Holland - Singapore Home!
crossings were fairly much a non-event for us at this stage so the thought of a
three and a half hour trip was seen as fairly 'ho..hum'.
This was SOME ferry! Constructed in Finland, the HSS boasts a Casino, three
restaurants, two movie theatres, a McDonalds (of course) and a full wall
composite-video screen playing music videos. Belting along at near 30 knots on a
billiard table sea, the feel was more like an airliner than a boat.
Holland the 'Legoland' landscape of
the 'countryside' - mostly the suburbs of Den Hague and Amsterdam - was covered
in snow. Our last nights in the van were in the fairly grotty inner city Camping
much the same as we remembered it from previous visits - in a word - sleazy! The
contrast between the city and the rest of Holland is staggering. Rubbish fills
the streets; public transport is chaotic; 'Big City' indifference abounds and
"window-shopping" for "girls" is still the norm –
at any hour of the night – or day!!
spot was that we had returned to the land of cheap beer prices!
the Van to the company office in central Amsterdam it was interesting to compare
our ability to navigate and drive in big city traffic. After four and a half
months we think we finally 'nailed it'!
speak highly enough of Braitman and Woudenburg the company from which we rented
the van. Their service from day one (almost 18 months ago) to the handing back
of the van was impeccable. While the van itself was a little old in comparison
to others we saw, it was reliable and comfortable.
still the ONLY way to travel!!!
Central station is one of the biggest in Europe. Where else would we spend our
last night but in the Ibis Hotel with a close-up view of the platforms! Given
the places we have stayed over the last few months we probably couldn't have
slept without the constant train noise.
– 27 January
If you can't
stand the heat don't even go in the kitchen!…
distance flights are never a picnic. After such a long time on the road our
return flight could have been complete hell. After three trips to Europe we were
ready for the worst. However, with the benefit of a four hour sleep in Singapore
on the way home and access to more than a dozen movies on the flight, we
survived fairly comfortably.
at 6.15 AM Brisbane time, by choice, we jumped a Yellow. (our devoted children
HAD offered to collect us, but we suspected the hour would not find any of them
at their best),
can you say?… The greatest adventure of our lives (so far!) was over…
Where to next?
Paul & Janita O’Neill
18 Sept 2000 – 27 Jan 2001