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This was our last day in Delft so we were up early to have breakfast and pack our packs. We deposited our packs with the hotel before setting off to explore. We soon realized that is was too early for the stores to open with the exception of IKEA so we decided to walk to IKEA. Visiting IKEA is something we do in every country we visit. My wife has a membership so we get free coffee. On the way to IKEA we passed the East Gate of the old town.

There were a variety of birds hanging around the East Gate. An Egyptian Goose was paddling around with her young.

 

At IKEA the dining area was open but nothing else. We had some coffee and a bite to eat while waiting for the store to open. It looked like quite a few older people were using IKEA as a gathering place for morning coffee. Great deal, free coffee and friends.

 

Our next goal was to climb the tower in the New Church. We had wanted to do it earlier but I had strained my calf and didn’t think I could make it up and down the stairs. I was better, so we decided to give it a try. We walked along one of the canals on the way to the New Church. We encountered this family of Eurasian Coots feeding. We had been watching a family of Eurasian Coots on the back side of the New Church hopping the would leave the nest. When we reached the nest it was empty so we think these were the former occupants.

 

On the way to the New Church we noticed this Canta LX. It is a two seat mini car designed in the Netherlands for handicapped drivers.

Fortunately when we reached the New Church it was not too crowded. It would have been difficult to get up and down the stairs if there were a lot of people around.

 

The views of Delft were outstanding. We could see The Hague in the distance.

 

My wife doesn’t like heights and she was hanging on for dear life.

 

After hiking to the top of the tower we stopped at a cheese store to purchase some Gouda cheese to bring home. We then picked up our packs and hiked to the Central Station to catch a train to the Amsterdam Airport.

 

We arrived at our airport hotel around 3:30 in the afternoon. This was the view out our window toward the airport.

 

 

Not wanting to let any grass grow under our feet we decided to take the train from the airport into town. We had noticed the french fry stores on our earlier visits but for some reasons the crowds at them were unusually large. I had never seen a store that sold only french fries. The number of toppings available was amazing

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We wandered around town for a while taking in the sites on a beautiful afternoon.

 

I took this photo because it showed one of the strange design elements in Amsterdam buildings. The dark building in the photo leans out a bit. This is done because the only way to get furniture into the building is to hoist it up on a pulley (you can see the pulley at the top of the building).

 

After another 13 hour day we returned to our hotel in time to get a sunset over the airport.

 

We had an early flight the next morning so we skipped breakfast at the hotel and had a bite to eat at the airport after checking out bags. I was pleased with the selection.

 

 

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Today we were up early again. It seems we are almost always the first ones to breakfast. Our goal for today is a short train trip to Rotterdam. I guess I hadn’t done my homework because I was very surprised to find a modern vibrant city. It is unlike any of the other cities that we visited with the possible exception of The Hague. The ultra modern central train station was opened in 2014 and in an imposing structure.

 

More photos from Rotterdam can be found on my website.

Our plan was to follow Rick Steve’s walking tour of Rotterdam but as is usually the case we were lost before we had gotten very far. We ended up following Coolsingel street for quite a ways. This is a fantastic wide walking area filled with trees and surrounded by imposing modern buildings.

 

 

Our initial goal for our visit was the Open Market so we walked along Coolsingel until we reached the Koopgoot shopping area. My wife can’t stand Burger King but I love it so I managed to get my photo taken. Unfortunately it was too early for lunch.

 

We walked down into the underground shopping area before exiting by the World Trade Center.

 

We continued on to the the Rotterdam Open Market. It was not as large as the one in The Hague but it was impressive and a market that most American cities would be proud to have. Of course there was lots of cheese and vegetables.

 

Seafood was also abundant.

 

As is always the case flowers were abundant.

 

There were a few dry goods vendors.

 

If you only had one place to visit I would say this would be the area. Much of what we wanted to see could be found in this small area. At the end of the Open Market we found the Cube Houses. We waked through the area. One was open but we didn’t think we had the time to visit.

 

Just opposite the Cube Houses is Market Hall. We were impressed with the open market but even more impressed with Market Hall. The market is in the center of the building and most of the windows you see on the outside of the horseshoe are apartments. You can rent apartments for long and short stays. Doing so would put you in the center of a very vibrant area of Rotterdam.

