Friday, August 17, 2007
We visited two cities in Holland, and they could not be more different!
The first was Amsterdam, the capital, filled with canals and bridges. We took a cruise and admired all the beautiful canals. Many people actually live on the canals in houseboats. The buildings along the way were very interesting; each roof had a different gable profile. Some buildings still had roof winches which were used to move furniture in and out. We cruised past Anne Frank's house which was her hiding place during WWII and where she wrote her diary.
The other parts of Amsterdam were a bit depressing and distressing. It is a very permissive society and a very open society. There is a sex museum with items in plan view right on the main street. I felt bad for our daughter--this was the place she so looked forward to visiting, and she was so disappointed. It also was very crowded, not particularly clean, everyone smoked, and I just never felt safe. Sorry, and apologies to any Dutch readers out there.
We also visited the village of Volendam. Nestled along the water, this was a lovely picturesque place. En route we saw one of the few remaining windmills. We actually went to Volendam for dinner and were treated to our first taste of eel--not bad until I found out what it was! We were especially thrilled to visit Volendam because last year on our Holland American Alaskan cruise, our ship was named Volendam! HA, a Dutch line, names all their ships after ports in Holland.
I uploaded the photos in the wrong order, so the first is on the way to Volendam and the last two are Amsterdam.
Stay tuned for our adventure into Germany!