Mike Strachan’s e-mail journal — Entry #29, from Netherlands
Received 22 May 2008
Travels for May 19/08 — Arnhem
I'm up early. The cost of my stay in Millingen (the hotel rate includes breakfast) is €55 per night; I manage to find the gas station and the Hertz office on the first try, then it's a short walk to the train station.The train fare to Arnhem is all of €3.80, and Arnhem is the first stop. The VVV (tourist office) is across from the station. The agent and I discuss hotels, and she calls an economical one, but it's full. Then she suggests a houseboat on the Rhine (Rijn in Dutch), within walking distance. She books me one for three nights and I find it easily.
The owner lives in a houseboat, and the rooms are in a large river barge, the Campaen, moored alongside. My room is small but comfortable, with a large lower bunk to sleep in, just like in my sailing days. I have the run of the ship — to make my own tea, watch TV, or sit on deck. Next mission — the Hertz office (next to the VVV ), find the laundry store, and then an internet cafe. The first is easy, the next a little harder, and the third I find by hunch in the Turkish district — but it's a dud, as the computer security software prevents me from opening e-mails. So off I go to the library where I can have 15 minutes of internet time before they close, and it's just enough to answer my two new e-mails.
I remember seeing a KFC store earlier, and I find it only a few blocks away. It tastes just the same as in Canada. On the way back to the barge I search for a memorial (see photo at left) to the 14th Battalion British Airborne marking the point of their furthest advance to the Arnhem bridge on Sept. 19/44. It's not large — a stone column about five feet (about 1 1/2 meters) high with a plaque on it. It stands outside the Museum of Modern Art.
Sunset isn't until 9:30 PM here, so I sit on deck reading. Every once in a while a barge goes by, rocking the Campaen, which will be nice to sleep by.
Later I read myself to sleep again.