The DM Zone and host Dianemarie Collins visited the Netherlands – Amsterdam, Delft, Kinderdijk and the Noordwijk coastal area where we experienced a great dinner by walking along the beach to a seaside dining establishment – The Surfclub Noordwijk. Whether it was standing in large wooden shoes, taking a private canal tour in Delft, visiting the windmills of Kinderdijk and exploring the canals, bridges, and culture of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
Vondelpark has cafes and an open-air theater, and the nearby Royal Concertgebouw is a prominent classical-music venue. In the Jordaan district are shops and galleries, as well as the Anne Frank House, where the Jewish diarist hid during the Second World War. Dining ranges from casually decorated “living room” restaurants to traditional Dutch eateries and Indonesian rijsttafel (“rice table”) specialists. Coffee shops sell small amounts of marijuana. The neon-lit Red Light District is home to the Erotic Museum, exhibiting provocative paintings and prints. In spring, Amsterdam is a base for visits to the surrounding tulip attractions.
Delft is a lovely old town which retains many of its original features. Situated in the west of the country it is well known for the famous ceramic Delftware, its large university and for being the home of the painter Johannes Vermeer.
Delft is a small town near to The Hague which has a lovely and compact town center much of which is closed to cars and thus all the more enjoyable to walk around. It is easy to make your way and to see all of the sights as they are mostly situated within a 20 walk of the town center. This being Holland there are, of course, canals to wander around if you seek a little quiet.
Nieuwe Kerk or the new church strangely enough, for a church, is closed on Sundays. But any other day it is well worth spending some time there. Built in 1496, you will find it at Markt 80. Although you are not able to get access to it, it is here that many members of the royal family were buried, with its most famous occupant being William of Orange. The church has a very high tower at over one hundred meters and for an extra 3 euros, and a bit more effort, you will get some great views across the town and to The Hague.
Oude Kerk or the old church is the oldest church in Delft being built in the 13th century. Again it is closed on Sundays. The most famous resident to be buried here was the painter, Vermeer. When it was built the tower leaned out over the canal due to the soil not being sound. The builders, however, just carried on building and set the tower to lean in the other direction to compensate.
Kinderdijk, just 15 kilometres from the country’s second-largest city Rotterdam, has been declared a World Heritage Site. In the same way the cat handled the water to save the baby’s life, farmers have been handling the water here to produce food to feed the locals. It’s the windmills of Kinderdijk which are so special. There are 19 that are heritage-listed these days but at the height of the region’s productivity in the eighteenth century, there were about 150 of them. They use an extremely-advanced (for the time) technique which moves water from the fields into a reservoir. For a part of the country which is constantly flooded, it’s the only way the land can be used for farming.
Cycling in the Netherlands is the most popular form of daily transport; using a bicycle for your daily needs is fun, convenient and more importantly, (almost) for free! With more than 18 million bicycles in the Netherlands and 1,2 million new ones sold every year, this country is considered a cyclist’s heaven. And remember that bicycles ALWAYS have the right of way.
Spend the summer at the Noordwijk seaside… for wonderful, perhaps magical moments. Every day is different. Sometimes, the sea seems to light up and fill the sky with fairy tale colours, turning pink and purple.
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Dianemarie is an accomplished actress, dancer and entertainer who has performed from dinner theaters to nightclubs to Broadway. Join DM, a YouTube personality, as she travels the world and documents her life and travel adventures from all over the globe. For over 15 years, Dianemarie has hosted The DM Zone – a syndicated, online television channel that is hosted across multiple video platforms across the Internet. The DM Zone is a compelling platform for politicians, authors, actors, athletes, musicians and other creative professionals. http://TheDMZone.com