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About OzNaiNai

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Adelaide, Australia

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  1. You can visit Ehrenbreitsen Fortress & Koblenz by yourself (instead of purchasing the tour), ‘Our Viking ship docked next to the cable car, unfortunately the cable-car was being serviced that day, instead we visited Koblenz with some other passengers. I enjoyed the day in Koblenz, it was nice not being on a guided tour, as we could visit the parts of the city we wanted, instead of just the touristy places. The ship docked for a long time (from breakfast to 11.30pm) in Koblenz. If your ship docks for as for as long as ours did, maybe you could sign up for the Moselle & Cochem visit, plus visit Koblenz &/or take the cable car to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress by yourself.
  2. You are lucky to be able to take 15kg as carry-on. In Australia we are limited to 7kg carry-on.
  3. ‘Hi FreestyleNovice, I just returned home from my trip & wish to say a heartfelt thankyou for your valuable info & advice. Dad & I both enjoyed our week in Leiden, what a wonderful city. We enjoyed staying at the Boutique hotel de'Oude Morsch very much (loved having a windmill in the backyard), it was fun scooting around on our mobility scooters. Dad loved his breakfast at Anne & Max (he was craving bacon & eggs). I like to eat the regional food when I travel but Dad is not so willing. I did go back 3 time to the Chocolate shop to try different hot chocolate blends. Wish I’d bought some home, but probably better for my waistline that I didn’t the people in the netherlands are just so friendly, we met some wonderful people. Thanks again for your helpful advise, it made our trip so much better. Leiden was the perfect base for us, a bit easier for Dad (89) to get around than Amsterdam
  4. I just got home from my Basel to Amsterdam Viking river cruise, we had a great time with no water level issues. Notamermaid, you live in a beautiful area of the world, this was my first visit to Europe, I’m Australian & most of my holidays have been closer to home, Japan, China, HK,Singapore, Fiji, Malaysia, NZ, etc
  5. Wow, you are getting some mixed weather. Thanks for the updates, my Basel-Amsterdam Cruise is in 2wks. re earthquake, I experienced earthquakes on my last 2 holidays, so happy to skip the experience this time. last year on our 2nd day in Osaka, they had a 6.5 earthquake, that was my 2nd earthquake as on my previous trip to Japan, I was in Kobe when it was the epicentre of a 6.7 earthquake.
  6. hbgal this will be my first cruise of any type, except for overnight Ferry from mainland Australia to Tasmania. I’m lucky I don’t live in a bushfire area (I live near the beach). But like you have family members who have lost homes to Bushfires. im looking forward to the trip but not the 28hr flight. Though we are lucky to have have only one stop for 2hrs in Dubai. we will be in the Netherlands at Tulip time. The day before our flight home from Schiphol, (13/4) is Bollenstreek (the annual tulip parade)
  7. We, (Dad & I) are sailing from Basel to Amsterdam at exactly the same time as you except on Viking Kara. we are flying from Adelaide (Australia) to Milan 4 days early, then spending 2 days in Stresa & 2 days Basel before boarding Kara 31/3. Its 37c/100f here so will be quite a change of temp for us too. I purchased an umbrella & jacket for our trip as I own neither. I’ve never seen snow, so that would be exciting. I’m also anxiously watching the water levels.
  8. ‘Thanks for keeping us informed. My Viking River Cruise departs Basel March 31, so will be anxiously awaiting your next post on water levels.
  9. Great idea. We could also do it on our way to Paris. Intercity 2126, Leiden Central -Heemstede Aerdenhout - Haarlem - Amsterdam Sloterdijk - Amsterdam Cantraal, then Thalys, to Paris. Instead of Leiden Central - Schiphol, Thalys, Schiphol - Paris. love your idea of spending last afternoon on a terrace, Vlot looks really nice. Dad was a builder, I think he will love it. wow, my post cruise week is planned. Amsterdam, 9am, disembark Viking Kara, - Amsterdam walking tour - canal cruise - Anne Frank House - train to Leiden Leiden, 2 nights, exploring old town & canals, afternoon tea on a terrace, Weaver House Museum. Paris, 2 nights, includes 3 hr private tour in vintage Citroen Leiden, 3 nights, including day trips to Haarlem and Patchwork & Quiltdagen at Rijswijk Schiphol, 1night. long, long flight home to Australia. thanks so much FreestyleNovice & others who gave advice.
