I am back from my whirlwind tour of four European countries. I went with my cousin Bridget. Our tour took us to The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England. Viewing the travel pictures of others is, at best, tedious. My plan is to post them in small doses. Today will be images from the first leg of the trip, The Netherlands.
We dropped our luggage off at our hotel and headed for the Anne Frank house. The line moved swiftly and after only a half hour we were inside the Annex. I had been there three years ago, but the exhibits had changed somewhat. It's a sobering experience to stand in the space where Anne and the rest of the group stayed for all those months. The week before I left I read the unabriged version of the diary because it had been a while since I had read the version which was published years ago.
I took this sweet picture of Anne knitting before I realized pictures were not allowed.
Even in the winter, Amsterdam is beautiful. I'm always stopped in my tracks by a swan. It's a wonderful city for walking - the canals and bridges are so pretty.
The next morning, our tour group travelled to Volendam, in the country. We also stopped at Zaanse Schans, a living museum where you get the feel for how life was conducted in the 17th and 18th century. Here is one of the best pictures of the day:
Volendam is a small tourist town on Markermeer, a lake created after the ocean was pushed back from this area. This has been a cold winter and the water was frozen enough to go skating. The local people were thrilled as this doesn't happen all that often. The skaters we talked to said it froze last year, and before that, ten years ago. It was a real treat to watch from a sidewalk cafe which provided us with an overhead heater and lap blankets. Click on the pictures for better detail. The second picture shows skeins of geese in the sky, adding to the picturesque scene.
We took a boat ride on the canals in Amsterdam. The canal houses are extremely beautiful and interesting from an architectual point of view. It was kind of chilly, so during the entire course of the tour the boat crunched its way through a thin layer of ice.