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Amsterdam & Rhine River Cruise - June 2009

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Here are a few pictures of our visit to Amsterdam and the Rhine River Cruise (up the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland). We spent some time in Amsterdam before the cruise, and another few days there after the cruise because Kathy participated in the Euro FM Conference.  Amsterdam is a fun city and the Rhine River cruise was great.
Phil and Lyn Youngberg joined us for this great experience.  Below are a few pictures.

Click here to play video of how to pronounce Van Gogh

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Above and Below:  Four remaining windmills of about 1,000 windmills from the 1600's along the Zaan River.  These four still perform the old chores of grinding grain, sawing lumber, as well as the orignial use: pumping water.  I went inside one that was grinding corn, quite a show. 

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Above and Below:  Wooden shoe shop, they make them here.  We watched a pair of wooden shoes being made.  People here actually use the wooden shoes for garden work.

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Above and Below:  The small historic town of Edam (east dam) located about 30 miles east of downtown Amsterdam along the original dam, which dates back to the early 1500's.  The buildings shown here were constructed in the mid-1500's.

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Several Pictures Below:  Below are scenes from our Amsterdam canal tour.

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Below:  Picture taken by Kathy of seven canal bridge tunnels, all lined up just for photographers.

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Above and Below: Bicycles everywhere, more bicycles than cars.  They have dedicated bike lanes on all streets.  We saw no chubby bikers.

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Below:  Lyn and Phil in front of the Anne Frank house, which we toured.  This is a thought provoking tour, well worth the effort. 

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Below:  Several pictures of our Rhine River Cruise.  We were on a ship that is about 400 feet long (pictured below), with about 198 people on board.  The cruise included a nice room, three meals each day, beautiful scenery along the Rhine, and several excursions to interesting historic places along the way.

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Below:  In front of the famous Cathedral of Cologne.  The construction of this cathedral took 632 years to complete.  When completed, it looked exactly like the original drawings, drawn in the mid 1100's.

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Below:  Entrance to a train tunnel, constructed to look like a castle.  During World War II, the Allied Forces agreed to avoid bombing the historic churches and castles of Germany.  So, the Germans constructed these fake castles in an attempt to protect their rail lines.  We saw several of these along the Rhine.

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Below:  One of several historic castles along the Rhine.  These date back to the 1100's.  We toured a couple of castles during the cruise.

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Below:  We met several wonderful people during our eight day cruise, but the most wonderful of the group are pictured below.  Bill and Mary Cerny live in South Bend, Indiana, and spend winter months in Venice, Florida.  They made the cruise very enjoyable for us.

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Below:  This is one of several 5,000 gallon wine barrels inside the Heidelberg Castle.  Wine was actually used as currency back then.

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Above and Below:  Strasbourg, very easy to make "postcard pictures" here.

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