Monday, December 06, 2010
Snowing Again
Since I have taken no embroidery, knitting or interesting touristic photos, here is one of a window display in Utrecht - for an opticians shop!

I was in Utrecht a couple of weekends ago, as all the hotels in Apeldoorn were full, but I had to stay in the Netherlands. I couldn't find any embroidery shops there, but there is a yarn shop called Modilaine that quite impressed me.

I am in Apeldoorn at the moment, for another two weeks before Christmas holidays, which can't come soon enough. One good thing is that I have moved from the hotel to an apartment in the centre of town, so it is quicker to get to work - although difficult at present, as it has been snowing, but now it had turned to ice, and they don't clean the footpaths here, only the roads and the bicycle paths. I fell over on the ice the other day, but fortunately it was on the main street, just outside the supermarket, so there were plenty of people to pick me up. I have totally technicolour bruises all down one leg, and it did hurt badly for a day or so. I wouldn't want to fall again, especially if it were on a side street where there is no-one around.

On Friday I went to Paris for the weekend, which was quite a journey, as the Thalys was delayed by an hour and a half by the time we eventually got to Paris. It was so late when we got to Bruxelles that all the people who had tickets for the next train were waiting and they boarded ours and proceeded simply to sit anywhere, including the floor - the carriage was totally packed, so they could not serve any drinks (there was no food, they told us that, it was also a casualty of the snow) nor could I order a taxi to meet me in Paris, as they could not get down the aisles with the taxi vouchers. Happily I had no luggage this time, so I just got on the metro. The Gare du Nord was a total nightmare, in fact, because it seemed there were also Eurostar problems, and the station was packed with people who couldn't depart.

Coming back yesterday was fine until I got to Schiphol, only to find there were no trains to Apeldoorn and I would have to go to Utrecht and change.... had I known that, I would have got off at Rotterdam and caught a direct train from there. So I arrive at Apeldoorn five minutes after the bus has gone and wait in the bus station for 25 minutes to get the next one - I had a suitcase - and then, when we get to my street, the bus driver refuses to drive down it because it is too slippery! This is in the middle of town, mind you, it is no country lane, but I had to get out and walk down it with my suitcase. It was slippery, too, I can vouch for that. At the bus stop outside my apartment, there were people waiting, so I told them what the bus driver had said, and they all set off for the end of the street. The Dutch are very stoic, I think, they didn't scream at all, which French people would have.

In between these journeys I did spend a little time in Paris, where it also snowed quite hard on Saturday, which is very unusual so early in December. I was out and about, as I needed some new shoes more suitable for Apeldoorn conditions, some gloves and some other things, but at least it is easier to get around in Paris, and no ice!

I don't know what I'm going to do about shopping this week, if the ice does not melt somewhat along my street - one thing is sure, on Saturday when I can go out during the day, I am buying reserves of food and drink in case I cannot get out of the place during the week. But I'd like to go further afield and explore some of the other towns around, rather than just be stuck inside. Happily the flat I have rented is quite nice, in fact, very nice, and it has everything, so there could be worse places to be stuck inside. I have to say, I do miss living upstairs from a shopping centre, as I did in Tallinn, I can't remember how many times I walked round and round there when it was too grim to go out.

Roll on 17th December, when I take the Thalys home for Christmas, and 22nd December, when I fly to Cyprus!
posted by Ally at 2:27 pm ¤ Permalink ¤