Blogging the tour, III: Amsterdam

I only have the last day in Amsterdam to cover, which is a bit sad. We rushed along to the station in the morning, in the hottest day of the tour. The especially footsore tried to get the tram to shorten the journey, but after waiting for a while the one we were expecting to catch turned out to be cancelled for the Tour de France, giving a further stress to the usual train rush. Eventually, we all just about made it to the station on time only to be caught out by our only late train of the tour. So, we got to the Westekerk late for our rehearsal slot, but managed to get through the things we needed to before the church opened.

The Westekerk was the kindest church to us in the facilities they provided, firstly by printing programmes themselves so we could use the ones we had brought to do a spot of flyering. I enjoyed talking to the Amsterdam tourists, most of whom interestingly were English and the rest mainly locals. Secondly, they fed us lots of tea and remembered milk for us also; finally, they gave each of us a bunch of flowers at the end along with an immediate return invitation.

The singing at the lunchtime concert was fairly good as well. I felt that, at least in the parts I was following closely, there were rather more mistakes and tired notes than the night before, but others were a bit more positive about it. It was certainly not bad, and the several dozen people in the audience almost outnumbered the previous concerts put together. Where the Grote Kerk’s Twitter failed, the Westekerk was apparently more active in promoting us around the town (another kindness). I (and Matthew) got sorted out with the recorder as well, so we captured the concert, which retrospectively it is clear we should have done every time. Expect to see for download Peterhouse Chapel Choir in concert: the album available to enemies (and friends) soon.

After the concert, we wandered around town. One group went on the pedaloes then visited the red light district, and the other decided to walk for a bit instead before retreating to the pedaloes to escape the heat, only to find them hotter work still. We met for a final meal (with thanks to the Master) at a New-York–Italian restaurant (review of steak: underseasoned pan left the outside slightly unflavoured compared to the inside, which also had some of the taste over-cooked out of it; William adds that his sauce was not an improvement). By the time we got home after that, with another long walk to the station, a sweltering ride, and more footpadding home, we were pretty shattered, so suggestions of clubbing gave way to the usual whist, hearts, and basics rosé equivalent. Many little walks and chats carried various discussions late into the night.

This morning, we managed to all get up and make it to the ferry on time, while faffing again with the trams. All trams that we wanted seemed to be cancelled for the Tour, so we had to make slightly quicker time than comfortable with our baggage across the city in the sun. All the rest of the travel logistics worked fine though.

Today, Europe; tomorrow, Cambridge!