Friday, May 20, 2011

Destination: Holland


Over Easter, my husband and I travelled to Germany to visit my daughter and her soldier husband. Previous blogs recap days one through three of our trip.
Day one we visited Nuremberg. Day two we went to Beyreuth. Day three was our misadventures in Pilsen Czech and our wonderful mountain hike. Then after the hike, we drove onto post and boarded a bus to Holland. It was a long, uncomfortable bus ride, but there were some interesting sites along the way.

Like this windmill at a rest area on the autobaun.

Our first stop in Holland was the tulip festival in Keukenhof.
We toured the festival with my daughter, her husband and some wonderful firiends of theirs. (Military people are incredibly friendly!)
The flowers were amazing.
And there was a beautiful mosaic of flowers.
From Keukenhof, the bus carried us to Amsterdam where we all piled onto a canal boat and toured the city by water.
Amsterdam is a city of canals, rivers, bridges, dikes, and levees...


It is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the 16h and 17th centuries.
The river Amstel terminates in the city center and connects to hundreds of canals.  Amsterdam is connected to the North Sea through the long North Sea Canal and is a popular cruise ship destination.



 Beauitful buildings and architecture dating back to the 12th century surround the city. And because land is at a premium in Amsterdam, homes are built upward, with gabled roofs and pullies used to hoist furniture in and out of the buildings.
There are no doublewides in Amsterdam. No trailers or trailer parks. But there are houseboats that look like doublewides. These houseboats line the city canals on either side, one on top of the other. But unlike doublewides and trailerparks, it costs hudreds of thousands of dollars a year to live in a houseboat in Amsterdam.
After the canal tour, we headed to our hotel for a much needed nap. The views from the hotel were amazing.

Of course, there were rules we had to follow at the hotel. But it wasn't a problem. :-)  
After we rested, a group of us took a series of city trams across town where we ate at an Argentinan Steak House.                                            
 






 
 
   
 I loved Amsterdam. My favorite part of the trip was Amsterdam at night. It was a warm evening with a gentle breeze blowing over the canal. The streets were crowded and the city came alive.
There was music and food, and so very much to see. 


Amsterdam at night is truly amazing.

I didn't want the night to end. Walking with my husband along those streets was romantic. And spending time with my daughter, her husband, and their friends made me feel young and carefree.

Life is good.

And Sunday morning, was Easter.

After a scrumptious buffett breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and boarded the bus again for a tour of a shoe factory and cheese farm. There was a cheese and wine tasting at the farm, and honestly, Holland has the best cheese I've ever eaten.
After the tours, we drove back to the city and spent the afternoon in Amsterdam. We had lunch in a New York style outdoor cafe.

And we spent the afternoon walking through the city.

There was even a street fair outside the Royal Palace.

We even walked through the famous redlight district. Of course, it was Easter morning so the red lights were turned off, but you can see the light under the massage parlor sign. And we saw a lot of other oddities on that side of town.

Amsterdam is a unique and wonderful city.









I loved it.
video



8 comments:

  1. Wow, it must have taken you forever to load all of those pictures, Lilly! Some of the tulip pictures look the way I imagine heaven might.

    My husband is Dutch, but I've never been to Holland. (Had a book translated into Dutch, though :? )

    The no smoking no pot sign cracked me up. Yup, that sounds about right for Amsterdam.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lynne,
    If you ever get the chance, you got to go to Amsterdam. It's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful pics and commentary. The next best thing to actually going there. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, what a wonderful holiday you had. Thanks for the virtual tour. Beautiful pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great pictures. I love those tulips. Mine bloomed, then a storm blew through and so did most of my petals.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks For Sharing your amazing Trip!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just a few more days until SLIGHTLY TARNISHED is released! WOW!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Karen, MK, & Becky. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for promoing my next release, Becky!

    ReplyDelete