  10. Thanks once again, your info is invaluable. I tried to extend our stay at Ibis Leiden Centre but they are totally booked out, so is the Level.and holiday inn etc, despite showing on some websites Our best options are Bastion Leiden Oegstgeest, Van der Valk De Gouden Leeuw, Van der Valk Schiphol or Hilton Schipol. I’m leaning towards Hilton Schipol as it seem a bit easier for Dad, (direct train & less travelling before our long flight to Australia the following day) But on googling "bloemencorso", it seems there will be heavy traffic around Leiden station on 13 April. We would need to travel from Leiden to Schipol, that day (13/4) with a 55cm-60cm suitcase each plus 2 mobility scooters. When would be the best time to travel to avoid the crowds? I’m assuming train would be better than taxi. It’d be nice to see the parade & flowers, but the travel and crowds would be too much for Dad to handle, especially considering our long flights (+28hrs) the following day in cattle class (economy). Can the tulip fields be seen from the train? If so, which side is it best re Leiden to Schiphol?
  11. Thanks so much FreestyleNovice! your advice and fantastic info will make this such a memorable holiday. I booked ‘Ibis Leiden Centre’ for the remainder of our stay except for our last night 13 April. Not sure what is happening that night but every hotel & B&B in Leiden & Haarlem, is booked except for an apartment at Flemingstraat (13, 2316 AV Leiden), so it’s either move there for our last night or a hotel near Schipol Airport. Prefer Leiden as flight is afternoon, (3.20pm, April 14) but can’t see any restaurants etc near it., guess pizza delivery or cooking for ourselves is an option. thankyou so so much for your suggestions, I’m so looking forward to staying in a bit of history & exploring Leiden on our Travelscoot’s (mobility scooters). If you are in Leiden in April & see a couple scooting around, say hi.
  12. ‘Thanks so much for all your advice. I booked 3 nights at Boutique de’Oude Morsch, looking forward to staying there and trying out some of those lovely looking restaurants and cafes in the area. Do you have any suggestions for breakfast? I’ll have to find somewhere else for the last few days of my trip as it already booked on those dates, not sure if I’ll return to Leiden after visiting Paris or stay in Den Haag instead. I hope to leave a suitcase at Boutique de’Oude Morsch, while we visit Paris for 2 nights, so will have to call in to Leiden to collect it. Leiden looks like such a pretty place. yes Thalys sounds more comfortable for Dad. Not sure whether to book 1st or 2nd class. If it was just me I’d book 2nd.
  13. Love your accommodation suggestions, but we need a lift or ground floor room as Dad would have trouble with flights of stairs. It’d be lovely to stay in a canal house, on a houseboat or friendly B&B, but imagine they don’t come with elevators for Dad. He has a mobility scooter. Would he be able to get on a tram or train with his mobility scooter? It’s a Travelscoot, weighs 15kg & folds like a baby’s umbrella stroller. Our river cruise disembarks in Amsterdam 7/4 & we fly home from Schiphol 14/7. Dad wants to go to Paris, so that will take 3 days/2 nights (train-private tour-return 2 Netherlands) & I want to attend a Quilt show at De Broodfabriek, Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland. with what’s been said here it may be easier to base ourselves in Leiden, except for the 2 nights in Paris. I’m not looking to do touristy stuff, if I could I’d love to live like a local, I prefer to eat where the locals eat, try foods we don’t have at home. See how different living in the Netherlands is to living in Australia. I only have a week so this is not going to be possible. Open to recommendations for accommodation & places to eat. Our budget is limited so looking for budget to mid-priced. Thanks for all your suggestions. This will be my last trip with Dad so want to make it special.
  14. Thanks. I’ve never been to Europe before, i have to remember, it’s so much smaller than Australia & has a better rail system. I’ll have to keep in mind that travelling in The Netherlands (As far as size & ease to get places) is more like travelling in Japan than Australia. i had hoped to leave our suitcases at the hotel in Amsterdam, while we did a quick trip to Paris & The Hague. We plan to only have carry on size bags, but both of us use mobility aids as well. Maybe instead of a carry on size suitcase each, we should share one larger suitcase? That way Dad won’t have to worry about a suitcase, just his walker or Travelscoot.
  15. We (dad & I) are flying out of Amsterdam 14 April, had planned on spending first night after our river cruise 7/4 & last 2 nights of our trip 12-14 April in Amsterdam. But, hotels are 4x more than usual on 12-14 April due to a GEO conference in Amsterdam. (Amazingly, There is also a Jewellers conference in Basel the week before our river cruise with similar hike in Hotel costs. 😕) Can anyone suggest other places we can stay the last night or 2 of our trip, close to Amsterdam airport? We’ll be in The Hague before heading to Amsterdam, so I could extend our stay there, but would like to be closer to the airport for the last night. Our flight is in the afternoon, but Amsterdam to Australia takes over 28hours & Dad is 89.
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