The sun was out on my last day in Amsterdam and Amsterdammers seized full advantage, filling the outside tables at neighborhood cafes for Sunday brunch. I had time to kill before my train at 6:40 pm. Although it no longer brews beer in Amsterdam Heineken provides a tour of its former brewery. This is a tedious hagiographic overview of the alleged multi-generational genius of the Heineken family at producing one of the simplest and oldest products on the planet. Apparently Heineken can be distinguished from other beer by a secret strain of yeast. Other than that, it is made with the same barley, hops and water common to most lagers. The tour costs 15 Euros and includes a ride of sorts where you stand on a juddering platform intended to simulate being in the brewing process. A mist of water is squirted on the riders whenever the word “water” is mentioned, reminiscent of the experience of sitting under a urinating pigeon in a Paris park. At the end of the tour you are entitled to two draft beers which can be consumed in the lounge area.
There was no opportunity to ask my burning question: How much do you pay if I discover a mouse in a bottle of Heineken?
I got a four-person sleeper for the 14 hour trip to Copenhagen. I shared it with a pleasant newlywed couple from Melbourne, Australia. The train had the most do-nothing crew I’ve yet encountered. Although there were empty sleeper cabins in the railcar, they wouldn’t allow me to move so as to give the Aussie newlyweds a little privacy and in fact stuffed a fourth person in the cabin at Cologne. I had no trouble sleeping and was up before dawn, reading and drinking coffee in the dining car as the sun came up over Denmark.