I am a little behind in posting from yesterday, after leaving for the day at 8:30 we didn’t return until 10:30 and we were just too tired to think by then! It was a very good day and we covered a lot of ground. First we headed to The Hague which is the government seat of Holland. On our way in we passed the queen’s motorcade (or I’m pretty sure we did so I’m sticking to it!). Not far from the queen’s residence was a police escorted motorcade headed their way, so we will continue to believe we had a close brush with royalty. The bus stopped long enough to take some pictures of the Peace Palace then we headed to Rotterdam.
Our stop in Rotterdam was at the Euromast Tower, visitors to the tower get a wonderful view of the city and harbor of Rotterdam, we rode it all the way to the top, lots of fun! The harbor is incredibly large, bigger than any we have seen.
Next was Delft. First we visited the Royal Delft pottery factory to see how they make the Delft pottery and to hear the history of Delft. Some of the work they do is incredible, I’m including a picture of The Night Watchman by Rembrandt recreated full size with Delft pottery – pretty amazing! Then we had time to visit the town of Delft. It is a really pretty city with lots of canals and buildings set along the canals. We enjoyed our visit there with a beer and some really delicious cheese sticks!
By this time it was late afternoon and we headed back to Amsterdam for a Hidden Amsterdam tour. First we went to the Begijnenhof, this is where unmarried women lived hundreds of years ago. It also near the orphanage that was in use for hundreds of years. Women can still rent apartments in the Begijnenhof but don’t have to be from Catholic or Protestant churches as was true in the past, now they just have to prove that they are religious women.
A highlight of the day was touring Anne Frank’s house, it is a somber experience but very well done. We were able to go up and walk through the annex where Anne and family hid from the nazis and then were later found. We didn’t sign the guest book, Justin Bieber raised enough outcry with his entry, we didn’t want to cause any more problems! LOL
After this we had dinner in one of the oldest houses in Amsterdam which is saying a lot since it is a very old city! In contrast. To the very somber Anne Frank House, our night ended with a light hearted stroll through the Red Light District. A group of 20 of us walked with our tour guide through the district and had a great time. Everyone was cracking jokes and of course the men decided that we walked faster there than we had all day to their chagrin!
Today we leave Amsterdam for good and head to Luxembourg for two nights. On the way we will visit De Haar Castle, the cities of Maastricht and Bastogne before we end our day. We are looking forward to another great day!