour Hypermarket to find an incredible Sushi counter which made for the perfect dinner. We also had a new member to the cactus family which we names Cino after Al Paccino, which was the same name and reason that Hans had called his new born Alpaca. After a heaps of sushi and catch up with family it was off to bed back where we’d started the trip, in Braine l’Allued.

Only 2 more posts left for the trip.

Catch ya tomorrow.
BG

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