The Spring 2004 Trip to Europe

Part 4 - Amsterdam and Northward

Enkuisen Docks
We emerged from the Ijssel River into the Ijsselmeer, which used to be known as the Zuiderzee.  On the eastern boundary of the Ijsselmeer, not very far from the North Sea, the old fishing village of Enkhuizen has been preserved as an Open Air Museum.  This is the dock area of Enkhuizen, where the fishing boats would moor and unload their catches.
Enkhuisen Canal
The entire village of Enkhuizen has been preserved, and this is the main street.  The row to the left is mainly shops, and beyond the trees on the right you find homes.  The boat waiting has the familiar lee boards for stability.
Lock outside Enkhuisen
In order to manage the water levels in Amsterdam and below, the Zuiderzee has been split into the outer Ijsselmeer and the inner Markermeer.  The two are separated by a dike, and the locks boats use to pass the dike actually pass over the highway that runs along the dike.  The locks have two lanes, we are headed south, and the boats we see here are headed north.
Hoorn Weigh Station
The last stop before Amsterdam is the town of Hoorn.  It had a protected location on the Zuiderzee, so it became an important port early in the 14th century.  This is the weighing station, an important spot in all of these trading towns.
Canal and bridge in Hoorn
The river Gouw flowed to the Zuiderzee, and now it is a shopping street.  We have seen this style of bridge everywhere in the Netherlands.
MS Switzerland in Amstredam
For our last stop, the MS Switzerland docked just in back of Amsterdam Centraal, the main railway station and transportation hub.  The highest deck and the pilot house on the Switzerland are arranged so they can be collapsed, allowing it to pass under bridges that don't lift.
Canal in Amsterdam
In central Amsterdam, canals are lined with walkways and streets.  Parking is clearly at a premium, and care is required to avoid an inadvertent car wash.
Amsterdam Bridges
Bridges and boats.  Some of the boats substitute for cars or trucks, but may others are residential.  Living on a boat on an Amsterdam canal is very stylish.
Amsterdam Street
Amsterdam also has streets.  Particularly near Amsterdam Centraal, it is hard to forget that you are in a historical port city.  All nationalities are represented, and there is no shortage of pubs.  The abundance of orange decorations are in honor of the Queen's official birthday, which was celebrated while we were there.  The Dutch royal family is from the House of Orange.
Royal Palace in Amstredam
The historic palace in Amsterdam is still used for official functions, but the queen's residence is in Den Haag, the other half of the Netherlands capital.
Bicycles outside Amsterdam Centraal
These bicycles are parked in a multistory bike garage outside Amsterdam Centraal.  Walking around Amsterdam, it seemed like the bicycles were a bigger danger than the cars.
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