 

The inside of the building is adorned with an 11.000 m2 of artwork by Arno Coenen. The artwork is named Hoorn des Overvloeds.  The work was made using digital 3D-techniques. Producing it required a file of 1,47 terabytes and required special servers. The digital 3D-animation was separated in 4000 pieces and then printed on perforated aluminum panels which were mounted on the ceiling inside the building.

 

The basement levels house one of the larger parking garages in Rotterdam.

 

In addition to the spectacular ceiling the market also provides a wide range of food and many restaurants.

 

A common site in Europe are the chess sets on the street.

 

Also in the same are is the public library. Just inside the door is another chess set. It had attracted a crowd to watch a game in progress. the last shot is the checkout desk. It appeared to be self checkout and self check in.

 

The first shot is of the public library and the transit station and was taken from the front of the Market Hall. It provides a good idea of how close everything is. The Blaak Transit Station sits at one end of the plaza and is between the markets, library and the Old Harbor area. The open market is in front of the public library.

 

I wondered ho folks were able to store their bikes on the second level of the storage racks. This question was answered when the young lady walked over and pulled the unit down, placed her bike on it and easily pushed it back up for storage.

I couldn’t resist having ice cream after walking past all of the food stalls inside the Market Hall. After the ice cream we walked across the street to the old harbor area. You can see how close things are. The Cube Houses are in the background of the first photo. Lots of house boats in the old harbor. It was apparently laundry day because a number of people were hanging out laundry as we walk by.

We were walking along the canals in hopes of finding the ticket office for the harbor tours. Unfortunately we ended up in a dead end and had to backtrack. In doing so we noticed a crowd gathering at the Maritime Museum which was our next stop. On the way we encountered a number of hotel and restaurant ships. The most interesting thing was the floating hot tub.

We were heading over to the open air exhibit at the Maritime Museum when we heard a band playing and noticed a large crowd outside the Museum. Ever curious I decided we should go over and find out what was going on. A ceremony was taking place similar to the one we encountered on Remembrance Day when visiting Breukelen. After the ceremony we started talking with someone and found out that it was Remembrance day for the bombing of Rotterdam by the Germans. Central Rotterdam was destroyed and the decision was made to reconstruct it as a modern city much like some American cities. We were really fortunate to be able to participate in both the Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the bombing of Rotterdam.

After the ceremony we walked through the open air section of the Museum.

 

We finally found the harbor cruise line and purchased tickets for the cruise. We had to walk under The Swan bridge to find the ticket office. The cruise was an hour and a half on a beautiful spring day. As usual we wanted to be first in line so we could get the best seats but as it turned out there were not that many people on the cruise so we had the run of the ship. The port is the busiest in Europe so there was a lot to see.

 

After the harbor cruise we walked over to a little marina to check out the sailing ships. We also encountered an Egyptian Goose sleeping on the grass.

 

 

We then walked over to Ze Hielden Koers park which offered some nice views of the Erasmus Bridge and the start of the Parade of Flags along the Boompjes Promenade.

The views of the Mass River waterfront were very nice. The island across the river was largely spared by the German bombing and provides a glimpse of what central Rotterdam would probably look like today had it not been destroyed.

 

It was getting late in the day so we decided to walk back to the Market Hall and find a restaurant for dinner. When we finished eating we did encounter a slight problem. Neither one of us typically carries money when traveling because we pay for everything using our credit card. Unfortunately the waiter failed to mention that they only take Dutch credit cards. The waiter held me hostage while my wife had to go find an ATM to get some cash. This was the second time on this trip that we had this happen to us.

 

After dinner we started working our way back to the central station. We did manage to get lost on the way back. We took what we thought might be a shortcut but it turned out not to be. We departed Rotterdam about 12 hours after starting our journey in Delft early in the morning. We found Rotterdam a refreshing change from the large number of tourists that we encountered in Amsterdam.

 

Yesterday we were in Eindhoven. Today we took the train to Arnhem where the battle for “The Bridge Too Far” took Place. We were there to visit The Netherlands Open Air Museum. When we arrived we had to find the bus that would takes out to the museum. Unfortunately it did not stop right at the museum and we had to work our way through a neighborhood before we found it.

There is a antique tram that goes around the museum so we decided to ride it around once to get the lay of the land.

