by Annette Dixon
The name Holland is synonymous with the
name Netherland. In Holland our cruise took
us on the Amstel River and docked in
Amsterdam, which gave us two nights and three days to see many sights and sounds of Amsterdam.
Starting with a walk from the pier to Central
Station, where the first bus ride took us around
the largest city in Holland to the Royal Palace;
we also saw churches in use and not in use, the
Red Light District, Artist Royal Zoo, the Heineken Brewery and Old Town. We then proceeded our journey to Rotterdam, the second largest city. There we saw the famous 39 Rijnmond Cube Houses constructed in 1977 and 19 windmills which is a Unesco World Heritage
Sight. Many of the government buildings and commercial ones were also pointed out, Rotterdam is Europe’s largest sea harbor and impressive city for business.
Our tour continued to The Hague where we did get to see the history we paid to see. The Hague originated around 1230 AD, and now is the 3rd
largest city in Holland with over one million people including the suburbs. It is the home to the Royal Family and the Parliament. Art pieces
including works of Vermeer and VanDyck, as
well as large Rembrandt paintings are visible
throughout the center of The Hague. The buildings within the center include the Binnehof, the Noordeinde Palace, the Mauritshuis Museum, the Nieuwe Kerk, the Grote Kerk Water, the Old City Hall as well as the current
City Hall. The architecture varies from medieval to the 20th century in The Hague and it is divided into 8 districts, which then becomes neighborhoods.
Delft is another famous city, mostly known for its priceless blue porcelain pottery. It is a city which is located again on canals and situated north of Rotterdam and south of The Hague. It has a historic town center, Delft University of Technology, a well known artist, Johannes Vermeer, and scientist Antonie Phillips Van Leeuwenhoek, born 1632 and died 1723; he is commonly known as the Father of Microbiology
and considered the first Microbiologist.
This was an extraordinarily busy day from 7am to 10pm and it was great to get back on our river cruise ship for a variety of food and wines. The next day we were on our own. I had previously
purchased tickets for the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum. Because of the use of public transportation in the city, I was able take a ride on the canals to the vast four corners of Amsterdam and use their bus and train service. What I didn’t get to see in the past two days, I saw on the third day, before the cruise ship left for Germany.