The Netherlands

It's not hard to remember that much of the Netherlands lies below sea level - everywhere you go are canals. I didn't see much of the southern part of the country, except for a little bit driving up from Antwerp. Most of my time was spent in North Holland, though I did drive up through the north. I didn't learn much Dutch before I started on my trip, but after a week there I actually started to pick a little bit up. However, everyone I talked to spoke English.

Viewed from a distance, I was startled by the sight of these lizards! They looked real to me (and no, I wasn't coming from a coffee shop.) They were walking on top of a short wall as well as crawling through the grass. Amsterdam has quite a few interesting modern art pieces around the town.

Houseboats along a canal. A lot of these didn't look like they actually ever went anywhere. There is a wide range of boat quality - some looked nearly uninhabitable, some were very well kept up and homey - and everything in between. My next trip I would like to stay at one - just to see what it's like to live on the water.

Up north in Groningen - I drove up along the coast and back through the inner country. Groningen has a very cool museum - the Groninger - sitting on islands with part of the museum under water. Even the underside of the raisable bridge was decorated with goofy artwork. Even with no exhibits, this museum would be worth seeing for the building alone.

A view down a canal in Delft towards the Old Church. The canals here were narrower than Amsterdam and weren't used as floating living quarters. Delft was having a carnival in their main square, so it was hard to appreciate the main buildings. I met up with two members of a travel mailing list that I'm on (The Travelzine) here for lunch and dinner.

A section of the ceiling in the church St. Bavo. This church had many beautiful and sometimes unusual features. Wood carvings, 3 suspended models of Dutch warships, a carved tableau found in a wall, and a majestic organ created by Christian Muller between 1735 and 1738, among other items.

Windmills in Zaanse Schans. This is a planned village replica and the windmills have been moved here for preservation. I only saw a few of these old time windmills during my travels - I also saw modern ones. Unfortunately, it wasn't windy so they weren't moving. It was interesting to tour them anyway. One of them was used to grind pigments for dyes, I wasn't aware they were used for that.


For more info, or comments or questions - email me: .

Click on the link below to go back to my travel page.

Marguerite's travel page