We stopped at the woodworkers workshop to see what was taking place. They make all of the repair items in the shop.

Lots of farm animals around.

This was an old barn that was turned into a modern home.

Interesting use of trees. The Dutch seem to want to control nature.

The pond in a center piece of the museum. It is surrounded by a drawbridge, windmills and other buildings.

This is a combination pisser and outhouse. Not sure if if it is functional.

Some kids were working their way across the pond on a small boat operated by pulling on a rope.

We typically don’t eat a meal at noon when we are traveling but we do stop for sweets sometimes. This was the town square with a restaurant in the background. They prided themselves in making Dutch Mini Pancakes covered in powdered sugar. They were very good.

The Farmhouse Zuid-Schawoude.  The cows occupied one side of the house and the cows the other. In the summer the wife would make designs in the stalls using sand and seashells. This was an indication of the family status.

My wife is a weaver so she wanted to talk to the weavers. We stopped before lunch and the weavers were on break so we returned after lunch. She was very surprised that the weavers were working with linen rather than wool. We had see so many sheep and goats in the Netherlands. When she returned home she decided to try weaving with linen and is now in the midst of a large project.

There was a large display for the laundry. It looked like a major effort. Notice in the last photo that they were drying the laundry out on the grass.

Unfortunately there was no one working in the blacksmiths shop when we walk by.

There was a nice transportation display showing how people and goods were moved over time.

We walked around the formal gardens which we found very interesting. Again the Dutch love to control nature.

The museum has a brewery and makes their own beer. I noticed hops growing. My grandfather used to grow hops on the farm until a disease started destroying the crops. We did some sampling and it was very good beer.

 

We had walked past the paper making mill earlier in the day but no one was around. This time there were a bunch of kids around and they were helping to make paper. They were really into it. They turned the wheel that made the press work.

Late in the day we felt we had “done” the museum and caught a bus back to the train station. Unfortunately we missed the bus by a couple of minutes and had to wait a half hour for the next bus. We had better luck at the train station. We walked out onto the platform and onto a train.

 

 

This was to be a special day for us. in 2008 we had a German exchange student staying with us. We had remained in contact but had not seen him since we put him on the plane to return home. When we started planning our trip to the Netherlands we contacted him to see if we could get together. As it turns out he was taking a semester off from school and was heading to Spain to surf. He would be driving through Eindhoven so me made arrangements to meet. We were not sure of the exact time he would arrive so we were up early to catch the train to Eindhoven.

This was an interesting trip for me because the area we were traveling through was a key battle in WWII. It was described in a book by Cornelius Ryan. “A Bridge Too Far” describes the attempt by allies to break through the German lines into Germany. It had dire consequences for the Dutch.

It was a Sunday morning and when we arrived the town was deserted. We did find a McDonald’s that was open so we went in to get some coffee and use their WiFi. We identified a couple of places we wanted to visit while we waited for our exchange student to arrive. It was still early and most places were not open so we walked around until the Philips Museum opened.

The Philips Museum was really quite interesting. A movie depicting the treatment of the Jews working for the Philips Company was most interesting. Since Philips developed many of the early radios and TV sets it was like reliving my childhood.

After the Philips Museum we walked over to the DAF Museum. Another interesting place to visit. DAF made everything from cars to trucks to military vehicles. We had a minor crisis while at the Museum. My wife had to change batteries in her phone and then could not get the phone to work. Since we were waiting for a call from our exchange student it was critical that we get it working. A young man took a look at it and fixed it.

On the way back to the Central Station we noticed these folks paddling down the river.

At the Central Station we decided to wait for the exchange student at the information booth.

 

We met up with Martin and then found a place for lunch. We caught up on what he has been doing the last 11 years.

We went for a walk and encountered the silly walk. It was based on John Cleese as a bowler-hatted civil servant in a fictitious British government ministry responsible for developing silly walks through grants. The last shot is another quirky thing we saw in Eindhoven.

They were working on the train tracks so we had to take a bus to Hertogenbosch and then catch the train back to Delft. The nice thing about traveling in Europe is there is almost always a way to get to where you want to go. A couple of times we missed trains and just waited for about ten minutes and there was another train.

