I just read the thread about what makes a good trip report, and am feeling a bit intimidated about finally doing one – there’s no way I can be as funny as Mike Beebe! But I’ve gotten so much good advice and enjoyment from other posters that I will just pull up my socks and do it. I may even go back to our England trip last June and write that one up, since we did go to some less-touristed spots.
The main purpose of our Netherlands trip was to visit our daughter and son-in-law, who moved to Amsterdam last year and are living in a great apartment in Centrum, just off Dam Square. We did some sightseeing, but also spent time hanging out with them. Since I’ll be going back in June, I got an anonymous OV chipkaart, whereas my husband used the TripKey. It sure was handy just tapping in and out of our trams and trains! I put 50€ to start and added another 50€ halfway through our stay; it still has about 30€ for me to start off the next trip. We never found a good tram map or app but managed to make it work for us. I really appreciated the updated electronic signage at stops and on the trams and trains, but I never did figure out where all the stops around Dam Square are… My husband has knee and back problems, so visiting some of the sights was challenging – the Rembrandt House Museum, for example. Rick warns about steep stairs in some of his descriptions, but I guess he figures by the time you get to the Rembrandt House you are used to it! Fortunately, there was a nice guard who pointed out folding seats available in many rooms, if you need a break. The other museums we visited – Resistance Museum, Amsterdam Museum, Mauritshuis and Historical Museum in Den Haag, Catharijneconvent Museum in Utrecht – generally had seats in many rooms, as well as elevators.
When planning a trip, I usually rough out the places we want to go, buy plane tickets, make a list of interesting sights with open days/hours, then find lodging. This time I failed to notice that the American Pilgrim Museum in Leiden is closed Monday through Wednesday, which were the days we had available for our day trip to Leiden. We did the Boerhaave Museum instead, but I hope to get back to Leiden some day and see what I missed. The open-air museums at Enkhuizen and near Arnhem were not really open, either; I’m hoping to get to at least one of those in June. I also had several botanical gardens on my list, but early/mid-March was just too early for most flowers. Next year, I’ll try to do an April trip.
[to be continued]