After two days in London, I set out by train for Amsterdam.
I again took an above-ground train and then an underground train, this time headed for St. Pancras station, from which the high-speed Eurostar train service to mainland Europe leaves.
After security and border control — into France, which sits at the other end of the Chunnel — I boarded the train and relaxed as the landscapes zipped by me out the window.
Before long I was in Brussels, where I transferred to a slower but still fast “InterCity train,” which, in this case, was also inter-country. And announcements were made in all of the local languages: English, German, French, and Dutch. The borders were unmarked and had no passport checks, but I could tell when we’d entered a new country because the order of the languages used for the announcements changed.
The last time I was in Amsterdam, I found the transportation network very easy to navigate. But now they have a new electronic fare system. After descending the elevator to the metro outside the central train terminal, I found that without an electronic card I couldn’t even get in, so I had to ride back up and walk to an office that would sell me a ticket, for 2.60 Euros, or about $3.70. Only then could I ride the few miles to my final destination.
Though most of the journey was relaxing, it wasn’t short, and I was glad to have the next day free to relax.