We were up early again. It seems that we are almost always the first ones to breakfast. Today was Saturday and the markets in Delft were open so we walked down to where we thought they would be. Our first stop was the Delft antiques market. It was early and It looked like some of the vendors were just getting setup. It was interesting but nothing that we wanted to purchase. The antiques marked was lined up along one of the canals.

We walked through the main plaza and past the City Hall.

We found the food and flower market on anther street. My wife noticed the Stroopwaffles and decided to purchase some to bring home. Little did we realize that McDonald’s would be selling them when we arrived home. Of course there always the cheese. How I would live to have truckle of Gouda Cheese.

There were plenty of stalls selling flowers.

After walking through the markets we headed over to Central Station where we planned to catch a tram to The Hague. The nice thing about making Delft a headquarters was it was close to everything. On the other hand the Netherlands is a small country and everything is relatively close. It was probably a 15 minute ride to The Hague.

When we got off the tram we encountered this strange creature. There were quite a few of them. The Hague visitors center was in the public library which was closed when we arrived. We joined a long line waiting for it to open. Our first goal in The Hague was to find the Hague Market which is reputed to be the largest open air market in Europe.

This was the entrance to the underground. As you can see there were not a lot of people around on a Saturday morning at 10 a.m. We had to wait a short time to catch the train to the market.

There were a lot of flowers. It cost about $5.50 for a bunch of roses. I do believe this is considerably lower than in the United States.

There were lots of food stands in the market. What I wouldn’t give to have a market like this in my town.

The market also had a large assortment of dry goods. My wife found some scarves that were about half the price they were in Gouda.

After visiting the Hague Market we decided to take a tram out to Scheveningen Beach. It wasn’t really beach weather. In fact, it was dammed cold out. Not too many folks around when we arrived.

Not to sure what was going on here. It looked like some kind of photo shoot because everyone seemed to have costumes with them.

 

This looks like it would be a fantastic beach if it were a little warmer out. I checked some photos taken in the summer and it is packed with people.

Nice view of the pier unobstructed by people.

I didn’t check to see how much it cost to stay in some of the hotels along the beach but I suspect it is plenty.

We walked through the pier which is filled with shops. We really wanted some ice cream but it was just too cold. I didn’t see anyone else having ice cream either.

One of the hotels from the street side.

We caught a tram back toward the center of town with a stop at the Peace Palace. We also thought about some ice cream at the Peace Palace but it was still too cold.

We then took the tram into the center of the city and wandered along some of the shopping streets.

We then walked over to Hofvigver pond and walked along the pond taking photos. That’s the Binnenhof on the right and behind the seagull in the second shot.

We walked around Hofvigver pond and past Mauritshuis. This seemed to be a popular spot for selfies.

We then walked through the arch and into the Binnenhof courtyard.

The Fontein graaf Willem II is in the foreground and the Ridderzaal is in the background. Difficult to photograph the fountain because of all of the folks taking selfies.

We then headed back to the center of town to catch the tram back the Delft. We did find the center of The Hague a strange place. There didn’t seem to be any stop signs on the road. In order to get from one side of the street to the other you had to cross bike lanes, a road, tram lines, a road, and another bike lane. We finally gave up trying to figure the traffic out and just followed folks who looked like the knew what the were doing.

We were back in Delft in about 15 minutes. The antiques market  was still ongoing. Apparently it is an all day affair.

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It was getting near dinner time so we worked our way over to the city center and found a place to eat.

We thought it was really cold out and we warmed our hands over a candle. We had Greek food on this night. The food was good but when it came time to pay we encountered a problem. We tried all of our credit cards and their equipment couldn’t read them. I was held hostage while my wife went to find an ATM machine to get some cash. When we travel in Europe we rarely carry cash and have never had a problem with credit cards. First time for everything.

After dinner we wandered around town for a bit before heading down the canal to our hotel.

 

 

 

We arrived in Delft in the middle of the afternoon yesterday and walked around a bit to try and get oriented. We had an early breakfast and walked over to the main  Plaza. We walked past a cheese store on the way. The Dutch do like their cheese ad do I.

More photos from Delft can be found on my website.

At one end of the Plaza is the New Church and the other end City Hall.

We found this Eurasian Coots nest with the adults feeding the young. As you can see they seem to make their nest out of anything that is handy.

