It was time to move on again today, we were heading off to the UK tonight. But first there was time to explore a bit more of Amsterdam. We are rapidly accumulating extra “stuff” and each time we move on it gets a little harder to cram everything in and the bags get a little heavier. At least there were no airlines involved with this move, so bag weight wasn’t a problem. As long as we could lift our bags, we were all good.
The weather had improved a lot today, so it was much more pleasant to explore outside. The morning was spent wandering the canals and taking way too many photos – this city is just so pretty. We ended up back at Museumplein and got to see the Rijksmuseum and Christmas Markets in much better weather.
Lunch was a return visit to “Wok to Walk”, for another great feed of Asian food. It was a different restaurant though and we got to explore some of the old medieval quarter squashed between the train station and the Red Light District. There are some beautiful old churches and buildings in that area, mixed in with some rather shady shops. Amsterdam is a pretty weird place.
We collected our bags and somehow made it to the bottom of those steep stairs without landing on our faces. Someone tried to grab Matt’s suitcase and backpack as he held the door open for the girls. Fortunately he was holding on tight and kept both bags. Amsterdam definitely has more dodgy people than the Scandinavian cities.
We trammed to the station and found where our bus to the port departed from. There were some pretty interesting people waiting for the bus, and some of the accents were barely understandable. The Europeans speaking English as a second language were far easier to understand than some of the Brits waiting for that bus.
On reaching the port we boarded the “Princess Seaways” for our voyage to Newcastle. This was probably the closest thing the kids were going to get to a cruise unless they go without us. We thought an overnight ferry would be quite a novel way to get to the UK, and it was a real bargain as well. For 162 Euros (about $275) we got a night’s accommodation in an upgraded Commodore Cabin, passage to the UK, buffet breakfast and a free minibar. The big unknown was how the North Sea would behave – this could be a lot of fun or a 15 hour nightmare.
Fortunately the North Sea was pretty nice to us. The first couple of hours were quite rocky, but then we were out of the path of the westerly winds as we chugged up the east coast of the UK. We were too Scottish to pay inflated prices for the dinner on board, so had brought a yummy picnic from the Albert Hein supermarket. The ship had quite a few facilities, but the rocking of the boat made us so sleepy that we ended up just cruising in our cabin and falling asleep pretty early in our very comfortable beds.