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Date: Wednesday, July 9, 1958
Place: En route – Amsterdam, Holland
Weather: Cold and Warm!

Had a rude awakening this morning at 5:20! (3 hours sleep!) Went to the train station for breakfast and then got on the train at 7:30. We went 600 miles and got off at 10:00pm. Not too boring – read some of Anderson’s fairy tales (The Little Mermaid) and the Journal. Tried to sleep, too, but it was impossible, our car kept making this horrible creaking noise ’til we all were ready to scream. Jim said I wouldn’t like Holland so about this time I was ready to trot back to Copenhagen.

About 11:00 we got on a ferry, train and all, to cross the Baltic Sea. Had lunch here (smorgasbord) and had a traveler’s check changed into Dutch money.

Supper was horrible, and we could hardly wait to get off. We ended up by waiting at the station again for a bus that never came, so we went to our hotel (The Central) in taxis. Sue, Mary Ann W., and I have a room on the fifth floor. This hotel is a nice one, too. Mary Ann was quite tired but not Sue and I. We zoomed back downstairs for coffee at 11:30 and then decided we wanted some ice-cream. The waiter said he would surprise us and brought us sundaes with coffee ice-cream covered with nuts!

The first coffee houses in Holland opened during the mid-17th century. They were often located in city financial districts and were used for holding business meetings. Today, the Dutch rank among the top five in the world in yearly per capita consumption of coffee.

In Amsterdam, Dutch people traditionally celebrate koffietijd (coffee time) by taking a break from their daily routine. Koffietijd can take place in the late morning, late afternoon, or after dinner. One ritual is to take a stroopwafel (caramel-filled waffle) and put it over your coffee when it’s too hot. While the coffee cools, its steam warms the caramel in the stroopwafel. Another common snack to have with coffee is bitterkoekje, bitter almond flavored cookies.

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