|Subject: brief travel log - part 2|
Holland is such a beautiful place. The pride of the Dutch is taking the
land back from the sea. I had no idea that Amsterdam was built entirely
on piers in the water. It is a very eerie feeling to
drive along a dike on the low side with the water 30 feet above you on
the other side.
We stayed with friends in Weesp. It is about 10 miles east of A'dam. The first day, we traveled to Muiderberg and ate in a very old (1882) restaurant/cafe called 'T Lagerhuys. I can certainly recommend the Chicken Sate. The french fries in Holland are notorious. Even though this style of potato began in Belgium, Holland does them very nicely. In this particular restaurant I was moaning and groaning over the fries. Whatever you do in Holland, be sure and have a Gladiator beer! It is delicious! It is not easy to find - you might have to go to the grocery store to get it - it is strictly domestic. The other is Vos. Gladiator is preferred, though.
We visited Marken, where the people dress in old time Dutch outfits. Very charming. You must drive along the Dike to get there and the trip is wonderful. Another must do.
We also traveled up the coast to a North Sea beach. What a sight! WOW! That is one angry sea! It was very cold and cloudy and we enjoyed every single minute of it. There were even some guys out surfing!
We went all over Amsterdam on foot. No tour, just our friends. He is a tax man in the City and knows it very well. Just an FYI: the tax is assessed according to the number of windows a building has.
Don't miss the little square where the Christian Church is where the pilgrims worshipped. The square is still women only in residence. It is very quiet and lovely in this beautiful city. Don't miss the red light district! It's a must. The shop windows will knock you over (as will the girls if you laugh and they think it is at them), just don't breath too deeply if you can help it - especially anywhere near the coffee shops! Our friend was an A'dam Policeman years ago and told us that there are so many plain clothed policemen around that part of the city you have nothing to fear. He said that the drug scene is more controlled than people think (that's sure not what it was like when I was there for the very first time in '69! The place was FILLED with draft dodgers stoned out of their minds. I was very glad that was gone). People are discouraged from walking around smoking marijuana but rather encouraged to do that in one of the MANY coffee shops. Having a personal guide with behind the scene stories was fabulous. The Dutch are such warm people and very jolly. We liked that about them. Maybe it's all the coffee... ? All kidding aside, we learned that most parents there do not approve of drug use by their children. We had a somewhat different notion about that. We were actually relieved to learn of their disapproval and strict attitudes.
There are so many museums it is impossible to single any one of them out and no time to see ALL of them in one stay. One thing for sure, if you want to see Anne Frank's house - go early. The line winds around the corner very quickly.
We visited Delft as well. What a beautiful spot. Be sure and eat pancakes when you're there. There are many shops there with the Delft pottery, but look for the huge blue glass heart right off the main square. It sits all alone in the middle of an island dividing the streets and it is beautiful. The color is magnificent.
Part 3 coming up!