the Netherlands: Short list

Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:11 PM
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the Netherlands: Short list

Given a two week rail vacation centered in Amsterdam, so far I have scheduled ...

- Alkmaar
- Amrsfoort
- Amsterdam (multiple days)
- Apeldoorn (Het Loo)
- Delft
- Den Haag
- Dordrecht
- Haarlem
- Keukenhof
- Kinderdijk
- Leiden
- Scheveningen
- Zaanse Schans

Two days remain unaccounted for - more if I choose to spend either Remembrance Day or Liberation Day somewhere other than Amsterdam. Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:21 PM
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I like Utrecht.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:45 PM
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I assume you are going to Dordrecht in order to go to Kinderdijk? I can't think of any other reason to go there particularly. You could go to Rotterdam and get the boat to Kinderdijk from there. Rotterdam lacks the historic buildings of other Dutch cities but does have some interesting modern architecture.
Utrecht would be worth visiting, though maybe not not on a Sunday.
Or somewhere like Kampen and/or Zwolle maybe.
Many cities will have a free pop concert on on Bevrijdingsdag. You may want to check that out before deciding on a destination for that day. If you go somewhere on May 4th remember the trains will stop for the 2 minutes silence at 8pm. You may want to take part in the ceremony on the Dam - even though you won't understand what is said it is a very moving experience. I always go to our local service, as do my (adult)sons who go with the seascouts.
National Park Hoge Veluwe with the Kroller Muller museum is not on your list either.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:49 PM
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JMF...do you have any specific interests? Since you're covering the 'usual suspects', mention a few things that you are particularly curious about, and I'll be happy to give a few ideas.

I do agree with Lawchick that Utrecht is worth some time as the canals are especially nice, the Centraal Museum is very good, and the city has a less touristy vibe. I also like Rotterdam for contemporary architecture and the Boijmans van Beuningen museum; that being said, it's not a really a quaint or charming city.

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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 01:55 PM
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I really like Edam (you can take a bus there from Amsterdam). It's a charming little town with a summer cheese market. I really liked just walking around. It would be fun to ride a bike as well.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 02:09 PM
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hetismij,

As always, thank you.

global guy,

As for some interests ...

- my wife
- my grandkids
- Jewish history/culture
- ballet
- musicals
- gardens
- nature
- art (some)
- theatre
- great coffee
- great seafood

... on the other hand, it's been roughly 45 years since I rode a bike and I must admit to some trepidation at the thought of pedaling through the dunes to someplace like Bergen aan Zee.

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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 02:13 PM
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If you aren't up to cycling do you enjoy walking? I could maybe come up with a a station to station walk through the countryside for you. If you tell me how far you would be happy walking I'll see what I can do.
Utrecht also has a botanic gardens. I can give you more info on that if you want it.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Walking? Perhaps 10-12km -- and I have every intention of giving the bicycle a try as well.

By the way, should I consider scheduling Kinderdijk for May 10th, or is there a better place to spend National Windmill Day?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:34 AM
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I think Hetismij's idea of the Kroller Muller Museum / Park Hoge Veluwe was an excellent one.

You might also consider visiting Maastricht which is an excellent city for dining out and a great place to spend an overnight.

Since you mentioned Zaanse Schans, you might also enjoy The Zuider Zee Museum
www.zuiderzeemuseum.nl (clikc on 'museum park')

While in Amsterdam, you might like to visit the Jewish Historical Museum (www.jhm.nl), the very beautiful Portuguese Synagogue (www.esnoga.com), and Hortus Botanicus (www.dehortus.nl) which is the botanical gardens.

If you decide to go on a diamond factory tour, try to go to Gassan Diamonds...they aren't pushy and the historically Jewish owned factory has an interesting history.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 02:00 AM
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If you go to Hoge Veluwe you can use the free bikes to get around - it's as safe a place as any to get back in the saddle, and will probably be where I go to get my nerve back for bike riding once my elbow is better.
You may like the Schiedam windmills on windmill day (you could probably even combine them with Kinderdijk), as the Jenever museum is also open then and they have a real festival going on. Have a look at ontdekschiedam.nu. In fact Schiedam is worth a visit anyway, you could fill a day there easily, taking a "whisper" boat trip and visiting the town.
As for a walk, I can either plan one for you or translate one of the standard NS walks. It would make more sense to e-mail that to you though if you are interested. You can e-mail me at [email protected] if you want me to do that for you.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:40 PM
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I second the notion of Maastricht. Wonderful city. Lots of churches, great town square. Great shopping!

Also, Aachen, Germany is just a short hop from Maastricht (I don't know how far from AMS). There is a wonderful cathedral there and a nice day trip.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:17 PM
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Two places not mentioned. I found the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam interesting. Tells you about what the Dutch experienced during their occupation in World War Two.
In Haarlem there is a tour though the watch shop where Corrie Ten Boone with her family hid Jewish people During the war. This is only given on specific times and dates.
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