Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Travel Tails

Dutch Treat

Flying in Europe is much like taking the bus or train. It’s rather reasonable price-wise anyway. We managed to fly to the Netherlands from Ireland for a mere pittance, compared to what it would cost back home in Canada even to fly to another province. In fact, the cost of the no frills flight was so good, I could well imagine flying to another country every weekend, if I was a European. Still, for us, once in Europe, we were able to easily hop to another country at short notice. We booked the night before we decided to go to the Netherlands, and had no issues finding flights, none at all.
Being new to travel by air, we chose the cheapest flight we could find, and that flight went to Eindhoven. We needed to end up in Amsterdam, where my dad’s relatives were. The Eindhoven airport was unlike any we had ever seen. There was so much glass, we could pretty well see everything that was going on. We watched our backpacks coming down the conveyor to the baggage carts. Then we watched while a couple of burly workers played catch with them. Thankfully, our bags aren’t ordinary backpacks. They’re heavy duty, made to attach together to become saddlebags that attach behind a saddle. We’d purchased them with the future in mind, as we hoped to travel to Chile in the future, to cross the Andes into Argentina on horseback. They could tolerate a good deal of abuse, so being tossed around like a giant football was nothing. Still, when one fellow almost missed, and one pack almost hit the ground, both the girlchild and I caught our breaths. Oh, but they were having fun.
We caught the bus to Amsterdam, also not too expensive, and settled in for the ride. To our surprise, a couple we’d seen here and there in Ireland was also on the bus with their young, teenage son. We’d noticed them, and they’d also noticed us travelling and experiencing Ireland, which in itself, is a bit amazing. There weren’t very many people on the bus, so we sat across from each other and did what I do best, we talked. We talked about the fact that, we’d seen each other all over Ireland. That it was rather amusing that we all ended up on the same bus going from Eindhoven to Amsterdam, and we chatted about our countries. As we sat right behind the driver, we included him in the conversation. Being a truck driver, I wanted to know what different lines on the roads meant and about anything else that caught my attention. Sweetpea and I were taken aback, to see a quad zoom by the bus. Though buses and heavy trucks were limited to eighty kilometers an hour, and had to keep to the right of the multilane highway, a quad, what’s essentially an off-road vehicle back home, was allowed to travel on the highway and at speed. It boggled the mind. The miles flew by, almost without us knowing. They were the loveliest family and we parted ways in Amsterdam with a hug, traditional Argentinean kisses on the cheeks, and their contact information if we ever wanted to visit Argentina. The expressions on the faces of my uncle and cousin were pretty amusing. They were surprised that we bade farewell to our new friends in such a manner, but why wouldn’t we? After all, they were indeed friends, not strangers any longer. With a bit of luck, maybe we will be able to visit them one day.
We stayed at my aunt and uncle’s place. It was quite the home. Though the footprint of the home wasn’t very big, the house was still substantial. Instead of sprawling out and taking up precious real estate in a country where land is at a premium, it went up. It had two bathrooms. The main floor bathroom was encircled by a staircase that went up to the next floor, the master bedroom. Above that was the biggest shower room we’d ever seen, complete with long vanity and toilet, of course. Above that room, was the bedroom the girlchild and I shared. As we travel with a minimal amount of clothing, we hoped to wash some clothing the next day. Of course, this wasn’t a problem. Of course we could wash our clothes. Taking advantage of the opportunity, we threw everything into the wash, everything but the clothes on our backs. To our surprise, when it was done, there was no dryer. The clothing had to be hung out to dry on the back patio. Ah well, it wasn’t like we hadn’t hung out laundry before, and the task was done in no time at all. It would hang out all day while we went to see some sights, and we’d bring it in when we got back.
All my life, I’d listened to my parents tell me about Madurodam, a miniature, model city not far from Amsterdam. Built in nineteen fifty-two, it’s regularly updated and additions as well as deletions are made. It was something we wanted to see. Doing rounds of museums and seeing history could wait for another visit. This was the stuff of childhood stories. We had to see what had only been imagined. Some may think it’s silly for adults to want to see such a place, but it was pretty spectacular. Vehicles travelled on the roads, a ship went on fire, and two little boats came and put the fire out. Planes taxied on runways and anything that could move … did. Quite simply, it was fun, plain, old fun.
Returning home after a few hours away, our first thought was to bring in our laundry if it was dry. As it turned out, it was dry. But there was a bit of a problem. Well, a problem for me, anyway. All the clean clothing we’d hung out to dry was covered in tiny spider webs, so many spiders and spider webs. Brave sweetpea wasn’t fazed in the least. Unlike her mother, she wasn’t afraid of spiders. They didn’t make her shiver with disgust. Her skin didn’t crawl. She and my aunt got busy taking the clothes off the line. Unwilling to let on that I was absolutely creeped out by the task, I also helped, all the while, sweetpea grinned. My aunt didn’t know what I wuss I was, but the girlchild certainly did. She’d been saving spiders from me for years, years and years. Ah well, the task was seen to, then we were off to have more fun. After all, we were right by Amsterdam. There were things to do and more to see before we hopped a plane for Scotland and more horse trekking.

  1. oooo, that would be a place to visit <3. You're not the only one who enjoys stuff like that. I love catching a ferry and heading to the Miniature Museum in Victoria, BC. Lots of little things to explore and find the small details for. Must have been a treat visiting family.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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