Subject: RE: Amsterdam
Greetings Ziners.

I also agree with many of the Amsterdam suggestions made. Let me add two additional nearby sites:

1. The Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem is wonderful. Before we went to the Netherlands we read a fictionalized account of Frans Hals' life; it really introduced us to that period of Dutch life and history. Then, to see his paintings in person was a delight. The museum is located in a very old building and is a warren of smallish rooms and corridors filled with wonderful works of art, furniture and other treasures. I highly recommend this rather intimate museum.

2. Another highlight for us was the flower auction in Aalsmeer (almost next to the Amsterdam airport). Let me quote from our travelogue ... Early Thursday morning (I mean early!), we headed to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. This was a really interesting place to see after the tulip fields the night before. The auction takes place in one of the largest buildings in the world. It is the size of 125 soccer fields. Every weekday they sell millions of plants # literally! The tour consists of walking along a catwalk that is suspended over the central part of the building. From there you can look down on innumerable flowers and plants that will be shipped the same day around the world to be sold in florist shops, etc. The staff (thousands of people in total) are moving around the facility like busy bees, some walking, some riding bicycles to get from one side of the building to the other, some are driving little vehicles that trail trolleys of flowers behind them. There's quite a cacophony of noise echoing about the place # machines, shouting and calling. You can't even say the flowers are completely silent, though their noise is in the pungent smell that hits you like a tide as soon as you enter the building.

Hmmm ... I think I want to go back.

35 days to Paris, Janice Toronto, ON