To soggy Amsterdam by train via Paris then Scenic Opal for a spot of Rhine cruising

Very comfortable train ride from Bordeaux to Paris Montparnasse. Horrendous queue for Taxis due to rain. Made it across Paris just in time for connecting train to Amsterdam. My trusty Tumi suitcase shed a wheel at Gare du Nord so Sunday morning involved buying new suitcase and a repack. Pissing down with rain but did some sightseeing and a long walk to Rijksmuseum for lunch and an overdose of Rembrants etc.

The Night Watch undergoing some major high tech restoration to restore it to its former glory and replace some of the bits that were trimmed off to allow it to fit though the door back in the old days.

One of the problems with Amsterdam and Sat nav is there is always a canal between you and where you need to go. Major protest march going on – 10s of thousands of angry stoned Dutch people clogging (No pun Intended) the streets marching and singing “Brick 2” or “We don’t need no Education” to most of you. Very surreal!!!! And the whole city stinks of weed!!!

Back to the hotel and after some research found an excellent Indonesian restaurant for dinner.

Checked in and embarked onto Scenic Opal – Home for the next week as we cruise down the Rhine to Basel. Dropped off my bags and went walkabout before meeting my fellow tavellers. 48 on board – mainly Americans & Canadians. I am the only Brit on board so targeted, bonded & dined with an Irish couple as we are seriously outnumbered here

Dropped by the main/old cathedral. Not a crucifix, miserable Mary or bleeding saint in site. Then that’s Protestants for you!!! No gilt/guilt overload either!!!

Amsterdam coach and canal cruise the next morning before heading upstream to Cologne and beyond.

Headed out of Amsterdam through a rainbow for overnight sailing to Cologne

Then through our first lock – the first of several I expect….. A tight squeeze with other boats and barges

Coming up next Cologne and the first of many castles etc…..

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