Sunday, 25th May 2008

I found myself in my firm's offices in Capelle near Rotterdam for a 3-day course this last week. A little last minute - not sure why I got sent or what that means.

Decided to try with just carry on luggage, and checked in over the Internet. The resulting bits of paper worked to my surprise. I had worried about the size of my bag, but mine was small. Took plenty of reading matter with me, and that cushioned being on a plane. EasyJet I flew with have a scramble for seats like RyanAir do.

Travelled from Amsterdam to Rotterdam by train, and the Dutch were very helpful. I wasn't sure I had reached Rotterdam as I found it hard to match the in-train announcements to the way place names are spelt. I also had problems leaving the train as it wasn't clear how. Happily a helpful conductor showed me a yellow button caused the door to open, and confirmed it was Rotterdam I was at. The finest city he asserted. The taxi fare from Rotterdam to my hotel was nearly four times the rail fare from Amsterdam to Rotterdam.

The hotel was perfectly adequate for my needs. Enjoyed watching a family of coots in the landscaped grounds - the parents feeding the rust colour headed chicks. I do like showers which regulate the temperature for you. The course was interesting, and the people I was with fun. My firm's Capelle office is well provisioned, with snacks and drinks freely available. The snacks included a Dutch speciality - highly salted liquorice which abused my taste buds. The slow but smart drinks machine somewhat worringly said "Your consumption is ready" when it was done. Sterrenmunt tea proved to be star anise.