I arrive at Schipol airport around 7:30am local time to discover how big an airport can be ! I think our plane must have taxied all the way around the terminal before parking at the furthest possible gate from the Immigration desks. The guy at the desk was pleasant and I quickly got my stamp and went to search for my bag. Of course, the baggage carousel assigned was the one furthest from the Immigration desk !

It took awhile before any bags came out so I had a look around. Something new for me was that at Schipol the wall separating the baggage area from the outside world is made of glass. So I start peering through trying to see Edwin who was going to pick me up. Since he is quite tall, I thought I should be able to spot him easily but I was too far away. Having got my suitcase from the carousel, I made my way over to the exit and spotted him immediately, waved and went through the green lane. (For some reason, I always feel guilty just walking out and keep expecting someone to stop me).

Edwin took me on a quick tour of Oudewater (his home town) before driving to Gouda. His parents went off shopping while we did a quick tour of the town before returning and having some lunch.

 The Witch Weighing House in Gouda
 The Witch Weighing House in Gouda

Steen, our Danish friend from the Western Australia tour, was riding his BMW motorcycle down from Denmark to join us and after lunch we went to show him the way to Edwin's place. We then walked into town and had a look around and visited the witch weighing house - Oudewater is famous as it had the only honest one. They used to weigh anyone suspected of being a witch and if you were too light then you were a witch and were killed. Steen and I were both weighed and fortunately were heavy enough.

 Being weighed in the Oudewater weighing
					house (not that there was much chance I'd
					be too light!)
 Being weighed in the Oudewater weighing house (not that there was much chance I'd be too light!)

Afterwards we sat around in the sun and caught up for awhile before having dinner. Then we went for a drive in the countryside which was fun because I was still getting used to being on the wrong side of the road. To make it more interesting, I was in the same place in the car as I would be driving at home. I started getting used to it other than the roundabouts - going the wrong way around them always felt really weird.

I was getting pretty tired but we went to one of the local pubs for a few drinks with some friends and a cousin of Edwin's. It was very weird to be still light at 10:30pm and there was even some light at 11:00pm but it was easy to get used to.

frogdream.com is the personal web space of Matt Jackson (mjj at frogdream.com).