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The Netherlands

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Zandvoort

Zandvoort is a small seaside town 28 minutes by train from Amsterdam.  Like so many seaside towns, it is just a little rundown, but full of shops and restaurants.  We had had enough of city life and we thought that it would be nice to fly our kites on the beach for a few days.  Of course on our arrival day the wind was roaring, in fact there was a serious risk of being sandblasted out on the beach.  There were surfers on short little boards, using Parasails and they were having a blast!  It was very impressive, but too windy for our kites.  And, of course, the next three days there was no wind whatsoever!  Perfect weather, however, to break in Tasha's new Frisbee! 

We rode bikes through the sand dunes national park.  We saw these beasts and stopped to ask others on the path what they were.  "Scottish Highlanders!"  they told us.  When we mentioned that we were thinking buffalo.  They laughed and said that perhaps they were in fact the rare wild Netherlandian buffalo that had been first spotted in the time of the Dutch Indians. 

 

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It was warm enough to contemplate swimming, but only for a moment.  The girls gave the surf a try.  We adults intelligently stayed dry. 

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                                                                                                    A mobile snack bar - hauled in for the day, then hauled back out.

 

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Anika does her "no one's looking" beach dance.

 

Yannis and Newenka have some fun with silhouettes.

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IMG_5388.jpg The maids had a little fun with Anika's bed one morning. 

 


Amsterdam

We only spent a day in the city, but we really enjoyed our day.  We rode though the canals, visited the Anne Frank House, toured the Van Gogh Museum and paid the exorbitant fee to get into Madame Tousaud's Wax Museum (not worth it!)

 

IMG_5367.jpg At the van Gogh Museum (no photos inside, sorry Yannis).

 

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At Madame Tousaud's Wax Museum  (cute, but way overpriced)

 

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On the canals

 

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Along the canals - it's kind of interesting to see buildings leaning in various directions due to the soft ground.

 

IMG_5353.jpg Waiting in line at the Anne Frank Museum.  Hi Tory, hi Madison! 

 

 

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There is nothing quite so cool as seeing the bicycles in the Netherlands!  Everyone rides bikes! Bikes seem to have the right-of-way over everything.  Bike parking is provided everywhere, including a 3 story bike parking structure at the central train station in Amsterdam.  You had better remember where you parked though!

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And they have so many special purpose bikes! 

ZE2G5299.jpg Specially designed for carrying larger loads - in this case, 2 kids in the multipurpose basket.

 

We had a look at one of the Dutch specialty bike manufacturers' web site and found that they sell all of these cool models

De FietsfabriekDe Fietsfabriek

 

 

 

 

 

More information is available on the Fietsfabriek website

 

 

De Fietsfabriek  De Fietsfabriek  De Fietsfabriek


 

On the way "out of Dodge"

We really wanted to see the inside of a windmill, so we stopped by the Zaanse Schans Windmill Museum. 

We watched them use a windmill to press peanuts into peanut oil.  We also saw a demonstration of how wooden shoes are made, which was a most impressive demonstration - it took the craftsman a matter of minutes to create a wooden shoe.

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And, finally, we took the causeway that now separates what was the Zuiderzee into the Waddenzee (near the North Sea) and the Ijsselmeer.  It is about 30km long and acts as a dike between the two bodies of water to control the waterlevel and flooding around Holland.  What an engineering feat! 

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An overlook and information area near the middle.                   Looking down the seemingly endless and straight causeway with the North Sea on the right.

 

From the Netherlands we head for Hamburg, where Newenka's high school is celebrating it's 50th anniversary. 

 

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Last modified: 06/13/08