Creating Life at the Villa Coro di Rane

This blog is about being in the moment - creating life one instant at a time, whether in the flesh or on paper.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Saturday, August 1 - Tuesday, August 4
We left Paris midday, again on the fast train. This time, though, our seats faced the direction of travel. On the way to Paris our seats (they are assigned and the train was full, so we couldn't change) faced opposite the direction of travel, and we got pretty dizzy from watching the scenery go by backwards at the high speed. I was also trying to write, but that didn't work well at all. We opted to keep our eyes closed. It was a little better on the return trip, but we still couldn't write or read.

After arriving at Central Station we took a tram to the hotel, which is less than a block away from the stop. The hotel is in a quiet street in the Museum Quarter, a small hotel in what was probably a wealthy town house at the turn of the last century. They do have a lift, so we don't have to walk up the steep flight of stairs to our second story room. On many occasions I have opted to do that, however, to offset some of the food and wine I have been taking in. In Paris we were on the third floor and in Rotterdam on the seventh. I took the stairs often there, because the elevator was very slow.
Our hotel is just off the Vondel Park, a large green space in the middle of the city, named for the Dutch Shakespeare. After settling into the hotel we took a walk through the park and enjoyed the sights. There was a large gay pride parade going on in the center city, and there were several offshoots of it making merry in the park. We window shopped and finally stopped for soup and wine at a restaurant next to the Koncert Gebouw concert hall.

We limited our intake of Amsterdam as we had of Paris. Our 2 planned activities were to visit the Rijksmuseum, recently reopened after a 10-year renovation; and take a canal tour. We enjoyed the Rembrandts, Vermeers, and Hals in the museum (we stopped with those) and heard a lot of interesting tidbits about Amsterdam on the canal tour. Much of it Willem had already told me as we walked along the canals and through the Leidseplein, with its concentration of restaurants and bars.

On a more sober note, in talking with Willem's cousin, Mas, this afternoon and then with the Lithuanian hotel clerk, we were surprised to learn how worried people are about Russia's next moves. Although this had not come up in previous conversations about Ukraine, increased Russian aggression is apparently a big concern. Mas even said she is glad that we are leaving now.

No comments:

Post a Comment