Planning, Volendam, and Netherlands Wrap-up (April 1st and 2nd, 2018)

April 1st

It was a “Try to wrap my head around this EuroTour” planning kind of day. I got my refund request processed with Eurail and found out that I would be able to get the pass back in the mail before it’s pre-activation date (which I had set to 6/4/18 – or 4/6/18 if you’re from the US and put month before day) to the Friday I would be traveling to Munich. I was feeling a bit worn out. Jorgo helped me have a bit of a reality check with is necessary with me sometimes. I get this big grand ideas and then when I try to make them happen I have a little bit of a freak-out when it gets complicated because it’s so big.

I was a little bit irked by this reality check initially but it really made me put my thinking cap on which isn’t a bad thing. Questions or facts that I need(ed) to face are:

– Even though I’ve getting a good chunk of my Eurail pass cost back, I know my spending is going to add up fast, especially since the Euro is stronger than the US Dollar.

– While I have the option, I’d rather not borrow from the International Bank of Dad to get my life started back up again when I get home. Things I know that will be included are an apartment security deposit and month’s rent, re-registering and insuring my car, getting my road bike fixed (priorities), and just existing while I adjust from my round-the-world tour back to a normal everyday schedule. Basically, I don’t want to be totally broke when I get home.

– I got rid of my twin bed when I left New Jersey because 1) I didn’t have the means to transport it home and 2) I want to buy a new double bed. It’s time to upgrade.

So there: my remaining money feels already spent. Until I get another job, I will be taking it a bit easy with my spending.

While dealing with this little thorn in my side and trying to wrap my head around it and coming to terms, I just couldn’t handle trying to plan anymore. So we decided to hop in the car and go see Volendam, an old Dutch village on the waterfront (inland – search Markemeer in Google maps, or just search Volendam).

It was a gloomy day, cloudy, pretty chilly, but really neat walking into Volendam. The main historic street is super touristy. There were a lot of buses in the main parking lot. I hadn’t eaten all day and so was pretty hungry; probably verging on ‘hangry.’ We looked at stuff in a few souvenir shops. I was looking for delftware beads that I could sew onto my survival bracelet for my Dutch heritage. Jorgo was looking for a little metal model bike.

The waterfront street approaching the very touristy area.  

Such a cute little street.  🙂  

We got something to eat from one of the many restaurants and then walked and ate on a bench on the outer edge of the marina. About this time, the temperature started dropping; it got pretty cold so we had to keep moving.

View of the marina and the main touristy street to the left.  

Little bit closer (non-panorama) photo. 

A view facing the other direction on the other side of the marina from the photo above. 

After we ate our food, I went back and wanted to try either Dutch pancakes or waffles. I came across these honey stroopwaffles. They were so delicious that Jorgo and I ate them in the space of basically one day. I really should have bought more of them! 😦

Super delish honey stroopwaffles.  

After that, we walked a little bit more and did a little loop and then headed back towards the car, stopping at different souvenir shops looking for the right things.

I found a bracelet with the beads I wanted on it and so bought it. In the last shop we visited, Jorgo found his little model bike for his “mood board.” What’s a mood board? Well, he doesn’t really have much hanging on his walls at all because he has this mood board. It’s like four to five or so 6-inch pieces of wood stuck together (somehow, I don’t know how it is constructed really) that extend the height of the wall from floor to ceiling. On this mood board a pictures, a vanity license plate from NYC that says “Times Square,” and other little cool things from traveling. Jorgo stuck the bike on this mood board as soon as we got back home. Looks good! 🙂

This is my finished product of a bracelet. I LOVE it! So, from right to left: it’s a delftware tulip bead, a shell that Jorgo gave me, an infinity piece that I just really like, a real New Zealand greenstone to commemorate our multiple-day hike together, and a delftware “wooden” shoe bead.  

Jorgo’s model bike for his mood board.  🙂 

April 2nd

On my last full day in the Netherlands, I did some more travel planning in the morning and then in the afternoon we headed out for a nice walk. We parked a place called “La Place” on the outskirts of Hilversum. On our way there, there were so many electricity-generating windmills! In the car I said “Look at all those windmills!” and Jorgo replied something like “Huh? Oh yea the windmills.” Apparently they are so used to all the windmills that they don’t notice them anymore.


Oh look, more windmills!

Oh look, more windmills making use of the wind coming off the water.  

Oh look!  More windmills! :-p 

We parked the car and walked to the beginning of the trails and we looked at this sign for a minute or two. Behold the amazing network of bike and walking trails:

I wish US towns were so interconnected by pedestrian and bike paths.  It would definitely encourage activity I think.  If lots of people used it, it would probably be pretty safe too.  Ya never know.  

It wasn’t a particularly picturesque landscape that we walked, but it was nice and peaceful and so I just walked and didn’t take any pictures.

When we got back home, I gathered all my stuff, showered, packed everything, and got ready to hop the train to Germany early the next morning.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So, here is my map showing points of the places visited in the Netherlands. It’s broader than I thought it would be which is AWESOME! 🙂

Some of the random points (such as in Utrecht, Gouda, and Delft) were just train stops in the train stations on my way to Dordrecht that I thought I would mark. I didn’t leave the train though and so they are basically just points with no experiences associated. 🙂

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