Our destination was Delft Pottery where we wanted to take in the free tour. However, when we reached this set of stairs we lost our way and couldn’t figure out where Google Maps wanted us to go. There was a short walkway that didn’t go the way Google Maps wanted us to go. We finally gave up and headed back toward town using an alternative route.

 

A barge happen to come along just after we crossed the bridge.

We encountered a bride and groom standing at the edge of the canal.

A boat sailed down the canal past us.

This looks to be some type of pumper truck for septic or steam cleaning.

We wandered over to the Molen de Roos but it wasn’t open yet.

We finally made it back to City Center. I managed a photo of Linda at the Vermeer Museum.

We decided to walk over to the New Church and look around. We had purchased tickets that let us into a number of city landmarks. This is a shot of City Hall with a tourist taxi in the foreground.

We encountered the bride and groom again.

The New church was very impressive.

After touring the New Church we decided to walk over to the Old Church. I was confused regarding the churches because the Old Church looked newer than the New Church.

It was getting to be lunch time so we stopped by the Doppio Espresso for a little coffee and cake. It was very rich and very good.

We headed back to the city center and found the wedding party was still going on at City Hall.

At this point we decided we would give it another go to find the Delft Pottery. We noticed that it was located adjacent to the main canal through town so we walked over to the canal and decided to walk along it. On the way we encountered this horse carriage racing through town. We assumed it was heading for the City Hall to pick up the bride and groom.

We found the canal without any problems, probably because it flows through the entire town and is hard to miss.

The canal is large enough to support barge traffic.

We noticed a group of rowers getting ready to get some exercise. We watched for a while but they were a little slow to get started so we moved on.

There were quite a few Blue Herons along the canal. I was able to get quite close to this one. While we were walking along a man stopped and started talking Norwegian to my wife. She had her Norwegian cap on so he assumed she was Norwegian. She does speak Norwegian but it took a while to get her brain in Norwegian mode. The fellow loved Norway and was talking about his long stays.

A little farther down the canal the rowers caught up with us.

We encountered another barge coming down the canal. The bridge behind the barge is the same one we were at earlier in the morning and managed to get lost. As it turned out the steps coming down from the bridge seemed to come to a dead end, at least in the direction we were coming from. If we had just kept on walking back towards town we would have been able to cross over the road and take the path along the canal under the bridge. The Delft Pottery Shop was just a short walk from the bridge.

We also encountered the Villa Maria which is a grand old building. It appeared to be some form of Airbnb. Looked like it would be a great place to stay.

We were finally successful in finding the Delft Pottery Shop. We had to wait for a short time for the tour to begin. As it turned out a small group of artists from New York were also touring at the same time. We learned a lot more about pottery making because of the artists than my wife and I would have learned on our own. Neither of us has been involved in pottery making. The shop is a small unassuming building. They displayed some of the pottery they make.

 

We were able to watch the artists working on various pieces.

At the end there was a classroom setup so we could make something.

Of course there was the display room where we could purchase some products which we did.

Just after leaving the Delft Pottery we encountered a family of Egyptian Geese.

We retraced our steps back to the bridge where we got lost in the morning and then retraced our steps back to the Molen de Roos.

A couple of street scenes photographed along the way.

The Molen de Roos windmill is at one end of the main street in Delft.

It is a working windmill and is used to mill flower. My wife is an avid baker and really wanted to purchase flower from the mill but it would have been impossible to get it home.

We were able to walk to the top of the windmill and there were some outstanding views of the town.

The wheel is used to adjust the windmill so that it takes advantage of the prevailing winds.

As we neared the central station we noticed all of this cardboard. Apparently it was part of an art display. We walked past the same area early in the evening and saw that they were placing the display in the garbage trucks.

When we arrived at the train station we continued along the path and found ourselves at an underground bike parking area. This was amazing and it went on forever. In order to put a bike on the upper storage area a device pulls down so the bike can be loaded and then the user pushes it back up into storage position. The garage was full and there was additional storage outside. When we walked by there were bikers going in and out. I would have liked to go back during peak commuting time to see what kind of traffic there was.

Walking past the Central Station we found ourselves walking along the main shipping canal in Delft.

We found ourselves at the Royal Delft Pottery works. We didn’t think we needed another pottery tour.

