Had a lovely day today starting off with a massage at the B&B I’m staying at. All I had to do was put on my robe and clamber down the treacherously steep staircase to the first floor and zone out for an hour. Bliss!
After all that hard work, I thought I should pop over to the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky to see how Jill Pickering had gone with her canal boat tour, but she was nowhere to be found so I went for another meander around town. There are numerous amusements to occupy one’s time – from partaking in “Magic Mushrooms” to visiting the “Sex Museum”. Apparently, I’m in the “Red Light District” but I can’t say I’ve seen any evidence of it so far. There is a night tour that takes in these ‘sights’ but it will now have to wait until after the conference, which starts tomorrow.
So many people in Amsterdam – like any major European city in the summer holiday period, I guess. Walking down the busy, busy, street, you can hear accents from around the world. A cheap way of finding entertainment is to just sit at a café and watch the world go by – it’s endlessly fascinating. I was warned about watching out for pick-pockets though, with all those people crowded together.
One of the staple ‘junk food’ fixes in The Netherlands, as well as Belgium, is French fries with mayonnaise. It’s served in a cardboard cone with a small wooden fork for dipping in the blob of mayonnaise on top. Mmmm, think I’ll stick to the poffertjes (tiny pancakes) if I’m wanting to load up on calories. Reminds me of another ‘delicacy’ I was exposed to in Quebec called “poutine”. This is a combination of soggy looking French fries topped with cheese and gravy. I think each serve comes with a referral to a cardiologist!
After an hour or two, I made my way back to the hotel and ran into Joan and Terry Toone from PPASS (British Columbia, Canada), who I had spent a bit of time with in St Louis. While we were chatting, I was tapped on the shoulder by Robyn Aulmann from Victoria (Australia) who had arrived earlier, as well as seeing John Tierney, and Sue and Graeme McKenzie. So, the Australian gang’s all here!
John and I were privileged to have been invited to an afternoon cocktail party by the European Polio Union committee where we chatted with a number of heads of the various European polio support organisations. This was followed by an invitation to dinner, and John and I were joined by Sue and Graeme who made up the Australian contingent. It was a lovely evening, which had now turned into a very late night/early morning, so I best sign off and get some sleep in readiness for the start of proceedings tomorrow. Everyone is very excited that we will be visited by The Netherland’s Princess Beatrix tomorrow – a rare privilege indeed! I’ll try and get some good snaps!
Until then . . .