From Paris to Amsterdam, the End

Gare du Nord train station

This is the last of four posts about my trip to Europe.  If you haven't read the others,  you can start with day one here.  Just in case this is your first time reading my blog, I must tell you that I'm a fan of Matt Damon.  You need to know this little tidbit to fully grasp the enormity of the photo above.  The train station I am standing in(!) has been in a few of my favorite movies.  According to Wikipediaboth the exterior and the interior of the Gare du Nord are seen in the 2002 film The Bourne Identity with Matt Damon (sigh) and again in the trilogy's finale, The Bourne Ultimatum.  It was also seen in Ocean's Twelve with Matt Damon (and others).  Aah!  How cool is that?  

Sadly Fortunately, I did not find this out until after we were no longer there, otherwise you, dear reader, would have had to endure many many photos of a train station in Paris.  And yes, Patrick knows of my fondness for Matt and tolerates the silliness without even rolling his eyes..... well most of the time.

Outside the Gare du Nord, Maison Fond or House Melts by Argentine artist Leandro Erlich.

Waiting with all the things.

Of course we had to get a coffee from Starbucks while we waited.
This man's name is apparently "Toy".

Let the adventure begin in our high speed train.  Highest speed we saw was about 180 mph!

On the train ride to Zaandam, which is where our hotel was, I saw acres and acres and acres of greenhouses!  It was a most unusual sight.  An article I read in National Geographic titled, This Tiny Country Feeds the World, stated the Dutch have become world leaders in agricultural innovation.  They are second only to the United States in food exports!  The temperature controlled greenhouses allow farmers to grow crops year round.  A very interesting article published in September of 2017.

Arriving in Zaandam, the Netherlands.

Our hotel.

After dropping off our luggage, we all met to take a walk around Zaandam and find a place to eat.

We found Manzo's!  Delicious!

Fun lightbulbs, they were large and looked hand-blown.

We enjoyed a relaxing evening and a view of the kitchen where we watched the chef composing our delicious dishes.  Cheers to the Dutch who seemed a bit more friendly than the French.

Found a sweet shop on our walk back, dessert anyone?  They're beautiful!

Stopped by the grocery store.  I must have been hungry for dessert.

Found Cool American Doritos on the shelf.

The train station is just beyond the clock which we could see from our room.
Our step count for our travel day was; 9,248.  My feet were happy about that.  Sweet dreams.

We awoke to a sunny and cool morning.  We enjoyed a continental breakfast in the hotel.  One of my favorite items available for breakfast was smoked salmon.  I could easily add that to my everyday breakfast routine.  They also had a cappuccino maker that created pretty good cappuccino.  Our plan for the day is to head to Amsterdam and be tourists.

Heading to the train bound for Amsterdam on our last full day in Europe.

There are pros and cons of public transportation.  Feels as if there is a hurry up and wait theme.

Amsterdam train station.

On the streets in Amsterdam.  Our coldest day of vacation, still not too bad.

Felt like a scene from Mary Poppins.

This one is for you Tori!

Stroopwafels!  Yum.

Such charming views.  Wonder if the locals like the canals as much as I did?

The size of some of these buildings is simply amazing.

Cheese store where we purchased cheese and a cheese guillotine.
Can't wait to share!

Amsterdam Duck Store

Anne Frank House

A beautiful and moody day in Amsterdam.

There are so many bicycles.  Do they all have an owner?

First European vacation together, hopefully not the last.

Golden leaves on the water.

Good friends.

Good dessert.

A shadowy pair.

Our excellent navigator helping us skirt the red light district.

Rembrandt's house.

See Connie sneaking into the frame?

She just couldn't resist.

Charming streets.

Goodbye Amsterdam.

Good night Zaandam.

We have a plane to catch in the morning.  Looking forward to hugging my people and petting the dog.