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Amsterdam & Culemborg

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Thursday, May 31Click here for an enlargement

To be in Holland without touring Amsterdam, in my opinion,  would be a mistake. As we arrive at Amsterdam Central Train Click here for an enlargementStation, we begin our tour with a walk thru the "red-light district". Here we see some of Holland's oldest buildings, canals, and architecture unique to this city. On our way, we are taken back thru time and history. Canals everywhere, lovely bridges,Click here for an enlargement clock towers, parks and traditional Dutch homes that actually get bigger as they go upward!  Off in the distance we see the Click here for an enlargementoutline of the world renowned "Rijksmuseum". Unfortunately the museum is under renovation that will take several years to complete. We took a few outside photos and headed just down the street to the van Gogh Museum. This museum houses many of the 900 paintings that VanClick here for an enlargement Gogh did in just 11 years, before taking his own life.  The self-guided tour with headsets lasted a few hours and was great.

On Saturday, June 2nd, we're off to the town of Culemborg to Click here for an enlargementshare in the 25-year anniversary celebration of our friends Peter and Germaine Lock. We're greeted at the train by our host Peter and his lovely daughter Mathie, who drive us to the house to borrow a car and say hello to GermaineClick here for an enlargement and their three other children, then we're shown to the B&B in nearby Beusichem, where we'll be their guests for the night.  After a walk Click here for an enlargementaround the quiet town of Beusichem, a brief nap and shower, we're off to Marienwaard, a lovely country setting with large old estate buildings perfectly suited for such an occasion as this. Here we are greeted again by our hosts Peter and Germaine Lock and enjoyed a lavishClick here for an enlargement evening of food, music and great fellowship [most Dutch people speak English]. A rare occasion such as this brings the Lock siblings together... Jos, Peter Click here for an enlargementand Marianne, as well as guests and extended family from as far away as France, Germany, and Africa.  The evening passed so pleasantly, and it was midnight before people began saying their farewells and taking memories of a wonderful "celebration of life" back home with them.  As Sunday morningClick here for an enlargement rolled around we were the guests of our hosts for breakfast at their home, where we were joined by other family members from Paris and Germany.  After a very multi-lingual breakfast,  Jeanie and I did a brief tour of old downtown Culemburg, noting the landmark tower in Click here for an enlargementthe center of town dating back to 1573. Jeanie spotted a lovely garden adjacent to the tower canal. Following our good-byes, we return to the north of Holland and home again by mid afternoon.  I drove our borrowed car & Jeanie did the map reading!

 - Robert


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