We soon found ourselves in a rather nice residential area.

We found ourselves walking back toward the center of town. As we crossed over the shipping canal the bells started ringing indicating the bridge was going up. We almost got bridged. We decided to stick around and see what happens when the bridge blocks the streets. This was a very busy street for pedestrians and bicyclists. It wasn’t long and there was a long line of folks waiting to cross the bridge. No cars just people.

We followed one of the canals back toward the town center.

We ended up in the town square looking at the New Church. It was getting to be meal time and folks were gathering in the Plaza to eat. It was a relatively warm day. Most days in the Netherlands we wore that same clothes we wear during the winter in Wisconsin.

While we were eating we were also people watching.

After dinner we walked back to our hotel along the canals. It was another long day. It would have been interesting if we had kept track of how far we walked every day.

Our last day in Amsterdam. This was a community composting bin for food wastes that was near our Airbnb. This impressive apartment building was just down the street as well.

 

More photos from Amsterdam and Delft can be found on my website.

Our first stop was Hortus Botanicus where we walked around for a couple of hours. The first shot was an insect house. Giving serious thought to making one of these at home. It look like it wouldn’t bee too difficult to make.

After the botanical gardens we decided to walk over to the NEMO Science Museum. On the way we noticed this place that was soon to be available for rent. We saw a number of these places all advertised by the same company.

The tall ship Amsterdam was anchored outside the Maritime Museum.

There were quite a few boats in the canal as we approached the science museum.

It took a while to walk to the top but the views from the top were outstanding. It was a beautiful day to be walking around Amsterdam.

Leaving the science museum we wandered across the Mr. J.J. van der Veldebrug Bridge and past the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

We encountered a Canta LX Micro Car which is designed for handicapper people. They yellow thing in the car seemed to be a steering wheel lock and it took most of the car. A little further down the canal we found the Sea Palace Restaurant.

A large collection of bikes parked near the Central Station.

I noticed this written on the Odebrug Bridge as we crossed.

We ended up walking though an area that sold a lot of pot.

 

We walked past the Floating Flower Market again. I think this may have been our third visit this trip.

We walked passed The Dam three times. Each time there seemed to be something a little different going on. This was a Falun Gong group they seemed to protest at The Dam almost every day. They are a group of people that is persecuted by the Chinese government including the killing of Falun Gong members for to harvest body parts.

Periodically there were characters dressed in costume and performers in the Dam. However, it wasn’t anything like we see in New York.

We walked over to the Anne Frank House. Unfortunately we were never able to get tickets for the tour. We also walked past Westerkerk which was a short distance from the hotel we stayed in when we first arrived in Amsterdam a week earlier.

By this time it was almost 2:30 in the afternoon and we had to catch a train to Delft in about an hour. We were also getting hungry after going all day. Finding a place to eat is probably the biggest challenge we have when traveling. It seems we can never find the just the right place. We finally ended up at a small coffee shop and had some apple pie and coffee.

We were on the Platform waiting for the 15:34 Train to Delft.

When we arrived in Delft it was a nice evening and we still had a little gas in the tank so we took a walk around town to get oriented. Lots of beautiful small canals. It reminded me a lot of Gouda.

We found this nest of Eurasian Coots in the canal behind the New Church. We checked on them every day when we were in Delft and on the last day the left the nest.

The first Little Free Library was built by Todd Bol in 2009 in Hudson Wisconsin. Hudson is just down the freeway from where we live. Now we find them all over the world.

The Molen de Roos or Windmill of the Rose on the main street in Delft.

The Old Church of Delft.

Main street in Delft. The Central Station is on the right.

An interesting piece of artwork. I’m not sure what is going on in the last photo but they were having fun.

It had been a long day. We started out around 7 a.m. and walked all over Amsterdam, followed by a train trip to Delft. We spent the evening walking around Delft and finally ended our day around 8 p.m.

 

 

We took a bus out to Sloten Windmill. As I recall it is the only working windmill in Amsterdam. We we arrived we found that they were thatching the roof.

More photos from Amsterdam can be found on my website.

We were able take a tour of the windmill but it was not working at the time because of the Thatching. We were able to climb to the top of the windmill which was very interesting. This particular windmill is still operational and is used to pump water from one level canal to another level canal.

