Monday, June 9, 2014

Amsterdam - June 6 & 7

I realized that by not writing for one day I lost all track of what I was saying.

When I wrote about Cologne I forgot that I'd already written about our rainy entry into Cologne and seeing the chocolate museum. Luckily I wrote the same thing both times, huh?!

As we entered Amsterdam I woke up a few times from 5:30am to 7:00am watching the trees flash by with a gorgeous light shining on them.  I wondered if I should get my camera but eventualy decided that I just wanted to watch the light shine and remember it in my mind.  (What I call a Tom Carter memory.  "Click")

When we woke up we were docked\berthed next to Central Station along with 6 other river boats and an ocean liner. 

Our morning included tour was a canal cruise followed by a visit to either the Van Gogh's museum or the Rijksmuseum which is the national museum.  We chose the Rijksmuseum and I'm so glad we did.  I'll post pictures from the museum in my next post because we enjoyed the museum so much that we went back on our own.

The canal cruise would have been great, but it was the first tour that we've been on where every seat was taken and Ken and I ended up sitting on the backwards facing seats and had to crane our necks to see some things.  However it was fun to see the houseboat that we will be staying at, the Prins & Brouwer, as we sailed by.

The museum was toured in 90 minutes which isn't nearly enough time.  But we managed to see some amazing works of art that I hope I'll never forget.  A lot of college art history memories were stirred up.  Awesome.

Farris - our always smiling waiter

And Violeta!!!  She rocks!!!

The afternoon in Amsterdam was on our own.  I chose to start our packing and Ken went to Central station to look for an ATM.  He ran into my family and they went exploring in preparation for our time on our own.

The ship pulled out while we were at dinner - we had originally been scheduled to stay overnight in Amsterdam but due to some bridge maintenance the ship would be unable to leave Amsterdam if it spent the night.  So we were all on board and sailing at 7pm.  We had a great sunset cruise along the river and when dinner was over the 'usual' group went up on the top deck to hang out.

what a sunset

Scenic sailing view

A chess game started between Greg and Dad and Greg won.  Then Greg heard someone say 'I've got winner' And the next game was on. Greg hung on for a bit.  But eventually he succumbed.  Then dad took up the challenge.  Turn out the 'player' is a top 100 US ranked chess player.  

Watching the chess games, while getting our last minute chats in with the group, was our priority.  Exactly why I'd packed earlier - no hiding in my room tonight.  Score!

Eventually we all had to go to bed though.  Sad goodbyes were said for those who had an 'oh dark thirty' start.  We were scheduled on a 10:30am bus into Amsterdam.

When we woke up we were in "Wijk bij Duurstede, The Netherlands" a pretty little village with a windmill right next to the ship.

Windmill literally next to the ship

 A hidden kasteel (castle)

and yes I find horses wherever I go!   This was on the bus into the city at the end of our cruise.

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