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    • Day 7

      Cheese, Clogs and a Canal Cruise

      July 7 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      The tour group went for a traditional Dutch dinner in a town just outside Amsterdam called Edam! We saw an authentic Dutch windmill, tried on some clogs, tasted lots of yummy cheeses and played a Dutch game called Shuffle Board! After dinner, we went for a canal cruise in central Amsterdam and had a kiss underneath the Magere Brug (skinny bridge). Legend says if you kiss your partner on/under the bridge, your love will last forever 🩷Read more

    • Day 18

      Velo Fähri

      October 4, 2023 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Nacher 4.5 stündige Autofahrt simer chli userhalb vo Amsterdam-City ufemne idyllische Camping ahcho. Mit em Velo simmer de 30min id Stadt gfahre über gmüetlichi Veloweg und metere Fähri wo mer mitem Velo direkt druff fahrt.Read more

    • Day 11

      Day 2 in Amsterdam

      February 11, 2020 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌬 4 °C

      Well heading back to the hostel after meeting Gary for a few beers again..... It's safe to say we were both very rough today haha.

      Bit of sight seeing and of course shopping today. Had the most incredible hot dog ever worth every penny

      I love this city, always have and always will...... Can't wait to come back again.

      Off to Berlin tomorrow!!.

      Can't believe I have bee traveling for 11 days already it's going so fast 😓.

      Can't wait to see my mum in just 3 days!!.
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    • Day 29

      Delft and Amsterdam

      April 14, 2023 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      14/4 - Amsterdam
      Awake just after 5am to find we were in the brand new sea lock, opened late 2022, it’s not very deep and didn’t take long before we were sailing up the North Sea Canal towards the city, didn’t dock until 0815 so it was quite a long way to go. Then we were lining up to join just a dozen others on a tour to Delft, nice to have the small number and another good guide. The bus driver, Pavel, was Polish and said he worked about three weeks and then went home to Poland for a week.

      It took about 45 minutes firstly through the city, then new suburbs which the guide said were only up to about five years old and built on land covered with sand over the swampy peat base. Current population is around 800,000 and I’m sure she said there are about 180 different nationalities, but maybe it was 118. A lot anyway, especially with refugees and immigrants though it’s hard to provide for them all properly. We saw a few bulb fields but not a lot of colour other than a big hyacinth paddock in full bloom, very pretty.

      Our main visit was to the Royal Delft Company’s factory and museum (and shop!!) the company dates back to 1653 and I couldn’t resist this, fairly appropriate, wooden chest from Zeeland and dated 1653. We really enjoyed this visit, the company guide was informative and interesting without being too wordy, there was a lot to look at, we went through the museum then the factory where we saw the process and painting, I was forced to buy a pair of Delft cat earrings, some had time for coffee at their nice little café.

      They had a section showing copies of pottery screens, doorways, stoves etc that had been put into buildings, mostly in the Netherlands, I’d have loved a couple at home but…..too big! There were samples of Dutch pottery before they used the finer porcelain – similar designs but so much finer. There were examples of the 2017 design of a dinner service for the royal family, most recently used at a state dinner for French President Macron. There was a life size replica of the famous ‘Night Watch’ painting which took two men a year to make. We heard that the ‘Night Watch’ was so called because it was so dark and looked like night time, but when it was cleaned it was daytime and not at all sinister.

      The guide showed us how the basic pots were made and dried, and we saw Laurence, a master painter, almost finished two days work on a large pot, you can see the big screen so visitors could see how it was done. Then it was into the shop, lots of nice things such as tiles and plates, but of course I had to buy CAT EARRINGS, what else?

      Back on the bus and almost into the town centre, though buses aren’t allowed there now so we had a few minutes walk over a couple of bridges and had to keep an eye out for fast cyclists – they rule the roads anywhere. Apparently the government had a big campaign several years ago and put thousands of bikes around the cities to encourage people to give up cars, but they just got stolen and sold on so it was back to square one, and incentives for bike use which has worked a bit better.

