Often it seems easy to follow the crowds… I mean there’s a line-up outside “Anne Frank’s” house – so it must be good right? Travelling is often a whole lot more than seeing the sights and following the crowds (which btw the Anne Frank house is wonderful and so is the Vatican and there are huge crowds for both!).
What we have learned from this extended travel is that we prefer to be “bubble off plumb” and have bought into the “slow movement” ideology for travel & food.
Our idea of ‘bubble off plumb’ means not to be right in the centre of everything. We are happily staying in our friend’s flat in the heart of Amsterdam – 3 blocks from Dam Square, 3 blocks from the Red Light District, right on a canal, restaurants, coffee shops and anything and everything you could ever need to consume. It’s great for 3 day weekend but does not fit with what we have learned – being slightly off centre – outside of the plumb line – means we get to interact with locals, walk leisurely around a neighbourhood and not be in the thrust of human energy and crowds.
Slow Movement is a cultural shift to slowing down life’s pace. We have experienced a two hour dinner, sipping wine, talking to the chef, waiter, locals as we wait for our meal to be prepared and cooked. Shifting down several gears to walk slowly, not the harried pace of moving through crowds in the street, or trying to get to the front of a line. Of course, choosing green space or water space for us, achieves the ‘slow down’. First physically and then we find we shift mentally into the slower pace.
Locals, locals, locals – I cannot say enough about talking with them by putting yourself out there. Sharing our plans with them has given us better places to see, eat and stay. You do not see the locals hanging out at the “crowded-tourist-must see sights”.
Here are some of those bits of places for us….
<a day early for the Olympic rowing practise>
<Sunny day, Amsteelveen, locks and some great boats>
<some slow food in Bollington, England>
Speaking of up close and personal – this was just simply funny:
<short bread and side of the road, middle of no-where, stop>
<talked with a volunteer whilst visiting Treasurers House in York, we get a behind the scenes tour of the attic space – had to wear these helmuts!>
Rushing means we would be missing the moments that are ‘right there’. I might not take on the philosophy “Sit down, dinner will be ready in a month” but you maybe seeing a few more “2 hours for your dinner at Chez Grant” moments. Sounds great doesn’t it?!!?
<P.S. – there’s always wine while you wait!>