Sunday, September 6, 2009

Arnhem, Netherlands

Cloudy but pleasant and comfortable
By Claire
Camping Warnsborn, €17.50
We've moved on from Amsterdam and are presently in a beautiful campground in Arnhem, just minutes away from a WWII site and the famous Bridge at Arnhem written about in the book, A Bridge Too Far. My emotions got the best of me even just driving down the beautiful, tree lined road to the campground, imagining the war being fought right here.

Our campground in Arnhem

The roads are incredible--smooth and very little traffic

Typical roadside campground sign

On our way to the campsite this morning we decided to stop at IKEA one more time to pick up another fleece blanket and to have our breakfast. The breakfast was only €1 and the cappucino was included.

Nice, clean bathroom at IKEA

You can even clean your toilet seat if you wish!

More observations:
When the "walk" light comes on at intersections, it starts clicking in nanoseconds, almost as if it's telling you to run for your life!

The bathrooms at the Bibliotheek were side by side, with the men's door wide open and all the men visibly peeing. We mentioned before how tall everyone is. Chuck said the urinals come up to his chin :-)

The Bibliotheek had a piano in the lobby and anyone could and did sit down to play. There was also a music floor with music playing while people looked through CDs.

The Netherlands has very low unemployment. I can see why. There are service people everywhere to help you. Every store has a floor person to guide you and answer questions; the metro has about 6 people milling around giving aid and advice; there are custodians constantly sweeping up in the metro; the toilets have a person collecting coins for use. Oh, and the Dutch pay 19% sales tax and we get to as well while we're here.

I love my travel towel--it dries in a flash. However, I bought the biggest one they make and it drags on the wet floor.

Europeans wear really cool glasses and they are very distinctive and very hip.

This lifestyle suits me quite well. [Oh, here comes the sun again!] I feel like I'm in the country even when I'm near a big city. It smells wonderful and I just love the simplicity of it all. Except when we can't find something. Our latest debacle involved the metal thingie that opened the gates of the campground in case we got home after 11 pm for which we had to leave a €30 ($45) deposit. We decided to put it somewhere obvious and safe. Naturally, we forgot and spent quite a time searching for it. I mean, how many places could it be in a camper? I finally found it in the last place we looked this morning (of course) -- the ash tray!

We've had amazing rain storms at night with beautiful, warm, sunny mornings.

The barns are made of brick and the cows seem to lie down a lot. Reminds me of the Gary Larson cartoon with the cows standing up talking until one says to the others, "Car!" and they all lie down.

Everything here is backwards to us. The windows roll up counter clockwise and the back door latch opens down and closes up.

Purchased fuel for the first time today: Diesel was €1.06 per liter at a Shell station.

I'm still a little tense while we're driving--I can feel it in my neck.

Camping, €17.50
Internet, €5.83
IKEA breakfast, €2
4 IKEA Chocolate bars, €2.07
Fuel, €1.06/ltr., €21.09
Groceries, €5.40

Total: €71.39

Running Total: €25,890.70


Napamick said...

Travel suggestion:
Monthly subscription to IKEA. I'm sure they'll work out something.

Love the reports.

Chuck and Claire said...

Believe me, we did try to join. They have something called "IKEA Family" which gives a 10% discount but it's open only to citizens of The Netherlands.

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the great adventure and your reactions. That is a lot of bike riding! By the way, did you ever set up Skype--if so what is your phone name? Rich