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Monday, 8 January 2018

Day 2 on the Magellan. Amsterdam.

Amsterdam flower market on the left.  Just about every variety of tulip bulb you can imagine. 
According to Peter, it was quite rough last night.  I have to say I didn’t notice, I slept like a log through the uppy down stuff.  And this morning we woke up (dead early), in Holland and the ship berthed in Amsterdam just after 8.30.

Everything has gone swimmingly up until now, and today promised to continue the trend.  Both Peter and I were escorting, although on different tours, so we were breakfasted and queuing to be the first ones off the boat  9am.  My tour was due to start at 9.30, but Shorex likes the escorts to be down at the bus park ahead of the passengers.  I have to say we only just made it, and the queue started more less immediately we got there! 

We could have stayed in the warm of the ship another half hour to be honest.  There had been a traffic accident on the road into the port, and the buses were delayed.  When one did arrive, we hurriedly got all the passengers on board, and left the port at ten to ten. 
Looking at another canal boat from a canal boat
It’s the guide that makes or breaks these tours, and fortunately, I had a very good guide.  So even though we were late starting, had another 15min wait for the bus later in the tour, had to divert due to a police incident and got stuck in the road as a fire engine attended to another problem, everybody seemed to have a really good morning out.  The canal boat ride was very pleasant, and I learnt loads about Amsterdam, like it would  take only three days to flood the city entirely if you switched all the water pumps off.   There was one guy at the front being snarky about the 2 waits for the bus, and a very loud couple were told in no uncertain terms to SSSSSHHHHHHHH! (by other passengers, not me), when they chatted over the tour guide, but generally everyone was very well behaved and made my life easy.
Views from our canal boat tour

I got back to the ship to find Peter had beat me to the cabin, and  he’d had a good tour too.  All bodes well for this cruise.  We’ve earnt brownie points with Shorex already, we love our cabin (there are downsides, which make it unsuitable for paying passengers, but we are perfectly happy), and Peter seems to have worked out his timetable for the cruise and got the workspace he wants.  All is good. 

So we joined the other crafters and lecturers in the conference room at 3pm today in fine spirits.  We didn’t leave quite so happy.  Peter’s blog will explain it better, but essentially he’s not working in the conference room as he’d hoped.  He’s going to be in the more open plan “craft area”, which, to be honest, doesn’t really suit the way he runs his classes.   It’s going to take a bit of time, effort and rethinking, but he’ll find a way of making it work, he always does.  On the up side though, it does mean that he will get more time off because of the way it’s all been scheduled.

The only other thing to note is that we should have left Amsterdam at 2pm. It’s 6.45pm as I write and we are still here. It seems that there have been a few problems with refuelling (or bunkering as they call it on ships). Because the bunkering was late, the Magellan has lost it’s pilot slot, so had to wait until another one became available. The pilot has just got on board, the engines have just started, and we’ll be setting sail soon. The Captain has just announced that sailing tomorrow should be quite good, which is handy because it’s Peter’s first class........... Next stop Lisbon. Watch this space.

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