Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The past week, or week and two

Ive been busy, busy, busy.
The day after my final farewell to Paris, I departed for Amsterdam on the 1225pm Thalys (this after showing my mother around the city).
We had a pleasant, if hurried, stay on the outskirts of Amsterdam at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Two nights left time for some canals, five museums and the scattered house or palace to enter in the schedule.
I did sightseeing during the day with my mom and visited the red-light district on my own, late in the first night.
On Monday the 22nd, after leaving the Rijksmuseum, mom and I embarked on a 7 hour train ride from Amsterdam-Zuid (by our hotel) to Lubeck, Germany, by way of Schiphol, Amsterdam Centraal, Osnabruck and Frankfurt.
A hurried night in a cramped motel was followed by soaking in the awe-inspiring medieval sites for four hours. Day four ends with another long-distance train ride, to Copenhagen.
What I can say but that Scandinavia's famed social welfare system could not have surprised me more.
I had the most horrid hotel stay in my life, in a crumbling, bug-infested haunt named after Henrik Ibsen's Nora. It lay in a poorly-maintained, multi-ethnic neighborhood.
The taxation rates in Denmark are so high that they force those visitors (looking for affordable hotel accommodation) to sacrifice decency. (much less non-citizen immigrants)
Destitute and nearly homeless, the bastion of internet-era capitalism, Booking,com, finally came through with a comfortable but cramped space-age dwelling, "WakeUp".
More on this later.

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