There are also some displays of the traditional trades found in the Netherlands. Of course cheese was prominently displayed.

There was an Australian Woman visiting at the same time so we took the tour together. She had come by tram so we followed here back to the tram station and took a different way back into Amsterdam. We got off of the tram at The Dam. As we were walking around it started to rain again so we started looking for somewhere to go for shelter. We had seen Magna Plaza but didn’t know it was a shopping center so we went in and looked around. Very impressive with three floors of shops and restaurants.

It was still raining when we left so we walked over to the New Church to look around. This was also quite impressive. I’m not really into churches but they were having a photographic exhibit which I was interested in. The annual World Press Photo Exhibition 2019 is a global exhibition presenting the best visual journalism of the past year. It was really impressive.

There were a lot of pigeons in The Dam on a rainy day.

While we were walking though The Dam we could hear a lot of chanting coming from the area of the National Monument. When we went over to check it out we discovered That the local football team was playing an English team and the the fans were already getting liquored up at some local pubs. The police were all over the place in force.

A street cleaner and a shot of Queers Cafe.

We then wandered over to one of the canals and looked at the house boats. along the canal. Not sure I would want to live in some of them.

It started raining again and so we decided to hop a tram and ride it to the end of the line. On the way back the sun came out so we got off at Oosterpark to look around. It was a beautiful little park.

There were lots of Blue Herons around along with some Egyptian Geese.

There were also lots of people jogging and exercising.

We caught another tram but soon realized we were going the wrong way had to get off and catch yet another tram back to Central Station.

 

The next morning we decided to walk down to Central Station following one of the canals. As we passed the building next to ours we notice this interesting composting bin.

More photos from Amsterdam can be found on my website.

This was the bus stop where we could catch the bus to Central Station. On this particular day we decided to walk to Central Station. It was a challenge to get from the sidewalk to the bus stop because of all of the bike traffic.

As we walked along the street we noticed the were laying cable of some type. The second shot shows where they have repaired their work area. There does seem to be some advantage to using bricks because you can just reuse them again.

When we arrived at the Central Station we stopped to add some money to our transportation pass. The pass allowed us to take local and intercity trains so it was convenient to have. We stopped at the Rijksmuseum. We are not much for museums but did enjoy seeing the library since we are both former librarians. We also toured the Resistance Museum. This was really interesting and we spent quite a bit of time there.

It was raining off and on so we spent some time riding trams around town looking at the sites and getting the lay of the land. The colors on this house were rather interesting.

We walked past The Dam and the National Monument. This was several days after Remembrance Day and the memorial wreaths were still up. We also happen to encounter the Rembrandt Statue.

We ended up back at Central Station where we caught a bus back to our Airbnb.

 

This was going to be our last day on the boat. When we left Breukelen we noticed a women’s rowing team out early in the morning. There were some beautiful houses along the canal as we reached the outskirts of town.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

After a short distance we reached the outskirts of Loenen aan de Vecht. At this point it was a cool but beautiful day out.

We had just pulled over to have lunch when a hail storm hit. It hailed for about 15 minutes and then was nice out again. As we cruised pas Mijndense Sluis  we noticed several Locaboats come out into the canal. They headed toward one of the bridges but it soon became clear that they didn’t know how to get the bridges to go up. They decided to follow us for a ways to try and figure out how things worked. Locks were always interesting. Some places you could push a button to alert the bridge minder that you wanted to go through, other places you had to honk your horn and still other places there was a phone number to call.

We then sailed back to Mijndense Sluis where we found a number of boats lined up to go through the locks. This was the most boats that we had encountered on the trip. I did see some photos of what it is like at the locks during the summer and it looked to be a zoo. Crusing on the canals in the summer would be an even more leisurely trip than we had.

It was only a short distance to the Locaboat Base from the locks.

It looks like a beautiful day out but shortly after docking the boat we has another intense hail storm. The entire deck was covered in hail. Yet in an another hour it was a beautiful evening out. The frozen six crew had a nice parting dinner at the restaurant at the boat docks.

The next morning we turned in the keys to the boat and the group caught a taxi to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Dave and Sara caught a train to France, Lisa and Jim caught a flight to Stockholm and Linda and Phil stored their luggage and caught a bus to Keukenhof to see the tulip displays.