Archive

Archive for the ‘Traveling’ Category

Utrecht, Holland

Utrecht is a city in the central Netherlands that has been a religious center for centuries. It has a medieval old town, canals, Christian monuments and a major university. The Domtoren, a 14th-century bell tower with city views, stands opposite the Gothic Cathedral of St. Martin on central Domplein square. The Museum Catharijneconvent shows religious art and artifacts in a former monastery. It also is a major transportation hub, and with a large train station it has Europe wide connections as well as a direct link to the Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. 
It is also the home of my sister and her family. We enjoy our visits here because the city and surroundings are quite beautiful, and of course we really enjoy family get togethers.  My pictures below highlight our visits to a local garden, the city market, and some local shops. 

Amsterdam, Holland

​Amsterdam is the capital of Holland, my birth country.  The city originates back to the 12th century, and was the seat of the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century.  It is built on wooden pillings in the many canals, which contain many gabled houses of the rich of that era.  Most buildings lean one way or the other because of the settling soils and water table.  Now, Amsterdam still houses international corporations, and wealthy individuals along the many canals.  

Famous Amsterdam residents include Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Spinoza and diarist Anne Frank. The city houses the world’s oldest stock market, has significant museums and cultural attractions, and a world famous concert hall.  It is also well known for its red light district and cannabis coffee shops.  It draws some 5 million visitors annualy.

We visited the the newly rebuilt Rijksmuseum, home of many famous paintings and artworks.  We toured the streets in a hop on hop off bus, and the canals via boat.   It’s a great place to visit, everything is accessible.  But be prepared to share everything with huge crowds… the city is very popular.

Categories: Traveling

Amsterdam, Holland

​Amsterdam is the capital of Holland, my birth country.  The city originates back to the 12th century, and was the seat of the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century.  It is built on wooden pillings along the many canals, which contain the many gabled houses of the rich of that era.  Many buildings have a decided lean because of the settling soil and water table.  Now, it still houses international corporations, and many wealthy individuals live alongside the canals— ans some in houseboats.

Famous Amsterdam residents include Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Spinoza and diarist Anne Frank. The city houses the world’s oldest stock market, has significant museums and cultural attractions, and a world famous concert hall.  It is also well known for its red light district and cannabis coffee shops.  It draws some 5 million visitors annualy.

We visited the the newly rebuilt Rijksmuseum, home of many famous paintings and artworks.  We toured the streets in a hop on hop off bus, and the canals via boat.   It’s a great place to visit, everything is accessible.  But be prepared to share everything with huge crowds… the city is very popular.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, sits on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager. It’s linked to Malmo in southern Sweden by the Öresund Bridge. Indre By, the city’s historic center, contains Frederiksstaden, an 18th-century rococo district, home to the royal family’s Amalienborg Palace. Nearby is Christiansborg Palace and the Renaissance-era Rosenborg Castle, surrounded by gardens and home to the crown jewels.

We had a walking tour from the ship along the docks, saw the famous mermaid, and toured the inner city.  Lots of outdoor eateries and coffee shops!  We ended the day with a canal and river cruise, and were fortunate to see tall ships in port as well as on the move.  Complete with something like 60 sailors in the rigging!

Pictures do not have captions because I don’t remember all the names and I couldn’t spell tham anyway.


Categories: Traveling Tags: , ,

Stockholm, Sweden

The cruise in and out of Stockholm is very scenic, it reminded us of British Columbia and Alaska.  Lots of islands.  And no matter how small, the Swedes can build a house on it!

Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, encompasses 14 islands and more than 50 bridges on an extensive Baltic Sea archipelago. The cobblestone streets and ochre-colored buildings of the Old Town are home to the 13th-century Storkyrkan Cathedral, the Kungliga Slottet Royal Palace and the Nobel Museum, which focuses on the Nobel Prize. Ferries and sightseeing boats shuttle passengers between the islands.

We took the ship shuttle in to town and had a very interesting Free Walking Tour, after which we explored Old Town and enjoyed the scenery.  And, of course, we found some good hot food and drink, it is still very cold here!



Categories: Traveling Tags: , ,

Porvoo, Finland (Helsinki)

May 15, 2017 1 comment

Next on our Baltic tour was Finland.  Our port was Helsinki, a rapidly growing city of some 800,000 people. We had a bus tour of the city and then of to the town of Porvoo.

Porvoo is one of six medieval cities in Finland.  It was first mentioned n writings dating back to the 14th century.  It has retained much of its original cobbled streets, narrow walkways, smal shops and a historic church.

St. Petersburg, Day Two

Our second day in St. Petersburg was highlighted by a visit to the Hermitage.  Russia’s largest museum, and one of the oldest in the world, it has over 400,000 works of art.  And that includes such famous artists as Rembrand, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Commissioned by Catherine the Great in 1714, it has been open to the public since 1852. Our 2 hour visit was just enough to get an idea of the depth of works that are on display here.

The Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood was a memorial erected on the site where Tsar Alex II was murdered in 1881.  However, the actual burial place is in the Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral.  The latter is the oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, it was started in 1717.  The gilded spire is the tallest in the world.  The cathedral now contains the remain of most all the Russion emperors and Czars.

We also had a canal crcuise, notable that when Peter laid our the plans for the city the intent was to make all transportation via boat.  Hence the multiple rivers and canals, and the title of “Venice of the North”.  Finally, a ride in the subway was most interesting. the tracks are the deepest and the escalator down was almost scary.