Friday, June 17, 2005

Amsterdam

Well we have just left Amsterdam and are floating around Munster where we're going to check out another german castle tomorrow and then head northwards. I apologise for not writing while in Amsterdam but we got pretty busy. Amsterdam was great. OK the weather was very changeable - we got out of the Reichsmuseum on Sunday to find it pouring of rain and had to take shelter in a pub which served good bier and pancakes - life is tough. Then we got a bit lost in the downpour and eventually flagged down a cycle-taxi which I think was peddled by and extra from and Indiana Jones movie. The museum was OK - great if you're into 17th C masters and all that but very very expensive if you're not. We found the Amsterdam Historical museum much better value as it covers all of Amsterdam's history. Of course only about 10% of the Reichsmuseum is available at the moment. On Tuesday we went to a castle just outside of Amsterdam - Muiderslot. Another enforced guided tour and we only saw perhaps a third of the castle interior but a pretty nice castle anyway. Dutch castles are all brick, unlike the german Rhineland castles which are now stone but used to be plastered to stop ice from forming in the stone and splitting it. I wonder what tomorrow's will be like? We have written our second CD of 700+ photos. It was great re-meeting the family in Amsterdam. We had a lovely family dinner on Wednesday evening with Uncle Pieter's family - my cousins and their kids. Pieter's partner Josie, who I hadn't met before, and Pieter were very generous and took us to the castle on Tuesday and really looked after us which was great. My cousin Marieka showed us where my father was born and Pieter had his old passport and lots of photos for me to take with me which is great. Oh and the de Maar family coat of arms! Apparently an ancestor was mayor of Groeningen at some point.

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