We changed time-zones when we came to Amsterdam and I forgot to re-set the clock on my MP3 player, so I woke up at 6:10 this morning instead of my planned 5:10. I also have to remember that Daylight Savings Time is coming up soon too and that will really throw me off! I was a bit rushed when I first got up, but things got better.
We went back to Amsterdam for the morning today. I ended up winding up and down the beautiful yet very confusing streets and canals and, after getting briefly lost, I ended up in the Red Light District again. All the hooligans and workers of the night had gone home, so I took a stroll and examined the mess from the weekend before.
I then found a street of windows where the "women of the night" worked the night before. The women had closed the blinds and turned off their lights and gone home hours ago, so I took the opportunity to take a few pictures.
After I did, however, I took a look down the block to my left and I saw, five windows down, was an escort still working. I wasn't sure if she saw me take pictures or not, and I didn't want to stick around and find out if she had, so I shoved my camera into my jacket pocket and fled down the opposite direction. Thinking back, I don't think she was even looking in my direction.
I purchased a few post-cards and a "Don't Drink and Drive - Smoke and Fly" t-shirt, and found my way to the National Monument (which was a triangle on the ground that I walked over about a thousand times looking for) and the Anne Frank House.
I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside the house (which isn't her actual house, but was built to look just like it -- which was only a few blocks away) to protect the artifacts and pieces of the diary. It was a wonderful museum and I recommend anybody who is a fan of the diary or her less-well-known short-stories to go to the museum. I also bought some post-cards there as well.
Many of my fellow travelers had been feeling last-nights activities and are very tired and quiet today. My roommate, Ralph, didn't get home until about 3:30 AM and I don't recall opening the door and letting him in.
Tonight is our one night that we can catch up with our sleep and go for some wine-tasting. I plan to skip that and instead take pictures of St. Goar and the Rhine River.
Oh, before I forget: Flip told us that Vatican City would be closed the day we get to Rome, so we may have to leave Venice early and try to make it there on time, or go to the Roman Coliseum instead. I really want to go to the Vatican (it's on my bucket-list), but the Coliseum would be cool too.
With everybody around me sleeping, I'm getting tired myself. I'll write later.
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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When it comes to Saskatchewan, your next adventure can be around any corner. As you venture off the main highways, signage is scarce and directions such as "if you've passed the gate with the buffalo skulls, you've gone too far" are all too common. Communities grow smaller, people grow warmer and the list of things on your Saskatchewan Bucket List seems to only get longer.
My adventure to Leader started a few months ago when Christine over at Cruisin' Christine shared a list of Leader bus tours on Facebook. Some of the tours were in June, but one was in September. The September tour caught my eye because it was a two-day tour and I had to ask myself what we would do for two days in Leader. Leader has a three digit population, so I was perplexed on what the tour would comprise.
I was so perplexed that I decided contacted Leader Tourism and booked the tour to find out.
I don't often take blog requests, but a friend approached me recently and asked about Venice. He's traveling to Italy for a wedding this summer and is stopping in Venice for few days. He asked me if I knew what he could do in the Floating City, so I racked up a list of ten things for him to see.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if I missed anything, what your favorite thing to see in Venice was, or if you plan to go visit Venice after reading this!
The Island of the Dolls is in Xochimilco, a borough south of Mexico City. While it would be faster to take a car from Mexico City to Xochimilco, the traffic is dense and the roads are very congested. Instead, if you're going there, I'd recommend taking metro, which is easy and the cheapest in the world. What you gain in comfort, however, you lose in speed, as the train ride takes about 2 hours.
Mexico City and Xochimilco both sit in the Valley of Mexico. Until about a millennium ago, the whole region around Mexico City was surrounded by a massive body of water. Over the centuries due to both climate change and interference by humans, most of this water has dried up, for the exception of Xochimilco. With networks of canals crisscrossing the borough, car transportation is difficult and water transportation is essential. I'm sure there were motorized boats somewhere in the waters of Xochimilco, but I never saw any. Instead, canoes and rafts are common on the water. However, the most popular vessel is a trajinera – a colourful gonadal-like boat that is pushed along the water with a wooden pole.
Xochimilco is known worldwide for their Floating Gardens market, which are essentially canoes floating down the canals, selling wares to tourists on trajineras. These include things like food, drinks, silver rings, trinkets, ponchos and sombreros. Occasionally other trajineras full of Mariachi bands will approach tourists and offer to play beside them on the water.