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Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam
September 5th 2007
Published: September 10th 2007
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We had a relaxing time in Amsterdam. It was wet and cold the day we arrived, and we turned up at our bed and breakfast early, hoping we could drop off our luggage. The guy running the place was really helpful, and gave us directions to the areas of Amsterdam popular with locals rather than tourists, meaning we avoided the crowds and had some excellent food. We weaved our way through the cyclists, and found a nice place out of the cold to settle in and drink the evening away.

On our second day we woke to breakfast in bed, and once we were up and about the sun came out and we were able to enjoy coffee in the sun and watch boats on the canal. We visited the Anne Frank house, which has been very well preserved and has a lot of original items (the museum policy was 'strictly no photos allowed', sorry!), and is a really interesting place to visit. There are a lot of original items on display, and interviews with one of the workers who helped to hide the Frank family, as well at Anne Frank's father.

The rest of the day was spent walking along the canals, then heading into the city centre for a look around after all the locals had finished work for the day.

This morning we picked up our hire car, and drove through the green country side of Holland. It is surprising how flat the land is, and the number of modern wind mills. We drove through Rotterdam, and then on to Zeeland (South West coast of Holland) to visit the Neeltje Jans water park - an artificial island that was built as a construction site for storm surge barrier gates of the Delta Project. Construction of the gates was started in the 1960's and took 25 years to build - it is a massive structure and makes you realise how dependent the Netherlands is on human creation. Without the dykes and these barriers to protect the dykes, virtually all of Holland would be under the sea. We took a quick boat trip to look at the gates, then looked around the expo centre which showed how the barrier was constructed and outlined the motivations and political obstacles to their eventual construction.

Now we are on the road again, on our way to our next destination - Brussels (Belgium).



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Tourists looking across the canal at the Anne Frank HouseTourists looking across the canal at the Anne Frank House
Tourists looking across the canal at the Anne Frank House

(the silvery fronted bilding on the right hand ege of the photo)
Brandt at Dam SquareBrandt at Dam Square
Brandt at Dam Square

Royal Palace in the background.


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