Netherlands and North Germany 1 (Amsterdam and Borger)

After settling business with Paul at the hotel, I walked to the train station. 09:16 to Zurich (tried another photo of one of the many ruined castles), then 11:00 to Koln (Cologne). In the Koln Bahnhof I had a great pasta dish for dinner, than on the 17:55 train to Amsterdam. (see photo)

This was an ICE train which are modern and fast. One I was on in Austria had a speedometer and regularly clocked over 160 km/hr, about 100 miles/hr. Not as fast as the bullet trains, but respectable.

Unfortunately as I found out, they are prone to trouble. The announcement came over that our train had a problem. The stopped us in Oberhausen and put us on another train the rest of the way to Amsterdam.

I had forgotten what an exciting city Amsterdam is with all the canals and open feeling. Coming in at night was dramatic. I tried to capture some of it in a photo. You can see if I succeeded.

My niece, Zaou, and nephew, Rubio, met me and conducted me to Rubio and Laura's apartment. I was surprised to see Zaou. She lives in Nijmegen and I will be with her next week, but she was in Amsterdam and so spent the rest of the evening with us.

Laura and Rubio are celebrating 4 years together. Congratulations!

Rubio is a graduate student in Geology in Amsterdam and also just completed an emergency assignment as a negotiator for student occupiers of a building on campus in protest of some heavy handed changes to the funding for science curriculums. He is very skilled and a great communicator. I'm sure the successful end to the occupation owed not a little to his efforts.

Tomorrow to North Holland.

Friday, March 21 - Borger

ON the train from Amsterdam I saw two very Dutch views. One was an amazingly large lot of bicycles stacked two layers high. The other was a huge herd of ponies! That's right ponies. I have pictures.

On the train the conductor turned out to be a country music fan. He will look me up on youtube.

Lambert Schomaker met me in Emmen, and took me to his home. He has organized these three dates, Borger, Valthermond, and Greven (Germany).

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