Travel excerpts. For reasons.

Israel: How to get to the Train Station
We didn’t use the phrase book much as we probably could have.

At the Inbal Hotel, we expected a cabbie to have some english but he didn’t, so he calls a friend over.
“otobus?”
“NOOO! train! train” Wild gestures ensue. I scramble for the guide as R is miming something that might be train, but might be “seizure.”

“rakevet” I point in the book with the hebrew writing next to it.

“AHA RAKEVET!” says cabbie.

“RAKEVET!” We all exclaim.

Netherlands:

Early off to Keukenhof Friday AM where we saw…everything. Nothing missed. Its amazing, and we were at the end of season when the tulips are slowly dipping their exhausted little heads. Of course its had no rain here and generally scorching hot so the poor things….I doubt much of it will last more than the week never mind to the closing of the season.

Then dropped off at Bilmer-ArenA, and caught a train to utrecht, after a bit of stress with awaiting the financial booster shot from Toronto. Took a risk, hopped the train to Utrecht and the money was in when I arrived, much to my relief.

Got my London train ticket while I awaited Jen the expat, had a coffee, generally started to feel less worried and homesick. Utrecht is so very different, both smashing parts ultramodern and ultra old. I love it. Love the canals with the warehouses, and the high city streets above. Love.

China
Traffic in Beijing also means pedestrians, bikes and mopeds are in huge abundance and here’s the trick, if you’re a pedestrian, don’t scurry. Walk NORMALLY. The traffic will move around you. If you run, the equation is off and then you get smucked. It took a great deal of thought to not react like a terrified girl, but by the end of the trip we were crossing traffic like the residents. It just stops bothering you at some point. Though through the trip we had more than a few moments in the car that white knuckled the guides too.:D

Great Wall: A LONG DRIVE. 3 hours. One traffic accident and the road would gum for miles. Its a busy highway. We skipped the long lines at Badaling by Kim, our guide, knowing someone who could call in the police escort so we got that. Friends had to do the long line as they travelled independent. Heh.

Its brutally windy this time of year so we went up to the left side of the Badaling wall to the third tower or so, its insane steep and slick too but its the less congested side. In retrospect, I think we should have floored it to Simitai or Mutianyu instead. ah well. I walked on the great wall.

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