It’s Sunday! This morning we entered the port of Rotterdam. The captain is currently doing a cruise of the whole port which is one of the largest in the world. But since this is a day that we don’t have an excursion first thing I am viewing the port from my cabin still and writing this blog.
As you know yesterday we were in Veere. A cute little dutch town located very near the Delta Project/Storm Surge Barrier. We had our morning excursion there where we saw about a 30 minute movie explaining the 1953 flood and the necessity for the Dutch to come up with a way to keep the waters from the North Sea out. More than half of the Netherlands is below sea level so you can see the need! The Storm Surge Barrier was a huge and costly undertaking and it was interesting to tour through the insides of it (kind of like the tour of the inside of the Hoover Dam). We could walk inside and then climb stairs to get to the outside of the barrier on viewing platforms where you could take pictures of the North Sea and the large cement pillars of the barrier.
Afterwards we were back to the ship for lunch and then off for a walk to the town of Veere. A small town but very quaint. We saw our first official windmill (I am not counting those large cement ones that you see in the fields that look like Aliens) This windmill’s name is “Cow” I can’t really remember why as it doesn’t look like a cow, but it was surrounded by sheep and I spent a lot of time trying to coax the baby lambs to look at me so I could take a picture… it didn’t work and I have about 20 pictures of their butts… won’t bore you with those!
I did a walk around the town and saw the Dutch version of a beach (BRR)… walked the dike that surrounds the town and then ended with a walk down to the lock that we were docked near and watched some sailboats enter it…I have never been that close to a working lock before… you could ride bikes over the tops of the gates when they were closed…
Our ship left Veere at 4:30 and we spent the afternoon cruising. The countryside here is very flat and green. I haven’t really seen a lot of villages like you do while cruising the Danube, Rhine or Rhone. I can only guess that maybe we are too close to the sea and that due to the flooding in the past not as many villages were built that close to the water. I am sure as we get closer to Amsterdam we will see more.
We closed the evening with our dinner.. And It was a fellow cruiser (and friend of mine who is cruising as part of our group) Carole’s birthday. I know that many of you have heard me say what a great bunch of people River Cruisers tend to be… during dinner last night someone came and gave Carole a card. This woman had overheard her say that it was her birthday and that she hadn’t heard from anyone yet (family) so this woman wanted to make sure that something special happened for her so she bought her a card while we were in Veere for her birthday and gave it to her at dinner (she wasn’t sitting at our table). Another reason I love river cruising… the small size of the ship really makes it easy to make friends and have great conversation. Traveling as a single is no problem, you might start on your own but if you want to you can make many many friends in a short amount of time!
I will end my Saturday section with a picture of us all at dinner… Larry (Carole’s poor husband that is one lone man stuck with 5 women nightly) took this picture…. Carole is on the back row with me… front row is Barbara, Stefanie and Lorraine!
This afternoon we sail to Kinderdijk which means child on the dike.. something about a baby in a basket sitting on the dike after a flood… hmmmm sounds like that might just be a little made up!