I left the Sunday before last on a flight to Amsterdam. The flight was pretty uneventful, but the seats, although they were business class, left a lot to be desired. We quickly learned that United is not the best airline for international travel. You'd think a $10,000 plane ticket would buy you a comfortable seat. Anyway, we landed in Amsterdam at about 10:00am Monday, and I went immediately into the airport bathroom and thew up. Nice start to the trip. Luckily, I felt better right away, and we took a 30 minute train ride to Den Haag (a.k.a The Hague), which is south of Amsterdam. We checked into our hotel and walked around to check it out. There were some neat, old buildings, including these:
I believe this was called Binnenhof - it was like a big courtyard with these old buildings - I believe for government use.
After we sat down for lunch, we were exhausted, so we back back to take naps. That night we checked out their beach area, Scheveningen. The concierge told us how to catch the tram which was right next to our hotel. There was a nice monitor on board that told us which stop we were approaching, and it wasn't until no new stops were appearing that we realized we had gone the wrong way. We asked a security guy and he said we should get off the tram and wait for the next one going back. It was cold and we think we were kind of the hood, so we weren't happy when the very same tram picked us back up going the other way - why hadn't the "helpful" guy told us just to sit tight because we'd be turning around soon?? Anyway, we eventually made it to the beach. As I said, it was pretty cold that night, but the area was still neat - lots of restaurants, a few casinos and a kind of boardwalk feel. We ate dinner at Peukie's, and despite the name, it was very good. We then found a fun piano bar. The 2 pianists switched off singing in Dutch and in English, so we knew a lot of the songs. Ended up staying out too late on the first night in a new time zone!
The restaurant where we ate dinner:
The main hotel/casino at Scheveningen:
Day 2: Tuesday
Tuesday morning we took a 25 minute cab ride to a vegetable seed company that Monsanto bought last year called Western Seed. They breed primarily tomatoes and peppers, and they have a neat greenhouse displaying their products. It is located in Naaldwijk, The Netherlands. It was a long day due to the late night preceding it, but we had some successful meetings. Around 5:30pm, we hitched a ride from a Belgian Monsanto employee, Johan, to Antwerp. My boss and I were both exhausted, so we both opted for ordering room service rather than going to dinner with the Monsanto group that we ran into as we checked into our hotel in Antwerp. I also needed to prepare for the training that we were giving the following day.