Sunday, January 23, 2011

What country am I in?!!

Last Saturday, I was taking a small group of women and my granddaughter on a little side trip to Antwerp, Belgium. My husbands softball tournament was going on in Schiedam (outside Rotterdam)

(it was actually Cup 2011--but they already took that logo down!) and we decided there were better things to do! like go Diamond shopping (on one ladies agenda), seeing the old city and architecture (another's passion) or finding a quilt shop (guess who?)

Got online and bought our tickets the night before. Please note: do not take powerful painkillers the night before you need to go somewhere, especially if YOU are leading the group! I got up 13 minutes before we were to leave for the train station. We made it though. I double checked to see what platform we needed to be on, and away we went.

When our time to arrive in Antwerp came and went and we were not even close to the city, it kind of bothered me. Then we passed Eindhoven and a little voice in me said, hmmm, that's west of where we want to go. I started getting nervous by then. I tried to find the no avail. 1 1/2 hours on the train, and no conductor to be found. I told the women that we needed to get off at the next station just to be sure. Next stop? Out in the                
                                                                 middle.  of.  nowhere.

with just a platform, no station. Next two stops, the same. Ahh, a station coming up! By this time, I KNOW we are on the wrong train. Brilliant, aren't I?

As we are waiting for the train to stop, an older gentleman came up to us and I asked him where we were? He looked at me a bit odd and I repeated the question. After the third time, I asked, a bit frantically, what country are we in? I was SO afraid we had gone to Germany! He looked at me and said, Holland. Whew! We hadn't left the country.

By that time the train stopped and then the conductor finally shows up! He looked at our tickets and said, you are on the wrong train! Yeah, no kidding! Where were you earlier?   We had to get off the train, wait for a train going back, get off two more stops, change two more trains before we finally arrived in Antwerp! 4+ hours late!

 And you know what? 5 more minutes and we would have been in Germany! We ended up in Venlo-      (-and to all my Dutch NOT laugh! I know there is nothing in Venlo. :)  )

We did get to eat at my favorite Argetinian Beef place. Let Suzi stay in the Diamond district and we headed down through the shopping areas, towards the old city (Grote Market) and De Kathedraal for Kim to do some sketching.

 But no time for Pat, Kajsa and I to find the quilt shop, Calico House. :(. Another trip.

The little green star on the right side of the map is the train station, and we walked along the green line to the circle, which is the old part of the city. You can see where Calico House is. Close enough, but not when you spent an extra 4 hours on a train!

So no quilt shop in Antwerp this year. But, we did get a Belgium waffle..nice and warm and yummy! Kajsa told me that I had a little bit of sugar on my face...and look who's talking!

And you can bet we were on the right train going home! What a quick fast ride. LOL

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1 comment:

Susan said...

That would have been so disappointing - so near and yet so far!!