As I stepped off the train at Amsterdam on the fourth day (of my parents visit) my phone started to ring. My mum was calling. Since they had booked their hotel before I knew I would be moving we were staying in different towns and had to meet up in Amsterdam each morning.
“Are you at Amsterdam yet?” She asked when I answered the phone.
“Yeah, I just got here.” It was the first time I was not late due to my inability to function in the mornings, something my parents kept on taking the Mickey out of me for.
“Ok… Well… We got off at the wrong stop and ended up at the Arena. We’ll be there as soon as we can.” She explained. I was finally able to take the Mickey out of them in return.
When they arrived we made our way to a traditional Dutch village near Zaandam. It’s an open air museum made up of old 19th century Dutch houses, factories and windmills all brought together from different areas of the country and restored. They even have the very first Albert Heijn shop from 1887. Albert Heijn is now the biggest chain of super markets in Holland.
We did not get lost trying to find the place like we had the other days. However, we did get lost trying to find our way back since we thought we could find a quicker way to return.
If you have not already guessed; both my parents love to travel and enjoy very long walks. Several people have commented on the amazing distances they will stroll in order to do a bit of sight seeing. I myself work behind a desk and spend most my days more or less stationary. I’m not used to hiking such long distances so by the fifth day I was starting to limp as I tried to keep up with my parents while they made jokes about young people having no stamina. Luckily this was the one day during their visit that we did not get lost.
We spent the morning looking around the Hortus Botanical Gardens and in the afternoon the Artis Zoo (both in Amsterdam). Since Artis is a Zoo there are a lot of animals (of course) but during our visit there were a few that were out of place. Our encounter with the Heron on the first day had seemed strange but the Zoo was practically under going a Heron invasion. They were every where, hiding amongst the flamingos, sneaking between the penguins, acting shifty around the camels. If there was food available in an open enclosure (and there was no animal likely to eat them) the Herons had taken over. Most of the animals had given up trying to chase them away. Luckily for us they did not try to nick our food when we stopped off for a bite to eat.
My parents returned to England the next day and I finally had time to recover from the week. I’ll be seeing them again tomorrow when I fly to England for the week to catch up with friends and family.