A Travellerspoint blog


25 June

Some overviews

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Total Mileage This Voyage: Nautical Miles Statute Miles Avg Speed

Copenhagen - Skagen 148 170 12.3 Knots
Skagen - Stavanger 256 294 17.2
Stavanger - Vik/Flam 308 354 16.8
Vik/Flam - Tromso 774 890 20.3
Tromso - Honningsvag 204 235 15.4
Honningsvag - Trondheim 705 811 18.1
Trondheim - Geiranger 249 286 15.3
Geiranger - Bergen 251 289 17.3
Bergen - Rotterdam 614 706 17.1

Total Distance: 3509 4035 16.6

Flam - delightful village and surrounding area

Geiranger Fjord and waterfalls

North Cape - northernmost point of Norway and Europe

Arctic Circle and experience no sunrise or sunset for several days

Amsterdam - Windmills and Shoes

Posted by cincybob 05:47 Comments (0)

Get-away Day

25 June

-17 °C

Monday, June 25

Get-a-Way Day

6:30 Overcast

7:15AM Buffet breakfast: Juice, cereal, fruit, scrambled eggs w/sausage and beans or bacon sandwich, toast. coffee.

8:15AM Our last walk in Amstrerdam.

9:15AM Check-out and our taxi was waiting

10:00AM Airport. Not as crowded as expected. Several check in areas - the final was a one on one interview.

Delta flight #45 - seats 26A and 26B. Departed 12:30PM.
Estimated mileage to Cincinnati: 4,134 Miles
Time: 8 hours and 23 Minutes

1:40AM Tomato juice and water

2:15PM Lunch: Roasted chicken breast, carrots, Spanish risotto (rice) , garden salad, roll, water, chocolate chip cookie, white wine, coffee.

4:00PM Haagan-dazs Vanilla Ice Cream!

5:00PM Pizza and tomato juice/water.

Arrive in Cincinnati 3:00PM, earlier than expected.

Check in at Greater Cincinnati Airport was an adventure. Among other things, we were directed to the Agricultural station to have our luggage screened and answer questions concerning any plants, etc in our gear. It is probably fortunate that we did not bring home any tulip bulbs!

As planned, we located our luggage and waited about 10-15 minutes for our chauffeur “Dan”, who pulled up in his SUV and drove us home.

Posted by cincybob 15:30 Comments (0)

Amsterdam, Netherlands

24 June

-17 °C

Sunday, June 24

6:30AM Temperature about 50 °F and Overcast

7:00AM Breakfast buffet in the hotel: Fruit, cereal, pastries, scrambled eggs w/bacon, O.J., coffee.

8:40AM We met our tour bus nearby and rode to a bus terminal where we boarded our bus destined for the Village of Edam, and Zaandam

10:00 - 10:30AM We walked through the quiet town of Edam (Pop. 8,000. Founded 1357.) Brick paved streets and walks. Many gabled roofs. A few canals made their way through the town, which is surrounded by rural gardens, farms, sheep and cows. Most of the land was recovered from dried up lakes. The farms are cultivated by water from the canals.

11:00AM - 1:00PM Zaamstad Windmills, Wooden shoe factory, Cheese factory.
Many of the buildings in this area, including windmills, have been relocated.

Our first stop was to witness a demonstration in the manufacture of wooden shoes. This was very fascinating. We initially saw how they were made manually, which would require 3/5 hours to shape a shoe from a block of pine wood. Then the workman placed a pine wood block, about 6 inches long, into a machine, clamped it into place, turned on the motor, and within 3/5 minutes he showed us a completely formed outer shoe, with the exception of the small knob at the toe and heel which he cut off. The next phase of manufacture was to clean out the inner part of the shoe with another machine operation. The building was surrounded by all kinds of wooden shoes, many of them for wall decorative purposes. He said it takes 3/5 weeks to dry out the wood. Wearing woolen socks with a finger space in the heel area is best for these shoes, and they are completely waterproof and warm. We saw no wooden shoes in our travels and assume that they are more acclimated to country/farm use.

Zaamstad Windmills

We saw the manufacture of cheese in our next stop. This was followed by a visit to their retail end where you could purchase all sorts of cheese....and chocolates!

We walked further in the same complex to visit the De Koeker Windmill. Built in 1672, the De Zoeker (The Seeker) mill in Zaandam is one of only 20 left from an original 1,000 that made the Zaan district one of the oldest industrial areas in the world. In its hay day, the De Zoeker mill produced vegetable oils primarily made from linseed and grape seed. Large circular millstones crushed the seeds, after which the powder was heated, placed in bags and pounded repeatedly to squeeze out the oil. Once the oil had been extracted, the left over "cake" was sold off as cattle fodder. We entered this very old mill to observe its massive millstone grinding the seeds to make peanut oil. The seeds were heated and place into woolen bags and were pounded repeatedly be a striking ram, which was quite loud. All this was put in motion be the windmill. Once the oil had been extracted, the left over "cake" was sold off as cattle fodder. We were able to climb a very steep narrow set of steps to make our way to the outside platform which surrounds the windmill - and the only way to return was to descend another set of very steep ladder steps!

