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April 9th 2018
Published: April 10th 2018
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The Amalea left Amsterdam this morning heading for Hoorn, in North Holland. The captain promised sunshine, hope he is a better captain than weather forecaster! We cruised across the IJsselmeer, the biggest lake in the Netherlands - used to be the Zuiderzee (South Sea), but was closed in by a man made dyke. Have to admit I was not expecting open water, thought all our cruising would be in canals.

Big surprise at breakfast this morning, they have Vegemite! They also print a "newspaper" each day, with American & world news that you can grab from reception, but we had an Australian "newspaper" under our door when we woke up. When we came back to the cabin after lunch there were gits on the bed - a cap and a scarf - new fashion statement onboard. Impressed with this company so far.

Arrived in Hoorn after lunch, had to park (dock?) right next to another ship (about 6 inches apart - very technical process), then had to walk across this ship to get to shore.

Maurice went off on a walking tour of Hoorn, that included a visit to an old East India company ship that has been restored, while I went on a walking tour that included a visit to a tulip farm.

Tour of Hoorn was very interesting, lovely houses, very neat, compact city. Then on to a bus to take us to the tulip farm. Did not see many tulips (in bloom) but learnt a lot about them. The ones in the fields (that are not flowering yet because it has been too cold) are grown for the bulbs, so once they bloom, the flowers are removed so the bulb can continue to grow. We did see one field of tulips in bloom from the bus on the way to the farm. The tulips grown to be sold as cut flowers are grown in greenhouses, and cut before they properly bloom. They are "bunched" and put in a cold store, trucks pick them up each night to take them to the flower auctions the next morning. Visit to the bulb farm was very interesting, they gave us tea and cake, a tour of their greenhouses, and cold storage areas and explained the whole process.

Then back to the ship for dinner, only 4 courses tonight thankfully, but absolutely beautiful food.

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