Day 106…Amsterdam-

Goede Morgen,

Our route over the last few days.

After what was supposed to be a few “rest” days in London we packed our steel panniers and waved goodbye to our good friends in London. It was a struggle getting up so “early” after the last nights going away party!

Reflecting on London a week later and already I am missing it.

Reinhardt and Retha
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After a 132km we reached the Euro Tunnel station at Folkstone. We had pre-booked our tickets online and found it way cheaper than the ferry, but here is the catch. You pay per car and you can take 9 passengers for free. A return ticket is half the price of a one way ticket? So you only book a return, never to do and pay them their 30 pounds.

The tunnel has trains that run inside them so you’re vehicle, bus or truck goes on top or inside one of the many trains that they have waiting on the platforms.

Euro tunnel train
Euro inside

Euro outside

We met up with another couple on the train and had a good chat for the
30 min it took us to reach mainland France.

As soon as we reach France, we waved goodbye and set off, destination Paris. We search everywhere for a hotel and one that we could afford but the only one we could find that was in our budget was 50km outside of Paris.

We reach Le Petit Loge after 400 odd kilometers and decided to spend the afternoon in the French countryside. We decided to tackle Paris the next day.

And so we did, but I will try to recreate the day’s scene so that you can have a better picture of what happened. We woke early, had some breakfast and got all our stuff ready for our day out in Paris. We took the bike in as there were no trains running to central Paris and we planned to have dinner in Paris so transport late at night will be a mission.

Now, what you don’t know is that I picked up Deidre’s engagement ring in London from my mate Reinhardt. It was top-secret and she didn’t have a clue that I was planning to ask her the same day. So after instructing Deidre to go and tell the reception that we will be late, I sneaked the “box with the ring inside” into my tank bag and thought I would make another plan in Paris to move it around.

Clever as I am I took no backpack, no jacket and no idea as to where or how I was going to carry the ring without her seeing a big square thing in my pocket. After reaching Paris and parking the bike and realising what a tool I am, I decided to hide the “box” in my crotch. Yes that idea lasted only 5 meters as I realised that I will have to walk with this box for the WHOLE day and didn’t quite know if it will be healthy for my own jewels.

I opted for the only other option… the sock. You are telling yourself now that it must be a small box… Well you are bloody wrong, it’s a huge one and it stuck out like a sore thumb. I pulled my jeans over and said to myself: This is it, well done! You couldn’t have planned it better!”

I met Deidre on the street and we set off first to the one thing that makes Paris, “Paris” I guess…

Eifel Tower
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After seeing the tower and marvelling at all the dodgy people hanging around the place and trying to scam tourist out of their money we bought a some coldrinks had a sit down and saw I topless bus. We looked at each other and knew that it was the way to go as Deidre wasnt in the mood for walking and I didn’t really have a choice with a big box stuck in my sock.

The bus and the sights of Paris
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We enjoyed some lunch next to the Seine and waited for the sun to go down so that we could make our way the restaurant. In the meantime I had a big box in my sock just so that you don’t forget!

Later that night dinner was served while looking at the Eifel tower and its lights.
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So after Dinner was done I knew that it was down to business. I got myself in gear and decided to take a walk next to the Seine and pop the question on one knee and all.

After walking and waiting for the right moment I asked her if she would spend the rest of her life with me. She gulp for air, got a semi panic attack and a small tear in her eye. I then said I was only joking and she shouldn’t be so serious. She slapped me hard and had a laugh while trying to get her breath back and speeched me about how I shouldn’t make jokes like that. I then took out the box and went down on one and asked her without any jokes. She said yes, the ring fitted and the rain started.

Deidre all ready ordering me to get someone to take photos…They said it will start once the ring goes on. šŸ™‚
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The next morning we were up and ready to hit the road towards Brussels and my blog follower and now friend Geert.

Our Hotel…Le Petit Loge. It’s an old farm house or something. Quite cool!
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On the way to Brussels
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If you wondered what fuel cost here
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Having dinner with Geert and Isabel
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Old town
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I met Tin Tin, he is from Belguim originally!
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Local beer shop
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Ruins found not to long ago under a street in Brussels and turned into tourist sight.
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After a short but memorable night with Geert and Isabel we set off again towards Amsterdam
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Amsterdam… where do I start. I’ll start by saying that its green, there were lots of cows in the green pastures while riding in and I can sortoff understand when people talk here.

We arrived at our hotel, also outside Amsterdam and took the train towards Amsterdam. It was as I remembered it when I was 6. The small canals and lots of cyclists. This time though I was old enough to “explore” Amsterdam a little further.

From the onset I will tell you that a lot of people smoke weed… yes in the streets. There are also woman for sale in the windows of many shops. Some I believe are on special but only until 8pm when the new stock arrives. They are fresher if you know what I mean!

We walked out the old Central station
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Their are over 400 bridges in Amsterdam and just as many eastern european call girls. I am only joking, but there are 400 bridges and hundreds of canals that connect the Venice of the north.

The canals
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We strolled around and looked at all the stoned people and stoned buildings! This one looked as if it was falling over like many of its patrons.
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We had a beer in an Irish pub, it looked the safest!
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The Red Light District.
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So how it works here is as follows. There are small windows with call girls inside. The red light on top means she is open for business and a closed curtain would mean “i’ll be back in 20 min” and an open one would display what is for sale.

One of the many alleys
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The shop front

Its a crazy place but the rest of Amsterdam is not the same. Lets call it a socially acceptable place for smoking weed and finding some love at midnight. The rest of Amsterdam does not conform to the rules of the Red Light District. Its an old city with rich culture, old buildings and off course a ton of museums.

We got home late as Amsterdam is a party town and we partied the night away!

tomorrow we leave for Germany. Then Austria. We can’t wait! Also I am slowly preparing myself for the journey south. Its going to be a long 2/3 months again and I am so excited to go back but also a little nervous for the unknown, but I guess its the “unknown” that keeps me going!

So until the next instalment from Austria!

See you there



9 responses to “Day 106…Amsterdam-

  1. BAIE GELUK met die verlowing! jyt ‘n baie spesiale plek gekies om vir jou mesie te vra, en dit dan nog deel van jou groot avontuur,dit kan nie beter gaan nie! Die Oos kus van Afrika is net ‘n plesier om deur te toer, moenie bekommer nie, dit gaan ekstra kleur gee aan jou trip!

  2. GROOT geluk Riaan en Deidre, ons dink dis baie romanties en dis hoe dit gedoen moet word. Baie voorspoed en seenwense vir julle. Die vosloo’s is sommer baie opgewonde vir julle.
    GROOT groete verder van ons almal.

  3. Hi Riaan, one hell of a distance to travel to find the right spot to propose. The grandchildren will love the story in years to come. Congrats to you both. May your future together be pure bliss.

  4. What a story I really enjoyed the moment with you guys, congratulations Riaan and Deidre. may the two of you continue to experience such special moments in your lives. Cant wait for the next report from Austria. PS I’m sure “bike” felt happy as well!

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