Published: September 1st 2010September 1st 2010
We crossed the boarder from Belgium to The Netherlands about midday and drove up through Zeeland to see if it reminded us of New Zealand. The answer is 'not really' however the wild coastline with wide sandy beaches is similar to parts of NZ such as the Coromandel. We crossed the Delta Project, the Netherlands attempt at taming the North Sea. If you wanted a photo or a look up close, other than driving over it, you had to enter a water park at 21 euro each so we didnt bother.
I always knew that The Netherlands were flat and low but I was still extremely suprised at just how flat, and the amount of dykes everywhere and houses built into the dykes.
We drove north and stopped at Rotterdam for the night. Here we spent our first night out of the whole trip in a hostel. It was quite nice with power, internet, kitchen and cheap bar, but we got hardly any sleep because it was so noisy and it was pretty expensive.
We had a look around Rotterdam which was bombed flat in WW2. We checked out it historic
harbour, old windmill and Tuesday markets. We also checked out the Overblaak Development with its pencil shaped towers and arresting upended cube shaped apartments all at odd angles. One apartment was made into a museum so that you could look around inside, it looked like a horrible place to live, small, steep stairs, low ceilings and dark.
We then drove to Kinderdijk, we had to take a car ferry across a large canal to the town. We rented some bicycles and rode along a dyke amongst 19 old, historical windmills (1740) built to drain a polder. One windmill was a museum and showed you how the windmill house was set up when the original family lived there and showed a typical day and how the windmill worked. I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasant bicycle ride and seeing inside a windmill.
From Kinderdijk we drove to Amsterdam where we booked a cheap room at HAM Hotel. Once at the hotel we unpacked the entire car and were suprised at how much stuff we had accumulated, our room was full. We took the tram into the city centre and had dinner. We were suprised at how many people were stoned and
the smell of weed everywhere. Also every second shop seemed to sell weed, it is definately a major tourist attraction. We visited the Red Light District and wandered down the alleys with many other people 'window shopping'.
We woke this morning to pouring rain which didnt seem to want to let up, therefore we were slow getting started. Once in town we walked to Anne Frank's House where she wrote her diary. On the way we got caught in a torrential downpour, we had one umbrella and were in the middle of the street, it was coming down so hard we couldnt move and got pretty wet!
Inside Anne Frankes house we got to see the secret annex and her actual diary. The place was actually well done and interesting, even Mike found it interesting. Very sad though! We then went and did the Heineken Experience which included multimedia displays, rides and free beer! I left a bit tiddly ;) We didnt go to any other museums because of the ques and the rain, we headed home and started packing.
Today we woke at 0500, packed the car, dropped it off, caught the
shuttle to the airport and flew to Los Angeles, USA.
There are more photos below