be in Holland without touring Amsterdam, in my opinion,
would be a
mistake. As we arrive at Amsterdam Central Train
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, clock towers, parks and traditional Dutch homes that actually
get bigger as they go upward! Off in the distance we see the
outline 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 Van 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
share 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 Germaine 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
around 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 lavish 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
and 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 morning 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
the 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!