CityNightLine CNL 472 Sleeper Train from Amsterdam to København (Copenhagen)

London -> Harwich -> Hoek of Holland ->Amsterdam ->

Photograph piano at the Amsterdam Centraal Train Station by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
A guy with his hair in a man-bun was on the free piano, masterfully entertaining passengers waiting for their train at the Amsterdam Centraal Station. He was, of course, being recorded from all angles. I watched (and captured) the spectacle for a while before stocking up on food for the CityNightLine CNL 472 sleeper train from Amsterdam to København (Copenhagen).

Photograph Smullers vending machine, Amsterdam Centraal Station by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
The Dutch love their fast food automatieks (vending machines), the perennial discussion amongst fans is whether FEBO or Smullers rules the day (and more likely, night), with a comparison of their products being couched in such terms as a battle of croquettes.

Photograph tracks, Amsterdam Centraal Station by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
Down by the tracks, none of the screens listed either the train number nor the correct destination. I was rescued by a kind white-haired man and his Girl-With-A-Dragon-Tattoo deadringer companion. Neither spoke English so there was alot of emphatic gesturing. Turns out the screen listed where the train was coming from (Praha) rather its destination.

Photograph CNL 472 from Basel to Copenhagen by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Safely on board and having shared a bit of banter with two Brit boys next door, got myself ensconced in the top bunk of a 6-bed compartment before we stopped at Emmerich, Germany. The German border police were a fierce lot and hauled a man out of the carriage with his luggage.
Photograph border check at Emmerich by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph CNL472 from Basel to Copenhagen by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px
In the morning, I had acquired two compartment-mates, and the passing buildings assured us we were in Denmark. We were an international bunch: one man was a German working in Denmark, and the other, a Dane working in America. The German, even though living in Europe, felt the xenophobia quite keenly. He pointed out a poster of a representative of the Danish People’s Party and spoke of how even Danes with foreign spouses (that is, anyone who wasn’t a Dane, even if they were within the EU – English, French etc) were falling foul of tightening immigration policies.
Photograph compartment mate by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

This was the last CNL 472 service, someone along the corridor said.

All around Europe, the lights are going off on inter-city sleeper trains, and the borders are closing against outsiders.

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Friet, Flat Whites, and Stroopwafels in Amsterdam

London -> Harwich -> Hoek of Holland ->Amsterdam

Photograph canal, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph canal, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Having arrived in the Dutch rain at the Amsterdam Centraal Train Station, I managed to accidentally wander through the red light district before meandering (after almost being hit by a tram, then by a cyclist when I tried to avoid the tram, then by a Mercedes when…yeah…) towards the good stodgy smell of fries.

Manneken Pis, sans inappropriately unclothed juvenile performing an uncivic-minded act, had been voted as serving the best friet in the Netherlands in 2013. No mention whether Manneken Pis’ wietsaus (weed sauce) option skewed the results:

Photograph frites, Manneken Pis, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph Wietsaus (weed sauce) with your frites?, Manneken Pis, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph frites, fries, Manneken Pis, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Further down the road, Lanskroon (Singel 385) was a cosy little bakery with a purring cat and very good Koningsstroopwafels and other goods. Perfect for a rainy afternoon.
Photograph Lanskroon, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph Koningsstroopwafel and tea, Lanskroon, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph Koningsstroopwafel and tea, Lanskroon, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph cat, Lanskroon, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Ended the day at Sweet Cup Cafe (Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 101L), with a flat white, before dashing for the overnight train to Denmark. While Sjefke the basset hound mopped for the absent member of the team, we had a good discussion about roasting on Giesens (theirs had the pride of place in their little store) and brewing on V60s. Ah, the international third wave/specialty coffee brotherhood.
Photograph Sweet Cup, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph flat white, Sweet Cup, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph coffee magazines at Sweet Cup, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px

Photograph Sjefke the basset hound, Sweet Cup, Amsterdam by parentheticalpilgrim on 500px