Preparation Eh!

Holland 2014 - Monday, April 14th, 2014

Thomas Edison said the genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  I take the same approach to preparing for my trips. The more you know about the destination, its people and its history the more likely you are to get a better understanding of the destination, its people and its history. I don’t buy into the “Just let it happen, man” philosophy as it’s very likely that sfa will happen other than getting drunk, stoned, ripped off and syphilis. So I admit to being somewhat of a preparation fanatic.

For this upcoming trip to The Netherlands ( btw what are they nether to – China, Easter Island, Las Vegas?) I have booked hotels in Amsterdam and Delft, a bike and barge tour with Cycletours, dinner reservations at an Indonesian and traditional Dutch restaurant and determined exactly when we are going to  the Van Gogh and Rijkmuseum – other than that it’s completely spontaneous.

Searching for a good book on Amsterdam I came across Russell Shorto’s Amsterdam:A History of the World’s Most Liberal City and it has provided great insight into why and how the Dutch are so Dutch. I also spent a lot of time on Iamsterdam which has a wealth of information on things like the difference between a cafe, a coffeeshop and a smartshop – things one definitely needs to know to avoid embarrassment and a possible international incident. Also other practical advice like don’t take pictures of the prostitutes in the windows in the red light district.

On the other hand certain other preparations have been, shall we say, completely ignored. Alison has purchased some very snazzy looking bicycle clothes for both of us, so we’ll look like authentic cyclists;  however, the fact that we have never biked 45 kms. a day, even in our teens, might be problematic. My tennis knee injury (look it up), suffered not on the tennis court, but on the dance floor, has not fully healed and after just a few minutes walking I tend to become a gimp with a limp. So there is some trepidation about the biking part of the bike and barge tour. However, 60% of the word barge is ‘bar’ so there may be a ready remedy.

It is less than 48 hours to blastoff and I can’t wait. I may have a case of tulipmania. Tot ziens.


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