Jan. 2 – our last morning in Amsterdam and train ride to Paris

We had tried to get a train leaving at 11:00 AM or noon but everything between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM was sold out. We left at 2:16 rather than early in the morning which left us with some time in the morning. We had a few options but we ended up waking up, working out, and walking to the @7 cafe where we had eaten our first brunch in Amsterdam. We brought our Macbook to take advantage of the wifi but we didn’t get another map of Amsterdam from the front desk (the map comes with a coupon for a free cup of coffee).

The food there was OK. The scrambled eggs were a bit runny but still good and the croissant was overpriced. The yogurt with fruit I really enjoyed. Like the first time we were there, it seemed to be popular with locals and we liked that. They didn’t even have an English menu but each time our waitress was able to translate for us.

Then we got the tram back (we bought one hour tickets so it covered the ride back and then the ride to Central Station) to Holiday Inn where we just grabbed our luggage and got back on the tram.

Originally my wife had wanted to eat at the hotel restaurant but I didn’t want to “waste” a day in Amsterdam by not really leaving the hotel until it was time to head to the station. We never did eat breakfast (other than protein bars for me) at Holiday Inn but you see something when you go out for breakfast so that’s OK.

The Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris was alright. We knew which track it was supposed to leave from but they didn’t have it on the screen at the track until 6 minutes before the train departed so we were unsure for a bit if we had it right. They pointed us to where we wait for car 16 (at the number 16 on the track which is right after number 25) but when the train pulled up the bar car was right in front of us. We walked to the next one to the right but that was a first class train. We walked to the next one to the left and hopped on. There was no number outside but inside we found it was car 15. So we walked through that one to car 16 and by then we had to spread our luggage out to fit it in the overhead racks. My wife wants to take first class from now on but that would have cost us 390 euros instead of 260 – a pretty substantial difference. 13 euros worth of Wifi would have been free as well though.

The seats are comfy enough although we are facing backwards. We feel the rude ticket seller should have given us a choice of seats because we’d rather be facing forward. My wife just paid 2.40 euros for a tiny 40 gram thing of Pringles.

We would end up on a first class Thalys train eventually from Brussels to Amsterdam. I’ll be posting that experience soon.

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