Holland

Jul 13th, 2001, 09:35 AM
  #1  
Ruth
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Holland

We aare planning a trip at the end of July to Amsterdam. We are planning to stay in
Amsterdam(need a suggestion of a 4 or 5 star hotels). We then are p[lanning to drive around the Netherlands(how many days and where should we stay). We then plan to drive to Brussels. From Brussels we plan to drive or take the to Paris. Any suggestions?.We have l5 days
 
Jul 13th, 2001, 09:46 AM
  #2  
Linda
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I can't really help you on your request for hotels, etc, because I don't really know what you like to do, like to see, expect in a hotel, what is your budget, etc. However, time is extremely short if you are going this year! Suggest you immediately do a search on your questions. Just go to the little box at the top of the page. Most of your questions have been answered repeatedly and you can get the answers quickly, instead of waiting for others to respond. Then make your reservations now! I'd suggest three days in Amsterdam, three days touring the Netherlands, two days in Brugge, two days in Brussels, and five days in Paris, with the 15 days you have available. Or just one day in Brussels and four touring the Netherlands.
 
Jul 13th, 2001, 10:27 AM
  #3  
wes fowler
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Here are a couple of ideas that may be of interest to you. They're lengthy so I'll probably have to split them into a number of postings.You won't need and auto to get to Haarlem from Amsterdam; it's only about 15 minutes to a half an hour from Amsterdam depending upon whether you take the train or bus. In addition to the Franz Hals museum, be sure to visit St. Bavo's church in the Great Market Square. It has a magnificent organ (Handel played on it; Mozart may have as a child). Most interesting about the church are the medieval shops that are still clustered around its exterior walls.
Assuming you’re driving to Haarlem, you might want to visit the De Cruquius Museum about 4 miles southeast of Haarlem. The ground you'll be driving on was once an inland sea. The museum, a former pumping station, details how the Netherlanders converted sea to land and the efforts they've taken to hold back the sea. There are some vivid animated scale models showing what the country would look like were it not for pumping stations such as this one. It's in Dreef on the road to Vijfhuizen, an unmarked secondary road leading from Haarlem to Hillegom.

Ijsselmeer, the former Zuider Zee. Take Route A10 north to Route A7/E22 to Wognum and then N302 east to Enkhuizen. Westerstraat, the town’s main street has some lovely 17th century buildings in the Renaissance architectural style. In Enkhuizen you’ll find two related museums; the indoor museum has a collection of the old boats that once sailed the Zuider Zee as well as ship models, exhibits on crafts and fishing methods together with interior rooms in various regional styles and furnishing accompanied by tradition costume displays.

The outdoor museum is comprised of over 100 different building types gathered from a number of Zuider Zee villages that were once fishing villages but have changed their character with the loss of access to the sea. There are houses, shops, gardens and a church all of which have been carefully reinstalled on the museum grounds.

Following the museum tour, continue on Route 302 on the Markerwaarddijk that separates the Markermeer from the Ijsselmeer. When you arrive on the far side of the lakes, you’ll be in Lelystad and Flevoland Province. Look about you. None of what you’re driving on existed 50 years ago. The province is the result of part of a massive dredging project that, when completed, will increase the Netherlands’ land area by almost 10%! Just past Lelystad.you can pick up Route A8 south to Route A1 and Amsterdam


 
Jul 13th, 2001, 10:34 AM
  #4  
wes fowler
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Ruth,
The first sentence of the third paragraph above should read:
Consider driving north of Amsterdam to Enkhuizen on the western shore of the Ijsselmeer, the former Zuider Zee.

Let's move on.

