Subject: Europe Trip April 2004: Part 1: Delft, Netherlands
Hi Ziners,

Mum and Dad returned safe and sound last week and they thoroughly enjoyed their trip (4 nights Delft, 5 nights Muerren, 3 nights Bellagio Lake Como, 1 night Siena, 4 nights near Pienza, 3 nights Rome). I pick their brains about what they saw and did whenever I see them and will post as I can!

They flew Business Class on frequent flyer points on BA/Qantas from Brisbane via Heathrow and they highly recommend those little capsule lie back seats :) (I recommend the little business class packs that I scored as a result that contain L'Occitane products!)

Before they'd left it had looked cold for Delft/Switzerland but Rome was having 17oC by day (if you believe the web site). Well it wasn't when they were there - the Tshirt and shorts stayed packed and they had about 7oC in Rome. But the day they left it was warming up...

They arrived at Amsterdam Wed 31 March. Main goal to visit Keukenhof :) They stayed the 4 nights at Hotel Emauspoort and LOVED it - well located (right near the main square, next to a canal), great breakfasts, above a bakery! They had two dinners there as well - the restaurant only opens when they have what seems to be a group booking or conference though. EURO 15 for a huge multi course meal! They opted for the apartment at 97.50 Euro per night (room price including the 2 breakfasts).

Hotel Emauspoort Vrouwenregt 10-11 2611 KK Delft Phone: 015-2190219

They had basically 3 full days plus the afternoon of the day of their arrival. Originally they had planned to make day trips to other Dutch cities like Utrecht and Haarlem, but in the end ran out of time! They had a full day at Keukenhof (the ONLY thing I didn't think to research was the bus times from Leiden railway station to Keukenhof - they arrived in time for the bus only to find you don't buy your ticket on the bus there like we can here, so by the time they went back to the train station to buy the bus ticket the bus was gone and they had 40 minutes of long cold waiting...) They were a couple of weeks too early for the bulk of the tulips i.e. didn't see the fields in bloom from the train window, but as Mum said, any later and they would have missed all the other wonderful flowers they saw.

They caught the light rail train LRT from Delft into Den Haag for some shopping and browsing (Mum picked up some lovely wall hangings). They did the Historic Delft Walk from a brochure I had from my visit to Delft back when the VVV was operating. Dad visited the library (Bibliotechque?) to catch up on news via the web. A little bit more shopping for Delft wares and strolling among canals and generally taking in the scenery and culture. (Mum is Dutch.)

You can find EVERYTHING you need on the internet before you go: Schiphol Travel Taxi TreinTaxi (the economical taxi option to and from a train station) And of course for rail times/prices/options :) Megan Brisbane, Australia