      Four of the group stayed in the town square but the rest of us followed the guide for a walk around a couple more squares and streets, plenty to see and it’s so old, and the buildings seem to be beautifully kept with painted shutters and other woodwork, clean stonework. We saw where William of Orange was stabbed to death, the 16th century meat market, all sorts of lovely buildings including one with a golden mermaid on top, and a leaning tower dominating one street. There were cafes in the square and several tourist groups, and even a troop of Morris dancers visiting from England and giving a demonstration. We were told that in some cities tour groups are restricted to 15 and there’s a real shortage of guides because of this. They need more guides, but there are also more tourists coming from other parts of Europe, not going to England now since Brexit, so it’s a busy time for them.

      Back in Amsterdam just after 1.30 so we walked from our ship into the old town smack bang into the red light district which we both felt was bigger and more sleazy than when we were in the city in 2004. There were countless cannabis ‘museums’ and shops (definitely not that obvious previously), more grimy pubs with their attendant lager louts, rough-looking bouncers and sex shop minders, and it was pretty crowded but mostly with sightseers I guess. It’s all a fact of life but really we were pleased to get through to a quieter part and just wander along the canals, pretty buildings, a few flowers and boats, including one with a couple of Scottish bagpipers sailing down the canal. And we were hungry so paid for only our second meal in a fortnight, having eaten on the ship every meal except the Cornish pasty earlier in the week.

      Fun facts: The old city houses were built on about 11 million piles sunk 15 – 20m into the silt and soil down to bedrock; the average house stands on 9 or 10, the railway station on 9000, the royal palace on 14,000. The tall narrow houses mostly lean slightly forwards so anything being craned upwards won’t damage the façade, and some lean slightly sideways because of subsidence. The tulip, despite all the tulip craze and crash centuries ago, isn’t native to the Netherlands but is native to Turkey. The Netherlands is the second biggest brewer of beer in the world, 14%, next to Mexico which produces about 30%. And each year around 15,000 bicycles are hauled out of the canals……….along with about 50 cars. Speed limit on the expressways is mostly 100kph, after 7pm it goes up to 120 kph.

      Sailing out from Amsterdam, having left a bit late around 6.30 because there was one passenger missing; a call went out over the intercom asking for a certain person to report. Then 20 minutes later, according to the lady in the next balcony to us (she and Pete were talking), a woman ran really fast up the gangplank, it was quickly detached, and the ship was on its way a couple of minutes later. She was THAT person!! Ooops.

      We sat in our room watching the world go by, so much to see: people waving from the little cross-canal ferries and tourist boats close to the city; lots of people out walking and some walking dogs along the very well-marked tarsealed canal path; there were a few cyclists; we could see into back yards and marinas, there were allotments and gardens too; lots of businesses of course and some empty land as we got further towards the lock. There were lots of giant windmills, and for a long way the sides of the canal were built up with ladders and moorings, especially by the container port (that was Port Nelson on steroids). Further out into the countryside there was just flat land, green, brown, reed-lined ponds, a road and cycle path parallel to the main canal, nice two-storey houses in a fairly traditional design, a bit more industry, lots of trees all bare of leaves, it will be pretty in a few weeks when they’re all green.

      We watched the ship go into the lock then had dinner, and on to the show which tonight was Cruise Director Richard in a one-man show, a bit of humour, a bit of singing, another good evening on board Viking Jupiter.

      Have a look at the next entry (or previous - depending on how it works) for some more photos.
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    • Day 2


      November 17, 2023 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌙 6 °C

      After flying all night, exploring the city, Albert Cuyp Market, Vonderpark, and the Van Gogh museum, we're wiped out. "Let's just eat at the hotel " became an event of about a dozen samples of Indonesian delicacies. So fun. So good. Now we can go to bed 'Fat and happy!'

      New adventure tomorrow.
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    • Day 9

      Amsterdam (Pt 5 - Maritime Museum)

      July 18, 2023 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      On our way to Zaanse Schans we spotted a replica of the Dutch East India Company ship in the harbour outside the Maritime Museum and knew that we (James) had to see it up close, so squeezed in a visit after Zaanse Schans.

