Cold comfort

Today was my first ever visit to Amsterdam. I can’t say I have ever been enthused or sufficiency motivated to visit before. It is probably the only capital city, perhaps in the world, that is best known for drugs and prostitution, so it does attract certain types, but I was hoping I would be pleasantly surprised as we set out for a walk in the early afternoon.

We skirted around the city for a pleasant hour and a bit, generally following the water, before cutting in land. I know it was Friday but there was a great bustle in the various squares we found ourselves, including the one alongside Madame Tussaud’s. Despite this damn cold being nothing to sniff at, as we delved more deeply into the shopping areas, dominated by coffee shops, neither Pammy nor I were overly enamoured with the aromas we were finding, along with bicycles approaching from what seemed every possible angle apart from the one we were facing.

In the muddle of side streets, we did become a bit disoriented as we tried to find our way back to the ship. No worries really, as we knew if we could find the main railway station, we would get to the port. That we did, to the accompaniment of a rain shower.

It had been a walk of around 7-8 miles, but much more tiring than the longer walk of the previous day. I don’t want to just slag off Amsterdam, but it will never be my favourite place. I know others love it, and it no doubt has attractions well beyond the needs of stag and hen nights – Anne Frank’s house would have been wonderful to visit, for instance – and the tiredness was no doubt brought on by this annoying cold, as well as the frantic rushing about around us that prevented any rhythm in the walking after the first few miles. And, no, please don’t call it man flu.

Sailing today after a night in Amsterdam to reach Hamburg tomorrow morning (Sunday).


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