Trip Start Dec 04, 2006
Trip End Aug 05, 2007

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nathan here: So we left Cairo without any issues. Happy to report though that we spotted our first real celeb. Tall, thin, blond hair with a squeaky voice. Guesses? Daryl Hannah. She looks much better in person.

No complaints about Egypt Air other than it was a dry flight. Our first ride in the back of the plane for awhile but it was not too bad. For those unfamiliar with Amsterdam's Schipol airport, it doubles as a train station so you can easily pay for and connect to your onward travel. We were heading to the South of the Netherlands.

Funny story to tell at this point. We brought train tickets to our friend's place and we had about 5 minutes before our train left. I went to use the washroom, much to Tara's displeasure as she was concerned about missing the train. I said no problem, we'll make it. And we did, with a couple of minutes to spare (or so I thought). So we boarded, dropped our bags and that's when I noticed a coke machine just outside our train car, not ten feet away. So I told Tara I'd be back in a second. I stepped off the train, strolled casually up to the machine, dropped in my 2€ coin, hit the coke button, bent down to retrieve my icy cold can, leant over to my right to get .50€ change, cracked open the can, took a sip (man was it refreshing), pivoted on my right foot towards the train and then the train doors closed.

By this point, Tara had settled into a window seat facing the platform so she could see that I was a) not on the train, b) trying to get the train door open and c) left behind when the train pulled away. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then a picture of Tara's face at that moment would have made anyone a millionaire. She looked pissed.

So to recap, Tara's on the train, with all of our bags, all of the money, identification but with no ticket. I'm on the platform with no bags, no ID, no money (save for the change from the coke machine), with the tickets.

Had this happened in Egypt, I would have simply jumped onto the train but they have the fancy, sleek new ones in Europe. Well, the situation was not as bad as it seemed. Within 5 minutes, the station had contacted the conductor of Tara's train and we had a plan to meet up. I had to wait only 30 minutes so we weren't terribly delayed. It was all extremely organized. Some nice man even helped Tara take all the bags off the train. Needless to say that when we regrouped, she was not happy.

Tara here: After our little adventure we arrived in the South of Holland to visit our friends Roxanne and Paul Vousten. It was really nice to see friendly and familiar faces and spend a few days sleeping in in a real house. Our friends also have a new baby who is absolutely adorable. Her name is Raelyn and it was a real pleasure to visit with them and her. Raelyn is four months old and cute as a button. I said she was, in fact, false advertising as she never seemed to cry at awkward times or spit up or anything. She was so cute that it makes it seem like babies are no trouble at all. False advertising. She even sleeps through the night! Can you believe it? If only all babies were that easy. She really is just like a doll. Even Nathan was quite taken with her as you can see by the photos.

In Holland we spent our first day refreshing our wardrobe. We were badly in need of some clothes that were not quick-dry or otherwise made for trekking so we headed for the nearest H&M and similar and stocked up. We both got jeans and I even got new shoes. Amazing. On day two we went cycling around the nearby towns to visit some rose gardens. Some other highlights were multiple visits to the nearby spa, a visit the neighbourhood brewery and the gourmet food served by Roxanne.

Europe upate number II to follow. N&T
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