Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Amsterdam and Other Dams, Holland

To See Our Photos of Holland, Click Here

Stiffler and Martin in Amsterdam
Borrowing a car from Kim, we hit the road in search of Amsterdam.  We have visited Amsterdam before, but on this return, we were strictly going to visit our friend Steef Fleur (or Stiffler), whom we met in Vietnam, then traveled with in China, Tibet and Hong Kong.  Stiffler had spent some time in Brazil, but we were happy to find her home in Amsterdam.

We arrived in the afternoon, and basically just had enough time to walk through town, before meeting Stiffler.  I do love Amsterdam...love the feel of it, love the look of it, and it's just nice walking through the city.  It has a relaxed atmosphere, and doesn't feel like a big city.

It was great to meet up with Stiffler - it's been about 6 years since we saw her last.  We caught up of course, and made a lovely dinner at her place, and met her boyfriend.  A funny part of the night was when we couldn't find a pump for the air mattress, and each had to take turns blowing it up manually.

A nice breakfast, and that was it.  A short visit, but well worth the drive.  We decided to take a scenic route home, and after The Hague and Rotterdam, we turned towards the coastline, and followed the
water down to Zealand.  In this area, there are huge dam and dike structures to control against
Protective Coastal Dams in Zealand
flooding in the lowlands of the Netherlands (which is pretty much all of it!.  They control the amount of water that is let in, and out of the delta.  I think one of the dams was actually about 8km long, which you can drive across.   There are also plenty of modern wind farms along the coast, along with a few remaining  traditional style windmills.

Down on Zealand, there were a couple of very picturesque little towns.  Middelburg and Vlissingen had a lot of character, with old style architecture built around clean canals.  There were some large sailboats in Middelburg, parked outside people's houses.  A nice lifestyle considering they are inland from the coast, but still have access to get their sailboats out on the ocean!!  A great drive, but a quick trip to Holland.  Back to Belgium!!   *Stub
Sailboats in the Canal in Middelburg

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