Sunday, January 18, 2009

The long Friday

Rather than do the sensible thing and wait until the appropriate time to head for the airport, I decided to make a little road trip out of the whole thing and take a drive over the Afsluitdijk.
Besides, I'm really not that keen to drive after dark any more all by my lonesome, so I wanted to actually be at the airport before dark.
Sucks to come to the realisation that as time marches on, my visual acuity has somewhat diminished.
Managed to hit the road around noon time, after tending to some minor Friday chores, and one of the first places that caught my interest was a little town called Sneek, in the province of Friesland. Sneek is definitely a place to visit in warmer weather, since the whole place is a maze of canals that thread through the town. Had to figure out a way of getting this pic, since parking a big-assed car like the A6 can be a challenge.
I've since discovered that there are plenty pictures of this place on the Internet.

So much for inventing that wheel.

Mine has a cool looking boat, so there.

The weather had started to take a bit of a turn for the worse by the time I got to the dike, so the visibility was pretty wretched, along with the wind chill. The temperature was something like 1.5°C, but it felt much colder when I stopped for a couple photo ops.

This one doesn't really do it justice, but I tried.

Those vehicles are on the four lane highway that goes along the length of the dyke, with the burm running along to the left keeping out the North Sea.
They had a neat little illustration:

Of course, there's always the environmental angle, and I'm not quite sure what they were demonstrating with this huge billboard, since it was too bloody cold to stand there and take it all in.

One of the notable things about being that far north and in perfectly flat country
(note previous comment about wind chill) is that there's not much to stop the wind from blowing, and windmills are everywhere.
This was on the North Holland side:

There was another one just behind me when I took this, and they have a sort of eerie swooshing sound they give off. Not sure I'd want to live too close to one.
It did remind me at times of driving in the prairies with some minor exceptions. The trees, the water everywhere and oh...there are considerably more people per square kilometer. Other than those minor considerations, exactly the same.


I did manage to get to Alkmaar, but by then it was coming up on 4:00 p.m. and the dreaded rush hour was beginning to set in. Decided to plug the airport in to the gps and have it take me away, even though Gabe's flight wasn't coming in until almost 9:00 p.m.
To give you an idea of the size of Schipol, I crossed the path of the farthest runway and still had something like six kilometers to go to get to the terminal. Gabe said that was the runway they came in on, and it took them another 15 minutes to taxi to the gate.
By the time we left again the traffic was quite manageable and we were at our door at 10:35 p.m., a full hour and a half earlier than if she had taken the train.

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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.