Little bits

Trip Start May 01, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2006

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Saturday, July 8, 2006

As much as we hated to leave Ilana's wonderful company, we had to move on. However, I did not want to move on until we had somewhere to go so I spent the morning locking in accommodation in The Hague and Antwerp.

We left early afternoon on the bus to the airport and a train to Den Haag. I wanted to revisit Madurodam, a miniature village, which I had seen as a child. It was everything I remembered and more. The models were of real buildings from all over Holland with excellent explanations. They were exquisitely made to a scale of 1:25 and the detail was incredible. It was interesting to see some of the buildings with a much better and unobstructed view than we had seen the originals. The model makers had had some fun with some of the displays like hiding topless sunbakers on rooftops, and putting 'herb' gardens in window boxes. We spent a few hours wandering around the displays and then caught the tram to the beach to get to our guesthouse.

Thus the comedy of errors began: first we had been told to get off at the last stop, then when we asked further directions we were told we had come too far and would have to go back 3 or 4 stops on the #9 tram. We asked the #9 tram driver and he said we were on the wrong platform and even though he was the correct tram and he was going around to the other platform, he wouldn't let us on and made us walk with our backpacks about 800m to the other side of the tracks. When we got to the other platform the #1 tram driver said he was going the same way and we should get off after 3 stops. So we did. And we ended up 1km past where we should have got off, which was only 1km from where we started. So we walked. Oh how I miss the scooter!!

We eventually found the guesthouse an hour later and settled into a beautiful room with a lovely balcony and high ceilings and old furniture and in desperate need of some renovations. It was decorated in every style from Victorian to Art Deco to 70's with old faded paintings on the walls and metallic wallpaper. It was fabulous!
The only shortcomings were the nasty little yappy dog who tried to take a piece of my ankle, and the killer stairs which were so steep and so narrow that you took the skin off your heels trying to descend them.

We hit the 'beach' for dinner. This is apparently the only stretch of sand in Holland and they have built a long promenade filled with shops, restaurants, a casino and a Bungy jumping crane. We chose seafood for dinner and found a lovely restaurant right on the sand and enjoyed a very pleasant evening watching the sunset.
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