Many tourists to the Netherlands travel to Volendam and Maarken in hopes of seeing traditional customs and costumes. If you are interested in tradition, both cultural and costumed, you might consider this itinerary in conjunction with a visit to the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Nationaal Park De Hoge Veluwe between Apeldoorn and Arnhem. Take Route A1/E231 east from Amsterdam. Just before Apeldoorn, you’ll find Route N304, a scenic road leading to the Kroller-Muller. After satiating yourselves with Van Goghs, return to the A1/E231 and drive west past Apeldoorn to Route A50. Take it north to Staphorst, about 36 miles. There are actually two villages, Staphorst and Rouveen that run together on one rural road west of A50 for about 10kms. You’ll find thatched farm houses and cottages and on Sundays the residents wear traditional costumes. While they offer wonderful photo opportunities, the residents frown on cameras. Don’t aim, focus and shoot without asking prior permission.!

If you intend to visit Leiden, Gouda or Delft, you might continue south towards Rotterdam where you can pick up Route A16 south. Continue a few miles to Route A15 and take it eastward to Alblasserdam. There, at Kinderdijk you’ll find 19 windmills that once drained the Alblasserwaard. The windmills, of various types dating to the early 1700s , line either side of a canal and offer a stunning view. One is open to the public to show a miller’s home. It’s interesting to compare the 18th century means of controlling flood waters with the 20th century’s Delta Plan.

In the early 1950’s a massive disaster struck Zeeland. Dikes were breached on over 60 locations as a result of a monstrous North Sea Storm (think of the movie “The Perfect Storm”). Agricultural crops were destroyed by deposits of silt and sand, nearly 50,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, hundreds and hundreds were drowned. Within seven years the dikes had been rebuilt. Recognizing the dikes’ fragility, the Dutch undertook the Delta Plan, one of the true engineering marvels of the 20th century. In less than twenty years, starting in 1957, all but two of the inlets to the river delta were dammed and an enormous storm-surge barrier constructed. This monster consists of two man made islands and over 60 immense concrete piers between which huge steel gates are suspended, to be dropped when tides and storms threaten the Zeeland farmlands. The Delta Expo exhibit on Neeltje, one of the artificial islands, is situated in one of the barriers and gives fascinating insight into this engineering feat. After experiencing it, you’ll agree with the saying “God made the world, but the Dutch made the Netherlands.” As you travel N57 (and that is the route to take from Vlissingen) through Middelburg to Schouwen island, you’ll find Delta Expo just about in the center of the Oosterscheldedam. Recognize, as you drive through Walcheren, Nord Beveland, Schouwen, Goeree and Voorne, that you are well below sea level for the entire trip.

 
Jul 13th, 2001, 10:47 AM
  #5  
wes fowler
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Ruth,
Consider Aalsmeer. It's a town about 9 miles from Amsterdam where every morning millions and millions of cut flowers are trucked into a mammoth warehouse and auction rooms, auctioned off, then shipped all over Europe for sale the same day. You can tour the whole proceedings on a catwalk high above the warehouse floor and look down upon millions of cut flowers arrayed in two tiers on carts that are pulled into the auction rooms then linked to other carts and trucked to loading docks.
The colors are overwhelming and the fragrances are truly breathtaking.
It's an early morning event but well worth every minute of the experience.

Here's a thought or two about Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, take a stroll along the Herrengracht. It's the canal between the Singel and the Keizersgracht and has the most notable collection of Amsterdam's impressive canal houses. You'll obviously note the varied and distinctive gables of the houses, but keep your eyes open, too, for the cartouches on many of them. There are fascinating details by and over doors and windows that are too frequently overlooked by sightseers. It will only take a few minutes walking for your curiosity to be aroused about what the innards of one of these houses are like. At 605 Herrengracht at the canal's eastern end near the Amstel is the Willet-Holthuysen museum, a furnished three-story home dating from the late 17th century. The museum also has a fine collection of silverware, glass and ceramics. As a bonus, there's a garden in the French style! If you want to pass up the museum, the garden is visible from the Amstelstraat, the street on the banks of the Amstel River.

 
Jul 15th, 2001, 09:57 AM
  #6  
topper
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For Ruth who aparently didn't search
 
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