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TravBuddy meetup in Amsterdam despite the snow and canceled


View Nolan's Eleven Heaven meetups & Meet my TravBuddy friends - Rhea (rheagirl) & France, Belgium and Netherlands 2015 & Meet my TravBuddy friends - Cathy (cookiecandy22) on NT01's travel map.

large_1840343_14234453518025.jpgPrior the day of the TravBuddy meetup in Amsterdam [Amsterdam-travel-guide-1125002], Keiko (Keikocreative) messaged us to wear extra warm clothing and non-slip shoes because the weather forecast called for snow and rain. True enough, early in the morning before dawn we heard weird sounds on the roof of the building nearby - which indeed was rain followed by snow. But not the nice powdery snow - this was the wet kind, which made the ground slippery to walk on. Later in the morning Keiko messaged me via WhatsApp that she was already at Leiden [Leiden-travel-guide-1127945] train station but the train rides were canceled or delayed. Hmmmm.large_1840343_14234453517731.jpg ..the worst case scenario was happening (and Keiko was dead serious that even a little snow can caused trains to not leave the stations)...one by one, she started messaging me about the people who likely couldn't go (Huib, then Mikiko who was waiting for her train, then Ineke, and so on. This was at 10:26 AM and she was told a train would be leaving within the next minute (but there was no train in sight). Anyway, at 10:35 AM she messages me that she is already inside the train, so it's just a matter of waiting for her to arrive. In all the confusion I miss out sending an update to Vickie who patiently made her way to our hotel at the agreed upon time, good thing we were ready and came down to meet her at the lobby.

As we were looking at half the size from the original 12 or so attendees, Keiko asked me for the number of the restaurant where we were taking lunch.large_1840343_14234453506150.jpg Due to some technical issues she decided it would be better to call from my hotel instead, since we agreed that we will inform the restaurant that we are still planning to go, although not as many as originally confirmed. A little past 11AM Ils (Ils1976) shows up at the hotel lobby and completely surprises me, I didn't expect her train to continue from Belgium all the way to Amsterdam (thanks Ils, for taking the train as early as 5AM otherwise you would have missed out the meetup). Finally Keiko arrives with Mikiko (ms_travelr) and we had a quorum (six persons, hungry for lunch). So she calls the restaurant and confirms our reservation but later than the original time.

We walk around the canals, passing through the red light district and Chinatown before reachingRestaurant Café In de Waag Amsterdam [http:/www.indewaag.nl/en/], which is house in the Weigh House (Waag) that was originally built in 1488.large_1840343_14234441418203.jpgwhile listening to Huib's story of the Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug)On the way Keiko narrates the story about the old church (Oude Kerk), and we decide to take a look and a few photos before going to the restaurant.

It was a great place and we were seated in the middle since we needed only one long table. After a few minutes Tineke (ik-ben-10eke) arrives, so that made seven of us. And just as we were about to leave, they decide on a final round of coffee and tea, which gives Huib (huibdos) enough time to arrive before we would have completely missed us. Huib was able to get a ride on the ride and armed only with the knowledge of how the building looked, walked in and was pleasantly surprised to see us there. And then there were 8 of us, ready for a walking tour courtesy of Keiko, in addition to Tineke.

Even before we could go far, we stumbled upon an open air market set for the day.large_1840343_14234441517385.jpgmore clogs!We found lots of interesting stuff but I couldn't resist tasting the cheese, and ended up buying three varieties (forgot what they were called but definitely tasted great). Then Huib introduced us to Dutch waffle cookies (Stroopwafel), which I enjoyed and later on bought a bag of at the train station before we returned to Paris (we got to bring some all the way back to Manila a couple of days later).

In the end, we were able to cover many places including the Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug), Stopera (combination of a town hall and opera house), flower market, a diamond shop, not to mention numerous cheese stores. Before we went into the diamond store Huib had to say goodbye as he had to catch his train back to Heerewaarden. And before dinner it was Tineke's turn to say goodbye as she had to be home early as well.large_1840343_14234453561710.jpg We had dinner at Humphrey's which was right beside my hotel (actually it was the deciding factor on choosing my hotel). Eef (eefab) joined us for dinner which was a sumptuous three course meal (expensive but quite an experience). As the restaurant had two serving times (we chose the 530PM schedule), we finished dinner early and had time to walk around town before moving to a Cuban bar that Mikiko had recommended. As the bar was near Cafe de Waag, we had to pass by the red light district (De Wallen) again - this time, the ladies were out displaying there wares and there were lots of male tourists gawking at them :p We were joined by a couple of TravBuddies towards the end and we called it a day and walked Vickie back to her hostel, before we brought Keiko and Mikiko to the Amsterdam Centraal station for their train rides back home (good thing the weather had cleared up and the trains were running again). Then it was Ils turn at her hotel (only about 100 meters from our hotel), before we finally called it a day. Great meetup, many thanks to Keiko who patiently organized the meetup and introducing me to far more TravBuddies I would have met if I did it on my own.

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Posted by NT01 17:00 Archived in Netherlands

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