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Thursday, June 27, 2013


SUNDAY - Amsterdam, Volendam and Edam

Dick is up early and looking for coffee. The ship has coffee and pastries set out in the front, lounge area and, with coffee in hand, he watches the sun rise.

After breakfast, we take a very short bus ride to another dock area where we board a boat for a canal tour. We did a canal boat tour last Fall and it was fun so we are going to do it again. This tour covers some spots we did not see last time and does some different canals too. We sail through the old shipyard area from the 1600s and see a replica Dutch East Indiaman.

The tour takes about two hours and the day is bright and clear. We thoroughly enjoy our ride.

After the canal boat ride, we are given a bus tour through the downtown area past Dam Square and the Palace and stop near the Begijnhof. Here we walk through the small square where an antique book market was set up last Fall to a hidden square. The entrance looks just like a door into someone home, but inside is short walkway that opens into a beautiful courtyard style garden with a small, old church surrounded by what was once a convent and is now homes....neat!

After that visit we are given a few minutes to shop the market. Carolyn finds a couple with some beautiful handmade jewelry and buys a wonderful necklace in gold, crystals, turquoise and pearls that she can't live with out! Well it will look great with the earrings from India!  

Returning to the boat for the noon sailaway, we enjoy a light lunch in the lounge watching the sail to Volendam. To get there we traverse some locks and go out into what used to be part of the Zuidersee. Now it is an lake called the Markemeer. The whole trip is only about 15 miles but it takes three hours including the time in the locks. We arrive in Volendam at 3PM.

Volendam is a very traditional fishing village and it is Sunday afternoon. It is a popular destination for the locals and the village is set up to cater to the tourist trade. We are met by a young lady who will be our guide for a walk through Volendam, with a running commentary on what we are seeing and the inbred social order of the town. After a lengthy stroll, including a visit to the local churchyard cemetery, we board a bus for the short drive to Edam, home of the famous cheese.

There is not spare land in The Netherlands and it is quite crowded with the houses being quite small. But, all is neat, clean and well maintained. After a 15 minute drive of only some three miles, we come to Edam and get out for another guided walk.


We see some of the old locks and wharfs from the 1600s and stop at the "weighing house," where, in times past, the round Edam cheeses were brought to be weighed and sold. There is a large crowd here but we catch a break in the action and see the museum displays and buy some cheese for ourselves.

We end our tour by walking on through this tiny town to the parking lot where we reboard the bus and head back to Volendam. 

Have some time to spare Dick stays in town to do a little shopping but the offerings are all tourist stuff however he does buy Jack a pin! Carolyn goes on back to the boat. When Dick returns, we enjoy cocktails and nice music by the resident pianist in the lounge. Sail away is at 7:30PM as we enjoy a good Dutch dinner. Tonight we sail overnight to Arnhem. The entertainment is a Dutch clog making demonstration and Folklore dances. Carolyn would like to go but we are both very tired still and decide the comfortable bed sounds better.

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