Holland, 1997

Sarah and I travelled on the Stenaline Discovery from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.

We tripped over the hundreds of bikes out the front of Amsterdam Central Station and went to stay at the Globe hostel.

As everyone who visits Amsterdam does, we visited the red light district, saw a peep show and went to the Stone’s Café with handy menu’s showing the different forms in which marijuana could be consumed legally. Other cafes such as The Doors Café, the Grasshopper and the Greenhouse were all appropriately themed.

We visited the house where Anne Frank lived behind a bookshelf during the war and went on a tour of the Heineken Brewery. We went for a ride on the huge Ferris wheel in Dam Square and saw the famous Sunflowers painting at the Van Gogh museum.

Amsterdam is a city full of museums, so we also went to the hemp museum, the torture museum and the sex museum.

My favourite day was when we went on a canal boat tour of the Amstel River.

Nearby in Leiden, we visited a real windmill- the Molen De Valk, also known as the Falcon Windmill. Very cool.

We went to The Hague to see the Binnehof and the International Court of Justice.

In Zwaag, we visited some friends of my parents who owned The Great British Shop in Hoorn. They had kids, so we all went to Walibi World theme park in Flavoland for the day. It was strange seeing a big orange kangaroo (the theme park’s mascot) and not being in Australia.

I remember the Holland countryside being extremely flat and windy with dykes and three pronged white windmills.

Our first Euro rail ticket entry was to Station Blaak in Rotterdam.

The Erasmus suspension bridge reminded me of the Anzac bridge in Sydney.

We also saw the the Williems Brug bridge, the Euromast tower, and visited the old port area of Delfshaven before heading to the next country- Belgium.

Related posts: England, 1997, I first started travelling, By special request, Home is where you make it, I first started writing

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