Mike Strachan’s e-mail journal — Entry #35, from Netherlands
Received 28 May 2008
Travels for May 26/08 — Deventer
After breakfast I head for the train station. It's raining now, lightly at first and getting heavier as I get closer to the station. The streets are empty and cars few — it's Monday. The fare to Leeuwarden is €18.90, and the next train leaves in 10 minutes.
The first leg is through Olst and Wijhe to Zwolle, a 13-minute trip, with a seven-minute layover. When the conductor comes to check my ticket she gives me a free upgrade to first class for the second leg of the trip.
The train is a few minutes late getting in to Zwolle, so I have only four minutes to change tracks and trains, or so I think, as the train leaves three minutes late.
The trip takes one hour and four minutes, and makes six stops on the way. I'm glad to see it's not raining in Leeuwarden. The VVV is only about 50 meters from the station, and here I make arrangements to stay at Mrs. Rietsma's B&B for the amazingly low rate of €20/night.
It's about eght blocks from the station, and it's plain and simple and the WC is down the hall.
Then it's a six-block walk to the Hertz office, and on the way there is a strong constant cool wind, and the sky is overcast. There's no problem reserving a small car for tomorrow, so then I head for the library where there is internet access. On the way I discover one of the big squares is filled up with "playland" rides and game booths. It's fun to watch the rides spin around and hear the teenagers scream. I have to tear myself away to head for the library.
After that I go in search of a plaque honouring the Royal Canadian Dragoons. The VVV agent marked it on my map, and I find it on a building opposite city hall; the plaque honours the liberation of Leeuwarden on April 15/45 by the 15th Manitoba Dragoons.
On the way back to the B&B I stop to watch the kids having fun on the rides in the square, then walk back along the canals. I decide to stay in for the evening as there is a strong cold wind.
Tomorrow — Heerenveen to Wons