We started the New Year in Switzerland! It was a wonderful trip. Lots of beautiful scenery – really, that trip alone was the trip of a lifetime.
From there, it was back to Nazarene Theological College in Manchester. We enjoyed our year there; especially making many great friends at the college, where we lived and volunteered, and at Longsight Community Church of the Nazarene, where we worshipped.
In June we said farewell to our friends in the UK and returned to Houston for an entirely different sort of Adventure. After looking at serval houses we settled on one – but with a bit of concern about various projects that would need doing fairly soon.
The next day, a different listing became available. One look at this house and we felt it was “the one!” A bit of negotiating and we signed on the dotted line – after years of fulltime RVing and then a year in England we had a “stix and brix” place of our own.
As I said, “what a year it was!”
While we are happy with our new house we still have the itch to do some traveling. Our New Year will start with a Carribean cruise and there are a few other things on the horizon.
We know we are blessed in every way. Thanks for following along.
The primary purpose of our visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands was to see Keukenhof gardens, but, of course, we wanted to see a bit of the city too. We took the train into the city center where we hopped onto one of the many canal cruises that are available. It was a good choice for us as we got to see many of the historic sights of the city while riding on a canal, something Amsterdam is famous for. It was a relaxing trip and we recommend it. Afterwards, we just looked around – visiting the “flower market” where all kinds of touristy things are sold. Jackie did a bit of shopping. Afterward, we headed for the Palace and Dam Square. This huge town square was full of people. It is surrounded by government buildings and shops. For lunch we boarded a tram and worked our way to the Foodhallen – a unique food court in a big mall. We wandered the city, enjoying the sights.
Obviously, our short trip didn’t give us time to visit some of the famous museums. We opted for getting a general overview instead.
A few observations. We felt that public transportation, which was quite good, was rather expensive there. It may be that we’ve just been spoiled by the prices in Manchester which are less than half what they are in Amsterdam. Our hotel, the Airport Intercity Hotel, was very nice. We especially appreciated the full, complimentary breakfast that came with our senior adult rates. I will mention that the 10 minute walk from the bus/train station was complicated by several steps up and over a dike – something we weren’t prepared for.
It was, all things considered, a fun, but short, get-away. We’re constantly amazed at how close things are in this part of the world. Our flight from Manchester to Amsterdam was just over one hour. The negative was that we were supposed to arrive at the airport around two hours early. It seems strange to sit in the airport for twice as long as we sat on the plane!
The primary purpose of our trip to Amsterdam was to visit the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. This destination boasts 79 acres of floral beauty – over 7 million tulips (I confess that I didn’t count them!) plus many other beautiful plants. Keukenhof is only open to the public about 50 days each Spring when the Tulips are in bloom. We stayed in a hotel near the airport to take advantage of the express bus that is available from there. Honestly, the “airport” pickup point is a bit of a hike from all the other bus/train/air hubs. Starting the day off with a hike isn’t the best approach when you are going to stroll the wonderful garden paths for a few hours! We took multiple breaks, including having lunch at one of the cafes. The Gardens were very crowded, but we still found spots where we could stop and enjoy the amazing beauty. There are wonderful fields of tulips all around the Gardens with ample overlooks for great photos. We very much enjoyed our “tiptoe through the tulips” at Keukenhof and highly recommend it to you.