Netherlands Railways
June 23, 1978

We left our hosts in Alkmaar, and all rode the train south, transferring at Haarlem and continuing further south. My parents got off at Den Haag, with us agreeing to meet at Rotterdam at a certain time. I actually got off at Rotterdam, just past Den Haag. And my train riding then took me east through Utrecht to Amersfoort.

Amersfoort station had two main platforms, eastbound and westbound. And a middle track and crossovers between the platforms, allowing certain trains to serve just half the platform. Among the services at Amersfoort were "Intercity" express trains. Eastbound every half hour, one train came from Amsterdam, and another train came from Den Haag and Rotterdam having combined at Utrecht. One of those trains continued east to Enschede, while the other train continued northeast to Zwolle where it would split for either Groningen or Leeuwarden. Westbound the procedure was reversed. Which train continued where alternated every half hour. Direct service was every hour. While during the other half hour, passengers could make cross platform transfers at Amersfoort.

From Amersfoort I rode a local train back towards Utrecht, getting off at Den Dolder. From there I rode a single track branch line north to Baarn, which is between Hilversum and Amersfoort. Between Den Dolder and Baarn is Soestdijk, location of the Royal Palace which was used until 2004.

From Baarn I returned south and then west through Utrecht and Rotterdam, and then north to Den Haag. In Den Haag was a large store operated by ANWB, which was a Dutch motoring association perhaps like AAA. That store had many good maps available, and I bought a few.

This was series of 3 maps covering the Netherlands with a scale of 1:200,000, or one centimeter for 2 kilometers. These maps were primarily for motorists. Another series of perhaps 15 maps also covered bicycle paths, with a scale of 1:100,000, or one centimeter per kilometer. About 20 years later when my parents were in the Netherlands, they bought me a set of the more detailed maps.

From Den Haag I returned to Rotterdam, where I reconnected with my parents. We had supper, and then all rode the train to Hoek van Holland, or "Hook of Holland". There we boarded the ferry boat for an overnight trip to Harwich England, and then a train into London.

I spent the next week in England mainly around London, and then the following 2 weeks mainly in the Scandinavian and the German speaking countries. On July 15, I returned to the Netherlands, where I spent the final week of this 5 week vacation.