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Thread: Tulip Time River Cruise

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    bbangel's Avatar
    bbangel is offline Those of us on the fun coast can party some more!

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    Default Tulip Time River Cruise

    Having always wanted to go see the tulips in Holland, I jumped at the chance to join my stepmother for a river cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium. We ended up on the Avalon Artistry, which was a fairly new, quite large river boat, for a week of cruising.



    The worst part of the trip is the 9 hour flight from Vancouver to Amsterdam. We did manage to get a direct flight on KLM. We left at dinner time on Saturday and got to Amsterdam at about 1:30 in the afternoon on Sunday.

    By 4 we were on the boat and getting unpacked in our room. The room was quite big for a boat and we had a fairly big window given that we were right at the water line.



    The ship was pretty noisy, particularly when we went through locks. Since we often were traveling at night, we didn’t sleep very well. I guess jet lag didn’t help with that. By 5:30 am the next morning we were up and waiting for breakfast.

    Our first stop was in Nijmegen, where we got onto busses to take us to Arnhem. The WWII battle that took place in the area was the inspiration for A Bridge too Far. We visited a war cemetery and a museum, where we learned about the challenges the region faced during the battle and the months afterward. Since many of the people on the boat were directly impacted by the war it was a somewhat emotional visit.



    By contrast our next stop was in Dordrecht where we again went by bus to see the windmills at Kinderdijk. Given how windy it was at the site, I fully understand why that was a technology that spread throughout the region.

    Last edited by bbangel; 04-28-2008 at 02:43 PM.
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    Waiting for more!
    Been here for almost 10 years...eep.

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    Sounds quite interesting!
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    Megan, I can't wait to read more! I loved our trip to the Netherlands a few years ago. Mine was a land tour, so can't wait to see it from your perspective.
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    So glad that you started this TR! Can't wait to read some more!
    Angela
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    So interesting..........can't wait for more.
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    Okay, I've added in some photos. Working on the next day now!
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    Awesome pics! Such a great view.
    Can't wait to read more!
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    Default From Hail to Waffles

    We docked in Antwerp in the wee hours of the next morning. We did a walking tour of the city centre with Johan, who was great. We had some crazy weather, with wind, rain and even some hail. I felt sorry for some of the southerners in the group as they didn't really have proper clothes for the weather. After the first hour (and we were all soaked) the rain stopped and the sun tried to shine. Since the Canadians had liberated Antwerp we did get a few expressions of thanks from people. Kind of made me feel awkward as I didn't do anything!

    There were some hidden treasures in Antwerp, like this statue on the side of a restored church.



    Coolest building in Antwerp was the Atomium, built for the World's Fair in the 50's.



    After touring Antwerp and lunch back on the boat, we headed off by bus to Brussels. This was our first optional excursion and I'm glad we decided to go. Brussels was a really mixed city, with old world stuff and then modern, European capital stuff as well. I highly recommend the waffles in Brussels.

    Strange happening of the day was when a local rear ended our bus (which none of us felt) and actually approached our driver at the next light to let him know. Meant we got out of the bus to walk in the park near the palace while the driver did some paperwork.

    The oddest thing about the city, is that their icon is a small statue of a peeing boy called Manekinpis (I'm probably not spelling that right).



    He is so popular that people have donated outfits and he has a museum filled with over 600 of them! The day we went he was dressed as a Hungarian soldier in honour of that country's president visiting the city.
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    Great TR so far, Megan. I'm really forward of more to come. I do remember seeing the Atomium, but never went in it. It seems to be more of an architectural sight than a place to go into.

    Were you able to try some Belgium chocolate? Oh, yummy!
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