Having given way to modern machinery - there are still a number of working windmills to be found. Nowadays, though, it's more for the sake of tourists than for commercial use.

The Dutch have always struggled with the North-Sea and their Rivers, that's why there are a lot of Windmills in Holland. Some of them were used to pulverize grain and other food, some were to maintain the water level in the rivers and canals. The Windmills were used until the beginning of the 20th century.

3:00 - 4:15PM After our tour we were back in town and walked a number of side streets and did locate Anne Frank’s house, where there were quite a number of people queued to enter the building. This house at no. 263 is where the young Jewish girl Anne Frank (1929-45) hid from the Nazis and wrote her memerable diary. The earlier you get here the better, because the line to get in grows as the day progresses.

Anne Frank Home

We did locate some tulips (wooden) which now adorn our kitchen table.

5:00PM We purchased some sandwiches and a banana to eat back in our Swissotel room, and also to rest a bit.

After confirming our Delta flight schedule and lining up a taxi for tomorrow morning, we continued our exploration of the city. There was rain off and on throughout the day, so our rain gear came in handy.

Walk today: 5.1 miles

Posted by cincybob 05:48 Comments (0)

Rotterdam/Amsterdam, Netherlands

23 June

-17 °C

Saturday, June 23


57° and cloudy


Breakfast: Fruit, cereal, roll, O.J., coffee

7:30AM Packed our carry-on clothing, etc. and waited for “Pink 2” - our departure order - to be announced over the speakers.

8:15AM Early departure from our planned 9:00AM meeting for our reserved taxi.

9:15AM Our taxi arrived and we left for Amsterdam. This was a comfortable ride to our Swissotel, arriving at 10:00AM. Rooms would not be ready until afternoon. We were located in the center of the city at Dam Square. There was intermittent rain, as we walked along the crowded streets. We had time for a pizza before returning the the hotel and found our room 231 ready - nice accommodations with a large room, plenty of windows to view the neighboring Burger King and other shops below. We also had a convenient key-card use for the elevator and our room.

Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, located in the south of the province North Holland. The city was founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village at the mouth of the river Amstel. The name Amsterdam literally means Amstel dam. Population: 743,027. It is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands and one of the most important cities in Europe. It was very crowded this weekend.

1:15 - 2:15PM Time for some rest.

2:15 - 5:00 We took a canal cruise (1 hour) and saw numerous, permanent house boats - some with adjacent decks and flowers. Merchants, traders, bankers, ship owners built their houses in the city. Amsterdam grew five times bigger within a century, and the canal houses from that time form the today's city landscape. Most of them are single, narrow town houses. We noted a number of the buildings having hoist beams projecting from the top gable area. We were told that these were hoist beams, used to unload furniture through the windows, as there was not enough space to haul them up the narrow stairways. "Gable" refers to the front apex of a roof. It disguised the steepness of the roof under which goods were stored. In time, gables became decorated with scrolls, crests, and even coats of arms. We traveled a number of canals and passed under many bridges.


Bell Gable
Step Gable
Dam Square

5:30PM Stopped at KFC for chicken wrap, fries and Pepsi. This, like all the other eateries, was very crowded on this weekend.

More walking. At Dam Square we came across several street performers, who knew how to gather a crowd and demonstrate their specialties: juggling, unicycle, hand tricks, a Houdini-type escape from a straight jacket. It was all very entertaining.

Walk today: 3.9 Miles

Posted by cincybob 12:38 Comments (0)

A Day at Sea

22 June

Friday, June 22

A day at sea

Sunrise: 4:50AM Sunset: 10:31PM Temperature: 58°, overcast/sunny


Breakfast: Fruit, cereal, pancakes/scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee.

8:00AM Wajang Theater 4: Mass

10:30AM Queen’s Lounge 4: Disembarkation briefing and crew farewell.

12:00PM Lunch: Turkey sandwich, chips, salad, soup, bread pudding, pastries, tea/coffee.

1:15PM Explorer Lounge 5: Read and relax.

2:15PM Cabin for some preliminary packing.

3:15PM La Fontaine Dining Room 5: English High Tea. Again greeted by white-gloved attendants and served pastries by the chefs, then seated and served tea.

3:45Pm Lower Promenade 3: Walk a mile and view the scenery - mostly water.

4:00PM Explorer Lounge 5: Read and relax, thinking about our past enjoyable days in Norway.

5:45PM La Fontaine Dining Room 5: Our final meal - Fruit, Italian Wedding soup, swordfish/pork medallian, strawberry frozen yogurt, peach/berry mix w/vanilla ice cream, de-caf.

6:30PM Pack for tomorrow’s departure.

8:30PM Queen’s Lounge 5: Showtime - Farewell Variety Show: Frank Berry, Tommy McPhee and Gina Pontone.

Suitcases packed and placed outside our cabin door before retiring tonight!

Walk today: 2.3 Miles.

Posted by cincybob 14:00 Comments (0)

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