Saturday, September 22, 2012

Joys of a Travelling Quilt Teacher

 Yesterday should have been a simple trip from Belgium to my next teaching job in Groningen in the Netherlands. Three trains - plenty of time for connections and a chance to sit in a 1st class carriage and watch the countryside change.

I was early into Antwerp - the station (above) is beautiful with lockers for left luggage so as I thought I had over an hour I went for a walk. Silly me - everything was still closed in town except the Zoo which is next to the station but I decided not to go. It was a little early for chicken and potatoes too. So I just had a croissant.
Antwerp is famed for its diamond trade and I am sure this is the only train station in the world that has a Diamond Row which is interspersed with fast food shops and diamond dealers.
 Never seen this brand at home. Pity it wasn't open so I could check it out further.
This little gathering of pre-schoolers outside a diamond dealer intrigued me 

Unfortunately somewhere along the line I got a wire crossed and missed the first connection. No problem as they run hourly and the tickets are good for the whole day.
So jumped on the next one and made it to Holland. The platform they sent me to was completely closed off so I went to an info booth. I was told to catch the one on the next platform which was leaving NOW and change at TWY&^%&^WE%.  So running with two suitcases was of course so easy but I did make the train only to realise I had no idea where to change trains. I just had a hastily screamed Dutch name to try and find the soundalike. Fortunately a young girl on the train was able to help but not before I got off at the next stop and then had to get back on once I saw the relevant change station. All trains have two or three steep steps to get on and off and my luggage is about 30kg at the moment. Corridors are narrow and seats don't fit large suitcases. Many bruised shins and ankles resulted - mostly mine.

Grafitti is always interesting to look at

 Once in Groningen the flood of bicycles was endless

So another day in my glamorous exciting life.

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