European Vacation – Day 10 – Amsterdam

The ms Inspire cruised all night from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam.  We arrived two hours early.  There are two locks that usually drop the riverboats 3’ each to sea level.  Since the water level on the Rhine is so low the locks are not operating and saved the time usually required to transit the locks.
Our afternoon activity was a canal luncheon cruise.  Amsterdam is called the Venice of Northern Europe because much of the city is accessible by canal.  We cruised the canals and learned about the history of the city and country.
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The 17th century is considered Amsterdam’s Golden Age, during which it became the wealthiest city in the western world. Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the Baltic Sea, North America, and Africa, as well as present-day Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil, forming the basis of a worldwide trading network. Amsterdam’s merchants had the largest share in both the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company. These companies acquired overseas possessions that later became Dutch colonies. Amsterdam was Europe’s most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading Financial centre of the western world. In 1602, the Amsterdam office of the international trading Dutch East India Company became the world’s first stock exchange by trading in its own shares.  The Dutch had over 5,000 ships which more than England and France combined.
Many Dutch families live on canal boats in the central city.
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We witnessed a bachelor party with all of the participants dressed like Superman.
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Amsterdam is famous for the coffee houses that legally sell various drugs.  Only 10% is sold to citizens.  90% is sold to narco tourists from other countries.  What is that smell?
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Throughout Europe love locks are the ultimate symbol of unconditional love forever.  Every bridge over the Rhine has literally tons of locks hanging on the railings.
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 Tonight is our last night on the Tauck tour.  We will spend one more day and visit our friends Reinout and Irma Klapwijk in Dordrecht, Netherlands.  That will be a 1.5 train ride each way.   We will spend our final night in the W hotel in Amsterdam.
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We will be home in Lake Bluff for Halloween.
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