2 On The Road Blog

On October 9, 2004 we moved into our Hitchhiker fifth-wheel trailer and hit the road as full-time RVers. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

European River Cruise - Amsterdam

Arriving in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hemi-spherical buildings cover the train tracks. 
This is the front of the Amsterdam's Central Train Station

So we're headed in but where are we going to dock?

Here's a clue.   The ship's crew is hauling the gangplank to the top of the Skydeck.

Well I really don't think we can go from our upper skydeck to the smaller boat, so something has to go.


And away it goes..

Now it's our turn to snuggle up to the Alemannia.

There are lots of ships in port.

This is the boat we ride for a cruise of the canals of Amsterdam.


Known as the Venice of the North, Amsterdam has more than 600 miles of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges.  The three main canals were dug in the 17th century and form concentric belts around the city.  This area of the city was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010. 


  Docked alongside the Het Scheepvaart National Maritime Museum, it an exact copy of the East Indiaman Amsterdam, lost on her maiden voyage in 1749.  In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch set sail in ships like these, known as 'Dutch East Indiamen,' to the Far East. The journey took about eight months.
In 1749, the original Amsterdam set sail on the North Sea into a sudden storm.  The rudder broke and the captain decided to beach the ship on the southern coast of England in an attempt to save the cargo and crew, and perhaps even the ship itself. Unfortunately, the Amsterdam sank quickly into the mud and was lost. Archaeologists later found artifacts in the wreck providing details of the construction of East Indiamen, their cargo, and life on board.


Due to the location of the sun, this is  a poor photo of the ship.  Go to https://www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl/discover/east-indiaman-amsterdam for a great color photo.

This is the canal-side of the Architecture Centre Amsterdam.  When I got online to identify the photo, I saw that the building looks much different on the other side.  

Then there's the NEMO Science Museum. 

The Sea Palace Restaurant, a floating  pagoda-style restaurant.  

Headed down the Oudeschans canal you can see lots of ships dock in the canals.

Just add a smaller boat to travel the canals and a dock for a great home on the canal.

Then there's houseboats that look more like houses.



Doesn't look like this canal-side house is quite straight. 

These canvas enclosures line the canal around the Waterlooplein, an old Jewish market that is now a flea market that is open every day but Sunday. 

Canal-side view of some to the enclosures with their photos of the old Jewish market.
Granted my photo is a little crooked but the buildings really are not straight.

Some of the buildings look like they would fall down if they didn't have others there to support them.

Going under one of the many bridges.

This is one of the more substantial bridges but I don't know its name.  It could be the Blauwbrug Bridge.

I think this might be the Magere Brug bridge on the Amstel River


 Notice the Imperial Crown of Austria on the top of the lantern poles

This bridge must be lower because it has a warning bar at the entrance.  If you look closely, you can see a boat coming toward us.

All railings have bikes chained to them.

First notice the bar (with gold attachment points) that arches over the underpass.  These were used long ago as places where boat hooks be attached so sailors could pull their boat through the canal.  Secondly, how many bridge arches can you see?  When I pull the photo up on my computer, I can see at least five.
This has been the Mayor's official residence since 1927.  It is located near the grand ‘Golden Bend’ of the Herengracht, the most prestigious section of Amsterdam’s  ring of canals.
The stately canal house was commissioned in 1671-1672 by a merchant of the Dutch West India Company.  Its current appearance, is due to renovation work carried out around 1791.  After having been owned by two consecutive directors of the Netherlands Trading Company, the house has been occupied by ten mayor.


Sometimes the railing has so many bikes attached that some attached bikes are flipped around to the canal side.


There are as many bicycles in Amsterdam as there are people.  Bicycle theft is widespread with over 50,000 bicycles stolen and between 12,000 and 15,000 retrieved from the canals each year. 


Not quite as economical or space-saving as a bicycle but definitely better for longer trips.

Approaching Westerkerk, the biggest church in Amsterdam  Built 1619 – 1631, the Westerkerk (In English, the Western Church), is the most important Protestant church in the city.

Standing by the Anne Frank House and looking across the canal.  Notice the bent street lamp.

Oh the toilet,  always a good place to find.

Once again we have the Imperial Crown of Austria on top of the lanterns.
 

Small police car patrolling.  We toured The Anne Frank House.  Anne was 13 when the family went into hiding in the building where her father's business is located.  Her family included her Mom, Dad and sister.  Four other people joined them in hiding.  I'm sure you've all hear her story.  The house was definitely worth seeing.    

Mail slots had these stickers on them that reflected the owners choice of whether or not to receive junk mail.  This owner said No.
So I forgot what it means if the sticker looks like this.

Westerkerk's Tower

These were for rent.

With the high percentage of bicycles in the city, the bike lanes are clearly marked.

Interesting little vehicle.


You had to be careful on the sidewalk
You don't want to fall down into someone's door.


The Royal Palace Amsterdam has been the grand residence for royal receptions since 1808.

De Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th century church.


Heading into Amsterdam's infamous Red Light District. From Wikipedia, "De Wallen is the largest and best known red-light district in Amsterdam and consists of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. These "kamers" are the most visible and typical kind of red light district sex work in Amsterdam and are a large tourist attraction."  

Condom shops sell condoms in every imaginable size, color, flavor and design



Of course there were businesses that rented bicycles....

And they came in a variety of configerations.

The bicycle parking lot by Central Station.

Of course there were different sets of lights depending if you were walking or riding a bike.

Our ship had moved while we were out.  We didn't have to go through or over another ship to get to it.

Flying out of  Amsterdam.