A nostalgic tour, Amsterdam and Leiden

October, 2015

My daughter left again. Back to Australia and back to her own life with her own friends, but without her family. We spent a great time together and we also spent a wonderful day, with a couple of family members in Amsterdam, just walking hours along the canals, wandering through “the Jordaan” and watching the enormous line, in front of the entrance of Anne Frank’s house.DSC02813DSC02805

Having a beer (or two) at a very well known cafe in the same neighbourhood and of course eating the Dutch famous “bitterballs”. For the first time I walked through the “Nine Streets” (I even never heard of it!), with all the little cute stores.DSC02808

By the time the rain started pouring, we sheltered in one of the many Thai places and had a typical lunch.DSC02834

I have never seen the beautiful statues of “The Nachtwacht” on Rembrandt Square, or I just can’t remember them anymore.

We also passed the famous Tuschinski Theatre, a gorgeous building! Too bad the weather was not great, but the company was more important and you never get bored in Amsterdam!DSC02828

For the last months, it has been a continuously saying goodbye and saying hello. Meeting old friends and making new ones. Packing and unpacking. Tears and laughter. Closing doors and opening others.

After more than one year of traveling, I still don’t know where I will settle down. At least I know, that it will not be my favorite Central America anymore. I am nearly 60 years young and to start a new life on your own in that part of the world, where I don’t know anybody, is probably a foolish decision.

There are still other options on my list. I have time, although by now I am longing for my own little place and my own stuff around me, which will be shipped by the end of this month, for storage in the Netherlands. So we keep on hopping from house sit to house sit and from rental place to rental place.

I am grateful for the hospitality of a very dear friend, where my 4 or more suitcases are stored and piles of paperwork and where I stay in between my house sits and rental places.

The last weeks I also had to make decisions regarding health insurance and travel insurance. To get covered, you need to register first in the Netherlands and that is what I did. It gives peace of mind for now and gives me time to explore further.

My next house sit is in an old weaver’s house in Leiden. Surprisingly, it is situated around the corner of where I lived in the 70ths. In that time, I followed a training for scrub nurse at the University hospital in Leiden. A great town for students, very lively, authentic with cozy restaurants and pubs. My favorite pub was L’Esperance and it still exists, including some of my old friends! Over the years, I have been back from time to time and sad enough, there are always friends from before, who passed away.

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By the end of my week stay, the rain finally stops and I grab my camera for some shots of this city, so full of history. The Citadel gives an overall view of all the famous public buildings and churches of the city and everywhere are signs with explanations in Dutch and English.

I walk for several hours and discover neighbourhoods, where I have never been before. At the end of the day, I have a beer at L’Esperance and yes, meet some old friends again. It is still a special place for me………

 

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