Back on track to the outskirts of the outskirts of Overveen

Now that I’m back on track and on the right track, should I just steam roll on ahead and scribble about our escapades in Overveen or should I backtrack to Brussels and pick up where I left off, when I inadvertently jumped ahead a city of two?

Might as well err on the side of caution and journey on ahead to the outskirts of the outskirts of Amsterdam, as since I’m finally on the right train, it would be silly to jump off and start from square one again.  It also wouldn’t be the wisest of moves, considering the scrapes and bruises I’d once again incur when free-falling out the carriage door, overburdened baggage haphazardly tumbling on top of me.  Ouch!  And who knows whether or not I’d even manage to board the correct train, as there’s no guarantee that such an event would ever again in this lifetime occur! 

Wheee!  On the right track!  Or not?

Finally arrive at Amsterdam Centraal and on our way to lost!!

So, there we were.  Two clue-less Canadian globetrotters on a journey to gallivant – or was that schlepp? – our way around the world, meander and discover and, of course, snap selfies of the ridiculously narcissistic kind.  Two polar opposites on a mission to explore and soak up as much of culture and history as one can within a ten-day span.  Whilst one (who, moi?) was content to scamper around town in search of outrageously over-priced satchels at deeply discounted prices, the other was pleased as punch to pound the pavement, pretending to be paparazzi, determined to snag that National Geographic one of a kind pic, a prize worthy of the retirement funded kind.

Next on our list was hipper than cool Amsterdam, over-flowing with a plethora of cafés, museums, age-old edifices and of course, waterways and canals.  Visions of my pink sneaker clad feet pedalling with the locals, cycling my way around town, all the while exuding bucket-loads of cool were clearly not meant to be, as the all too real prospect of toppling head first into said canal quickly nixed that plan from the get-go.  Not a pretty picture.  Guess I’ll just have to ditch the bike and keep my feet firmly planted on the ground!  After all, navigating those oh so treacherous medieval laneways required a certain fortitude and skill, whereas my talents veered off in a completely different direction, finely sharpened and honed to sniff out the latest designer find!

So, here we were.  A pair of clueless Canucks who had left the details of securing accommodation to the very last minute!  Nothing like wondering whether you’ll score a room or not, grappling with the notion that you just might have to bunk with the birds and vagrants, jostling for prime real estate on those highly coveted park benches.  Rationale being, that once in town, we would have ample time in which to scout out a desirable location and pick and choose whether to check into five star digs, rent a houseboat or, if all else failed, slum it on the other side of town.

So, there we were.  Madly surfing the Web the night before, stressed and panicked that in less than twenty four hours we would be left high and dry, homeless and out on the curb, building walls and forts with our luggage and trunks.  Let’s hope that rain was not in the forecast, for flood warnings and tsunamis would surely dampen our spirits and sink our ship.  My limited edition handbags and Versace duds well on their way to drenched and soaked, a sopping mess of calfskin and silk on an unscheduled trip – or was that float? – across the sea.

As luck would have it, we eventually ended up booking quite the spacious “apartment” on a second floor flat in Overveen.  Overveen, you say?  Pray tell, where exactly is that tiny Dutch town located, if you may?  Not like we had any inkling of a clue, but hey, that’s what Google and maps are there for, to help guide us on our way.  But that’s only if you have WIFI and we were stuck in transit with zero access to the Net!  And alas, unfortunately for us, we had neither a mobile with a local SIM nor data on the go.  Needless to say, we needed all of the help we could get!

At least we're somewhere!

Not quite located in the centre of town, nor anywhere within a stone’s throw of Amsterdam, Overveen was approx. 20 kilometres west, a picturesque hamlet situated on the outskirts of Haarlem, more than just a hop, skip and a jump away.  To make matters worse, we had already missed boarding the correct train from Brussels, throwing us way off schedule and on the wrong track.  And, let’s not even mention getting lost in the labyrinth of Amsterdam Centraal, wandering for what felt like hours on end, on an exhausting and unproductive hunt for a pay phone (remember those?) to call hotel and beg them to not give our room away.

Hello? Hello?  And the pay phone is where?

By now we were just more than several hours late and who knows whether or not we will be graciously received at the gate?  Will the welcome mat be pulled out from under our feet or will our newly found digs be bolted, locked and shut?

Will we end up homeless, squawking with the pigeons in the park or will we be slumbering like kings in palatial digs?

Guess you’ll just have to wait for the continuation of our escapades in the outskirts of the outskirts of the outskirts of Overveen.

Part two – In three weeks!  Wednesday, July 6th!  Stay tuned!

Come hang out with the Clueless Duo as we muddle our way around the Netherlands.  Why bother to read maps, board the correct train or even secure accommodation, when one can instead, wing it, live on the edge and end up lost and homeless on a sojourn like none other.  After all, travel is more than just an adventure and a journey on the road to paths yet undiscovered, it is learning and discovering on the go and so much more.  Bonus – certainly makes for great travel tales!

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