      The ship is a replica of The Amsterdam, the largest ship the Dutch East India Company ever built. On its maiden voyage in 1749 it was wrecked off the coast of England and rediscovered in the late 60s. Thanks to the mud the wreck is still in, the ship was remarkably well preserved and was able to be studied and ultimately recreated in the 80s.

      The white and gold sloop was built in 1818 for the then King and has been used multiple times by the Dutch royals since then.
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    • Day 3


      October 17, 2023 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      "Nemo Amsterdam" ist ein Wissenschaftsmuseum in Amsterdam, Niederlande. Es bietet interaktive Ausstellungen und Aktivitäten, die sich hauptsächlich auf Wissenschaft und Technologie konzentrieren. Das Museum ist auch als "NEMO Science Museum" bekannt. Es ist ein beliebtes Ziel für Familien und alle, die Spaß an der Entdeckung und dem Verständnis von wissenschaftlichen Konzepten haben.Read more

    • Day 5

      Day 5 - Dubai to Amsterdam

      June 6 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

      Alarm rung at 4:15am today 😴 and we were up and off to the airport! 7 hour flight from Dubai to Amsterdam, the flight was great today and we had lots of yummy food on board.
      We landed and went through passport control, collected our bags and literally walked out of the arrivals area, we've found navigating the airports so far to be very easy, I think NZ must be very strict.

      Helen was there to meet us at the airport, so nice to see a familiar face 😀 feels weird being with Helen in Europe and not in Nz!

      Grabbed a taxi to our motel and checked in. We have two rooms and ours is nit even big enough for us to lie down both suitcases lol!!

      Guy hasn't been very well with a horrendous cough so after a short walk to grab coffee he went to bed for a couple of hours. Once we woke him we then left for the tram station and caught a tram to Anne Franks house/Museum. We all enjoyed this visit, quite sad however when you think of what they must have gone through 😕

      A couple more Dolpin pics might be on this as I just got the code back to download them all 😍

      We've just finished our dinner at 10 pm 🙈 now some time for some more 💤 😴
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    • Day 3

      Jour 3 💐

      August 16, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      💐Jour 3 💐
      Cette belle journée démarre à la gare centrale d’Amsterdam. On se balade dans le quartier toute la matinée et on admire la vue.
      Pour le midi, on mange des pancakes salés traditionnels et hollandais, les pannenkoeken. Entre la crêpe et le pancake c’est délicieux et se déguste avec du sucre glace. (et sans fromage pour Ewen évidemment…)
      L’après-midi, on profite toujours des canaux et on se pose dans un café. On croise un vélo violet et de belles maisons.
      En fin d’après-midi, on cède à la tentation et on déguste des gaufres locales, stooopwafels, très gourmandes et le caramel rappelle à Ewen ses origines… (vidéo à l’appuie)
      On termine par le quartier rouge, pas de photos désolée… Très amusant et Ewen marche très vite, je n’es pas le temps d’admirer des vitrines…
      Retour à l’hôtel en début de soirée et on finit la soirée devant le stade Johan Cruijff Arena.
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    • Day 5

      Jour 5 🌸

      August 18, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Dernier jour à Amsterdam ! :(
      On débute la journée par l’immense Vondelpark, le parc emblématique de la ville. On se pose sur un banc, on se balade et on déjeune le midi dans un snack.
      L’après-midi, on visite le Van Gogh Museum. On a la chance de voir plusieurs de ses tableaux les plus célèbres. Ewen et l’audio guide m’aide à mieux comprendre l’artiste :)
      On retourne ensuite dans le centre-ville et on craque pour un petit goûter typique : les minis pancakes. C’est délicieux !!!!
      On profite une dernière fois des canaux dont on ne s’en lassera jamais…
      Pour ce dernier soir, on s’offre un restaurant italien (pizza pour Ewen et lasagnes pour moi). On termine par se consoler avec des énormes gaufres qui nous donnaient envie depuis plusieurs jours…
      Dernières photos d’Amsterdam de nuit puis on rentre à l’hôtel, triste de quitter cette belle ville mais on a bien profité de nos vacances ensemble.
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