The Adventure Begins… Boats, Windmills and Tulips
The only thing that is commonly required for any Adventure is a journey, a bit of uncertainty and the fulfillment of a dream.
About two years ago, my mom shared with me that she was interested in visiting The Netherlands to see the tulips in bloom. Initially, this type of trip did not really sound like an Adventure to me. But then I thought about it a little bit more. It would involve a multi-modal journey - travel by airplane, river boat, bus and foot… it would involve some uncertainty - traveling to a number of destinations… and it would fulfill a dream - a lifelong dream of my mom's.
It did not take me long to decide that joining my mom on this trip would be a great adventure. So off we went…
Day 1 - Houston to Amsterdam
We flew from Houston to Amsterdam. Luckily we had a direct flight.
Not so lucky, the United Airlines flight attendant dropped a container of salad dressing on my lap at the beginning of the flight. After trying to clean it with soap and water, then club soda, I had to travel for the remainder of the flight with wet pants and this stain.
Once we landed, we were greeted by a guide at the airport and were shuttled through the city to our boat. We would be traveling with Viking Cruises on a river boat from Amsterdam to Hoorn, Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, Walcheren, Rotterdam and back to Amsterdam.
As we were passing through Amsterdam I saw this tall three mast ship. I thought to myself, wouldn't that be cool if we were traveling on this boat.
But alas, we were traveling on a more contemporary form of ship. Our river boat was modern, sleek and pretty luxurious. The boat was only on its second journey, so everything inside and outside was new.
There was a nice sun deck at the front of the boat.
And the bar was pretty swanky.
But we really did not join this cruise to stay on the ship. We wanted to see the cities and the sights. So on our first day, we set off on foot to explore Amsterdam.
Because of this type of construction, many of the houses actually lean. If there is a house on the right or left of a house, it is not a problem. But if the house stands alone, like this one, it is quite expensive to support and restore these houses to prevent them from tipping over.
We walked by an outdoor city market where fresh fruits and vegetables were being sold.
Day 2 - Amsterdam
You could buy the flower or the prized bulbs.
There were also a selection of other souvenirs available for sale such as these wooden clogs.
This starter kit for growing marijuana.
And these little Amsterdam houses.
There were a number of nice wooden boats.
We rested and prepared for the adventure that unfold over the next few days.