All week, we've been enjoying breakfast in the hotel. They have a really nice spread here; 15 euros a person for an all you can eat buffet. That's less than a lot of places charge, which is a good thing. You can have scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, cold cuts, fruit, bread, cereal, yogurt, juices, smoked salmon, and roast beef. The roast beef is a particular hit as far as I'm concerned. I have yet to have really good roast beef in Germany, so it's been a treat to be able to get it here.
After breakfast, Bill went to work and I went back to the room where I started blogging. I was interrupted by the housekeeper, who wanted to service the room. I decided to take the opportunity to walk to the Centrum, which is where all the Apeldoorn action is, right? It's actually kind of a long walk from the hotel and it's a bit chilly this week. Nevertheless, I put on my shoes and started walking, amazed by how pretty and quiet the town is. I was almost to the Centrum when I heard someone wolf whistle softly. It was a Dutch guy on a bike. He actually gave me an appreciative smile as he passed.
I am turning 43 on Saturday, so being noticed was kind of flattering. On the other hand, it's possible that he lacked a bell and just wanted to let me know he was behind me. I have to admit, being whistled at actually made me feel a little paranoid. I wondered if my pants had split or something. I did a quick check and found that they hadn't.
There is a dog park near the hotel and a special area along the street where dogs can be walked. I dodged a few landmines... It's fun to watch the dogs play in the park.
Awesome church on the way into town...
Walking around the Centrum was interesting. A lot of stores and restaurants appeared to be closed. I wandered into a Dutch mall, mainly because I wanted to use the restroom. I found one and didn't realize until I had gone that I was supposed to pay 35 cents for the privilege. There was a plate on a table near the door. I hope no one thinks poorly of me when I admit that I just said "fuck it" and kept going. I don't mind paying to use the bathroom as long as it's attended. No one was attending that bathroom, so what was I paying for? The water? The toilet paper? Like I said... "fuck it".
Open on Sunday! What's the world coming to?
Market shots... everything smelled good here.
I walked around some more, noticing a number of touristy looking bars and a few that appeared to be rather prurient in nature. I wandered around an outdoor market that smelled of fried fish, spices, and cheese. I saw a number of Muslim vendors selling garb to wandering women wearing headscarves. I got bored with the scene and headed back toward the hotel. Noticing that De Heerlijekheyt, the restaurant next door, was open for lunch, I decided to stop in and try a couple of dishes that had attracted me on Sunday night. This time, my server was a young lady.
Delicious tomato and chorizo soup...
Shrimp stuffed ravioli and scallops with lobster foam. Two glasses of white wine accompanied this meal. I paid 30 euros plus tip.
After lunch, I went back to the hotel and changed into my swimsuit... it was a little like stuffing ten pounds into a five pound bag. The hotel has a really nice pool and fitness area that include a sauna, steam bath, and a "solarium", which is actually a tanning bed of some sort. The sauna and pool are free, but you have to get tokens from the front desk for the steam room and tanning bed. They cost four euros. I have used the pool, which is unheated and uniformly about 4.5 feet deep. I am guessing at the depth. I am about 5'2" and the water comes up to my shoulders. I like it...
This is the way to the sauna, steam room, and tanning bed...
You won't catch me in one of these things.
I spent awhile at the pool, then got dressed and went to the bar area to wait for Bill. I enjoyed a glass of wine and some beer. Some of Bill's fellow conference attendees came over to talk to me, including a general who lives in Italy. Bill didn't see me in the bar area as he came in. I ended up having to send him a Facebook message to tell him where I was.
He got changed and decided he wanted to walk to the Centrum. I wasn't all that keen on the idea, having already done it earlier in the day. But we set off... and went in a different direction, which led us on a very long detour that exhausted me and put me in a mean world. That experience deserves its own post.