Hi everyone, I’ve been struggling to figure out why I can’t post to my blog. Today the ship’s engineer informed me it is because the German internet people (police) have chosen to block my website for some reason. Maybe there has been a hacker trying to get in or something. So once again I have asked Greg Phillips of 404 Small Business Solutions to help out by posting my blogs. You will get things a day or two late. I haven’t figured out what to do about pictures but I will. Thanks for your patience. Let me tell you I’m having a fabulous time. Please ignore any mistakes on this blog. The editing on the next one will be better.
This morning, when we got on the tram we learned that our city passes had expired. We had paid for 48 hours. We were at hour 49. For another 10 Euro’s we could have had 24 additional hours. Since it cost almost 6 Euros for that one ride, we have learned a great lesson. Tom says that learning is a joyous thing. I wasn’t so sure.
We clambered onto the tram with our huge suitcases. A lovely young woman moved over so I could sit down. When I thanked her, our conversation began. By the time we reached Amsterdam Central we had shared a number of details about our lives. I knew her name was Vivianne. She was a tourist too. She worked for a Roman Catholic NGO. I gave her one of my cards.
“I’m getting off here too,” she said. “I’ll help you with your luggage.” With those words she picked up the biggest of the suitcases and carried it down the steps of the tram and across the street car tracks. At that point we hugged and said goodbye as if we were old friends. “Come to China for a visit and contact me. I would like that,” she said.
We also assured her she would be welcome at our house when she came to Canada. For us Vivianne was a blessing. She gave us a joyfilled tram ride this morning.
Tonight, we’re aboard the Scenic Jewel. This ship is spectacular, the attention to detail a total delight. The ship’s staff – Captain and crew were lined up to welcome us when we arrived. They directed us to the ship’s lounge where we were greeted with champagne. Slowly in groups of 4 or 5 we were invited to the reception desk to receive our room assignments. One of the crew led us to our room, gave us some information and left us to unpack. Our luggage which had arrived before us lay on the bed.
The room is fabulous – very compact of course with plenty of cupboards and drawers. The little balcony is just the right size. The bathroom lovely. There is even an extension make-up mirror so that my near-sighted eyes can see when I’m getting ready for my day. Oh yes, I was handed a gorgeous creamy rose as I went to our room. There on the desk, was a vase already filled with water waiting for it. And the list goes on and on. This is first class living. What a wonderful treat. I’m floating on cloud nine.
For supper, we enjoyed a buffet of delicious gourmet dishes. They carefully told us that usually the meals would be served with lots of choice, but tonight the buffet accommodated late arrivals. After dinner we were invited to go for a “stroll” in Amsterdam. It was an opportunity to practice using our personal electronic devices as well as a little exercise after a big meal. With the devices we are each connected to our guide so that we can easily hear everything he has to say. The devices worked perfectly. One more reason to love this cruise.
As we were waiting to leave for our guided stroll, we met a pair of honeymooners. The four of us walked together. We felt quite experienced having been in Amsterdam for two whole days. They had arrived this afternoon. When our guide turned us loose to walk through the “Red Light District”, the four of us stuck together. We wandered down a few streets and then decided we’d seen all we wanted, so came back here to the boat for more conversation. This couple along with several others certainly gave us joyfilled moments.
On our walk our guide had spoken about the acres of bicycles that line the streets, particularly at night. Many of these bikes belong to people who live outside the city. They take the train into downtown, hop onto their bicycle and ride off to work.
Now it’s time to go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day. We need to sleep.
-Posted by 404 Small Business Solutions