David Horvitz

David Horvitz aka Pops

David Horvitz

David Horvitz

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam April 24th 2019

Final Post: Back in Amsterdam, Easter Sunday morning. Fran and I were on a mission. Actually, it was Fran’s mission, but as usual, I followed along, however, this time with enthusiasm. I had come across an article about five lesser-known museums that we shouldn’t miss. Fran proclaimed that our mission would be to visit all five on this Easter Sunday as they were all open. What attracted me, in addition to the museums themselves, was that they were located in every quarter of the city. Maybe we could walk off the fois gras et al from last night's meal. I could also exercise my manly imperative to navigate. I could say, “follow me” to Fran and she likely would. Perfect. Map in hand, Google maps as backup, we left the dock and walked almost ... read more
Lunch at Jansz

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam April 24th 2019

Dinner at the Vintage Room: At 7 we met in the Vintage Room, a small private dining room with wine coolers along the forward wall. There were eight of us, Fran, me and the youngsters; two brothers, Jim and Craig, their wives, Shelley and Sharon, and Craig's best friend, Bill and his wife, Kim. The two brothers live in Olympia, Washington and Bill and Kim, in Walla Walla, the “Onion Capital” of the west. The men all grew up together. They’ve lived in Washington or Northern Idaho their entire lives. All three of them own their own businesses. Jim owns a real estate brokerage company with 40 some brokers. Craig owns a company that makes and sells gaskets. And Bill owns a company that makes cardboard boxes. The spouses have always been stay-at-home moms, but they ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » Zealand » Middelburg April 23rd 2019

On Saturday, Debussy left Middleburg at 2:30 for a long day and overnight back to Amsterdam for. As the weather was marvelous, we spent the entire afternoon outdoors on the top deck, enjoying the sunshine, the cool breeze and the beautiful scenery. After transiting a series of locks, entered a large bay with islands. Hundreds of sailboats were out taking advantage of the unusually wonderful weather on a Saturday afternoon. Fran snapped a picture of some Dutch campers. Occasionally, our relaxation was punctuated with 4 short blasts of the horn which is to remind boaters to get the f out of the way. Boaters can be really stupid. Except for watching, other activities up top included eating and drinking and maybe a little exercise. Fran did a full hour of Yoga and she did a special ... read more
Yoga Girl
Approaching Locks
Locks Opening

Europe » Netherlands » Zealand » Middelburg April 22nd 2019

Sometime in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago, I felt the boat move unusually. We seldom felt any movement except when docking or turning sharply and that was more that we could hear the bow and stern thrusters. The ship is remarkably stable. Then again, we are in canals and slow moving rivers, not the North Sea. Anyway, I woke up. There were blinking red lights visible through the shades. I got out of bed and opened the curtains. The blinking red lights were outlining two huge cooling towers of a nuclear power plant. There was quite a chop as we passed it by. I woke Fran to show her and even she was impressed by the immensity of the towers. We woke up Saturday morning in the quiet, clean, well-maintained town ... read more
Middleburg Synagogue
Middleburg houseboats
Fran Picture

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Borsbeek April 21st 2019

I've fallen well behind. The day before yesterday we were in Antwerp, famous for, among other things, being the birthplace of Peter Paul Rubens, one of the great artists of Holland's Golden Age (16th-17th centuries). The formal tour that morning included a visit to the cathedral, to Rubens’ house and collection, and some other historical sites. We decided to forgo the formal tour and explore on our own. Every place, every museum, was within walking distance, except for one, a private gallery of a collector named Axel Vervoodt. Vervoodt is an international art dealer, a collector of antiques and contemporary art, an interior designer, and real estate developer who’s latest project is the development of a cultural and residential complex at the site of an old distillery just outside of town. We planned to save that ... read more
Portrait of Rubens' Wife, Helena Fourment
And Another

Europe » Belgium » Antwerp Province » Antwerp April 19th 2019

People I’ve been wanting to write about this since the first night. Who goes on these cruises? At the start it’s important to know that my experience and sampling is not even statistically significant; one National Geographic cruise and one river cruise, half over. But, actually I do have slightly more data. At every port there are several ships, all basically the same; 110-135 meters long and 3.5 meters wide. This is as big as they can be to navigate the curves and the bridges in the canals in Benelux. Often, like today, another ship is rafted up to ours (or we are rafted up to them) and the passengers pass over or through the other ship on the way to theirs. So we see the Viking, the Ama, the Seabourne and others close up. We ... read more

Europe » Belgium » East Flanders » Gent April 19th 2019

Ghent After another night on the river, we woke up at the port of Ghent or Gent. I’ve seen it spelled both ways. Google prefers Gent in the English version, Ghent in Belgian. Going from the Netherlands to Belgium is a short trip but from the minute we got off the boat, there was a palpable difference that’s very hard to describe but I felt very good being in Belgium. It looked different. It sounded different. And the people were very, very, friendly though they didn’t all speak English like in the Netherlands. It seemed like the Belgians were much more like the French or Italians, loose and emotional, while the Dutch were more like the English, stiff (upper lip and the like) and proud. This is just me and those of you that have a ... read more
More Ghent
Ghent Altarpiece

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » Rotterdam April 19th 2019

First, let me fix a photo, the one of a work by Hockney that was so inspired by Van Gogh. It showed up funny on the blog. Also, Fran pointed out that the group of dancers in the pub on the boat were probably in their 40s, not 60s. More on them later. Yesterday, I wrote about the tulips and the visit to Keukenhof, and now, back at the ship, having finished our outstanding dinner at Jansz, we had our first evening and overnight traveling. We were moving along through a canal at a moderate speed, guessing 15 knots. We felt nothing; heard nothing; no engine or generator noise, even when another ship or barge passed by making a wake. If you didn’t know you were on a boat you wouldn’t know you were on a ... read more
Erasmus Bridge
Central Station Rotterdam
Tree Houses Rotterdam 1970s

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam April 18th 2019

This is the second day, if you're trying to keep up. Still in Amsterdam. Not yet on board. No cruise yet. That will come later. We're still at the Conservatorium, but now we've checked out of the hotel and went to the the ship which was docked on the other side of the city. It took a long time to get there. Traffic in Amsterdam is rough and getting rougher. Streets are being narrowed from four lanes to two lanes to accommodate the millions of bikes. Apparently there is 1.3 bikes per person in the Netherlands, a ratio that reminds me of guns in the US. Check in at The Debussy was painless. Our suite was ready. It’s not big; a bed, desk, 1 chair, a closet and a nice bathroom. The ship is new in ... read more
Maria Lassnig

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam April 18th 2019

Hello, All of our traveling friends do it, and from what I can tell early on (more on this later), a lot of others, from all over the world, do it too. Taking one’s hotel with them on a trip around Holland and Belgium seems very sensible. Lots of places to visit, all somewhat close to one another, but packing and unpacking everyday and lugging spring time clothing around (one must bring clothes for warm and cold, dry and wet) feels like it might be stressful and tiring and may take up time that we’d rather spend actually visiting places. A River Cruise might be just the thing. Throughout this and subsequent blog posts I’ll be talking about places that have unpronounceable names. Dutch is a difficult language. Our guide on the first day tried to ... read more
Rijks Fran and me
Rijks Vermeer
Hockney Van Gogh

Tot: 3.542s; Tpl: 0.038s; cc: 10; qc: 100; dbt: 0.0645s; 3; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 1.5mb