Amsterdam
Canal Boat And Walking Tour Of Amsterdam
Dutch Countryside Bike Ride
Day Tour To Volendam, Marken and Zaanse Schans
Day Tour To Keukenhof Gardens

 

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We cruised overnight so we could start the day in Amsterdam.

The day started with a canal boat tour through Amsterdam.

 
The canal boat dropped us off at Dam Square which is the transportation hub of Amsterdam.
 Of course flowers are everywhere on the streets. St. Gotthard Hotel
 On this street and canal shops are on the barges that line the street.
 After lunch Mike and I took a countryside bike tour while Peggi and Charlene went to the Anne Frank House.  As you can see it was cold. St. Gotthard Hotel
 We rode through some parks and past windmills.  As you can see it was cold.
 We stopped at a quaint Dutch village for coffee and cake. St. Gotthard Hotel
 The group enjoyed getting out of the weather and relaxing before starting back to the ship.
 Amsterdam is a city of bikes but because the Dutch tolerate petty street crime, everyone is forced to ride ratty old bikes. St. Gotthard Hotel
 With the time remaining we walked to the Maritime Museum but it was closed.

Later we checked into the WestCord City Centre Hotel.  I would not recommend it.
 The next day we took a tour of the Dutch Countryside.  The first stop was Zaanse Schans which is historic site in which several working windmills were located.  St. Gotthard
                Hotel
 Zaanse Schans provides a glimpse of the traditional Dutch way of life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Packed with wooden windmills, barns, houses and museums built in the typical Dutch wooden architectural style, the buildings in the area are all authentic  and relocated beginning in 1961.
 

The next stop was the Village of Marken.  Marken was separated from the mainland after a storm surge in the 13th century. The typical houses and the traditional costumes are reminiscent of the past. A dike, which was constructed in 1957, links the island to the mainland.

We stopped at a wooden shoe factory for a demonstration.

St. Gotthard
                Hotel
 After the wooden shoe factory we walked through the town to the dock to get the Marken to Volendam Ferry.
 Volendam is another traditional Dutch fishing village but has a tourist promenade along the water front. After a walking tour of the village we had dinner in a local restaurant.

We arrived back in Amsterdam at 7 pm.
 The next day was a day tour to the Keukenhof Gardens with a drive through the tulip fields.
 Keukenhof is the international and independent showcase for the Dutch floricultural sector, with a special emphasis on flower bulbs. In the space of eight weeks Keukenhof shows what the Dutch floricultural sector has to offer.
 
 The focus in the park is on the 7 million spring-flowering bulbs, in which the 100 participating companies show their living catalog.
 Peggi is out on the lily pads.  The trails was an interesting walk and surprisingly a bit unnerving.
 Mike and Charlene tiptoe through the tulips.
 Flowers everywhere.
 You get some nice views of the tulips fields from the park as well.
 The views of the fields is very spectacular.
 The park has several of these rivers of grape hyacinths flowing through the woods.  I though it made an interesting display.

The day like so many was cold and rainy with heavy rains finally driving us out of the fields.

The next morning we were up and out for the trip home.

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