Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Netherlands - Part 2

                                                                         Part 1 of this article was posted last week. Find a link - is here.

Hotel Dux
While we driving we got to thinking who the Dutch president is? One sees news about the dramas and riots in Greece or Silvio Berlusconi's shenanigans but we never see anything about Holland. Even Angela Merkel is in the news apparently fixing the EU or Sarkozy living the good life but Holland seems to carry on minding it's own business getting on with things quietly.


Roermond
Roermond
Our next night was at Hotel Dux in Roermond. Roermond is the sort of place that I was talking about before. We went out for a meal, which didn't go well. I will elaborate. But first we had a drink in the old town square. Huge big cathedrals and gilded buildings surround this square. At some point a collection of bells range out a tune and mini statues rotated around the steeple.

Trying to find a vegetarian meal was useless so we ended up at the local kebab take-out. The best they had to offer was a stodgy white bun with feta and wilted lettuce.

Roermond
Our hotel cost €130 per night for two including breakfast. Breakfast here was also a classy affair. We were offered a glass of prosecco to start with. We probably should have eaten at the hotel but we wanted to see more of this picturesque town. The room was seriously swanky. We had our own espresso machine and an extra large bed with thick plush sheets.

Carlton Oasis Hotel Rotterdam
Our last night was at the Carlton Oasis Hotel in Spijkenisse in Rotterdam. It was comfortable and our in-house meal that night was good. The decor is a little Las Vegas meets Benidorm. We took a drive to Zwartewaal but not much was happening and we soon gave up. Carlton Oasis Hotel was €80 per night for two including breakfast and that was the best breakfast of the lot. Supper was similar to the previous meals and came to €66 for the two of us.

Fuel prices June 2012
The next morning we returned our little Twingo to Europcar and walked across to Schipol airport. Outside the airport I noticed the smell of cannabis and while I'm aware it's legal to smoke it in coffee shops in Amsterdam I wasn't sure about at the airport. There was a young boy sitting outside with his backpack having a last smoke. I watched two young policeman walk over to him and quietly stand in front of him. He looked up and they motioned for him to stub out his smoke. And he did. And they left. No drama, no shouting, no guns at the ready. That sums up the Dutch people to me. They just quietly get on and do things where the rest of the world make issues.

Farewell Schipol
I also loved the refreshing lack of warning recordings and signs that occur in some parts of the world. One wonders what sort of people need to see horror and danger in everything from playing with a toy to drinking a warm drink. Ominous warnings day in and out kind of spoil things a bit after a while.

We're back to The Netherlands again this weekend. Same story. A bunch of boats to look at. We're looking forward to finding the right boat and slowly meandering along the canals exploring the towns and cities in Holland.

Go to - My Holidays and Trips - at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on - this link.