Take a Ride Through the Many Canals
Favorite thing: There are many opportunities to see Amsterdam by water... It is amazing how many homes and businesses are so close, but it is understandable once you see how many canals and how much water is a part of this city!
The picture here is one taken by the photographers who hope to make money selling the pictures to you once you complete your tour... What can I say? I fell for it! Now, I'm glad I did because it is one of the few pics I have from Amsterdam that I can share with you... Check out the style and fashion then... LOL Paul and Barb Irving are just behind me...
Favorite thing: Marken is not far from Amsterdam, in the former Zuiderzee (now called Ijsselmeer), an island now joined to the mainland by a land bridge.
It still has many wooden houses, and you can still see people wearing local costume, not just for tourists. You should at least visit the harbour.
Marken became prosperous in times when the population fished for whales, but when the Zuiderzee was dammed in the people of Marken had to find an alternative source of income. The solution was found in using the boats for the transport of hay. Before the Zuiderzee was dammed in Marken was flooded regularly and during long and severe winters drift ice would reach up to the lighthouse.
Fondest memory: The island's wood-carving is famous and is demonstrated at the clog maker's, I have found that most of the people who visited Marken had this photo! hahahaha
There are organised coach tours (f42.50), but for much less money you can take bus 111 from Central Station with the season ticket for a day, we travelled for the hole day by bus for only f16.50.
Favorite thing: Volendam is more than just a tourist centre and a fishing village, with its maze of fishermen’s houses built on poles and a unique open harbour still in its original state.
Fondest memory: Just behind the dyke there is another Volendam with narrow streets, fishermen's cottages, an old labyrinth, narrow canals and clogs still outside the doors. At festivals many of the inhabitants still dress in Volendam costume as if time had stood still.
Favorite thing: Edam Cheese has become a brand name. It is not only produced in Edam but throughout the Netherlands and even abroad. Cheese markets are still held in the summer months. They are not held for trade purposes, but for their tourist value.
The old town centre and especially the Kwakelsteeg still has lovely characteristic Waterland houses.
The scene in the centre is set by the Bell Tower, with a peal of bells dating from 1561.
The town arose from a settlement of farmers and fishermen in the 12th century.
Fondest memory: The place became famous for the round ball cheese, the 'Edammer' which was exported from here to every quarter of the globe. Edam is still a cheese trading centre with a cheese market around the Waag early every Wednesday morning in July and August.
Favorite thing: The Zaanse Schans is a reconstruction of a Zaans residential and working neighbourhood. In this open-air museum there are around twenty wooden houses, mills and storehouses from the 17th and 18th centuries. In all the site has nine mills including the 'De Zoeker' oil mill of 1673 and the 'De Kat' windmill of 1782. A tour boat leaves the Mosterdmolen mustard mill every hour for a trip past the mills and houses of the Zaanse Schans. In addition, visitors can pay a visit to the bakery museum, the Netherlands Clock Museum, a cloggers' and a cheese-makers'.
Favorite thing: Everyone knows Alkmaar as a city of cheese. On friday morning from half of april till half of september there is a cheesemarket for almost 400 years on the Waagplein around de Weighhouse. There you can find the Dutch Cheesemuseum. But the city can show you more than cheese only.
Alkmaar is a mediaval town and you can still see that in the old center with a labyrinth of small streets
Bergen aan Zee
Favorite thing: Five kilometres to the west is Bergen aan Zee, separated from the beach and the North Sea only by a line of dunes.
The village lies in the middle of the natural beauty of the Schoorl Forestry Area and the Noord-Holland Dune Reserve.
In summer the village is primarily a bathing resort with a freely accessible beach with a variety of facilities and a naturist area on the northern side.
This village is recommended not only for bathing but also for surfing and catamaran sailing.
Favorite thing: This town on the IJsselmeer offers a combination of old and new. Monumental facades tell of the history of this former Dutch East India Company town.
Fondest memory: Around the harbour there is something of everything to be found; an old lock, cheese warehouses and fully-equipped modern marinas.
Favorite thing: Although nowadays Johannes Vermeer is one of the most acclaimed European painters, during his lifetime his popularity was rather moderate and limited to Delft and its close neighbourhood. Then completely forgotten for almost one hundred years, he was rediscovered in mid-19th century and since then his fame has been steadily growing.
There are just 36 paintings by Vermeer that have survived to our times (actually, he probably didn't paint many more). They can be seen in various museums in Europe ( 22 paintings) and America ( 14).
The geographical distribution of Vermeer's pictures can be found on a very interesting website devoted to the painter:
In Amsterdam in the Rijksmuseum we can see four pictures:
The Little Street
The Love Letter
Woman in Blue Reading a :Letter
Fondest memory: I love Vermeer and "The Little Street" is one of my favourite pictures. It shows a red brick house with step gables. Looking at it I could imagine myself walking along a street of Delft in the mid-17th and being a witness of this ordinary but beautiful scene shown in the small painting. The four little figures - two women preoccupied with their chores and two children engaged in their play - can come unnoticed in the first moment, but in fact they are indispensable elements that make the scene 'alive'.
The amount, or rather the quality of details, bring in result the highest level of realism. The red-brownish bricks, the rows of cobblestones, the water in the gutter look very life-alike. The artist achieved this impression by applying a thick layer of paint in some places and a thin one in others, changing also the texture fom smooth to grainy. As usual in his paintings, also here Vermeer proves to be the master of light. The sky is cloudy but with visible reflections of the sun.
All in all, the picture is just beautiful.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: The scenery, canals, food and buildings have to be the best. Oh! and the service in the hotels!
Fondest memory: I will always remember my trip to Holland because its where my late fiance and I had our first and last proper holiday. He took me touring, showed me the sights and bought me my engagement ring on a day trip over the border to Antwerp.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Arts and Culture
Favorite thing: There are so many places to be visited that I do not know where to start.
Fondest memory: Riding over the old, meandering dikes through the landscape
Provincie Noord-Holland Hotels
My son and grandmother shared a room at the Ambassade, where we were greeted by a very friendly and...more
True, the Carlton Square isn't close to the train station (a 15 minute walk). But it is close to the...more
Dillenburgstraat 1, Alkmaar, 1814 JV, nl
Good for: Families
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