Went to the GloWild production at the KC Zoo a couple night ago with my wife and son and his family. it was a beautiful night and I got plenty of photos. I posted some on TikTok and they subsequently pushed them to Instagram and Facebook, however, their process of downsizing the images really ruined the photos. Therefore, I am posting a slide show on my blog which should be much better quality . . . Enjoy!
30-Aug –Once again we boarded the trolley and followed the directions provided by the Viking representative at the hotel. We decided to visit the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo. We had to change trolleys and the instructions provided at the hotel were right on . . . we visited both locations and then boarded the trolley to the Central Station which was very impressive. All trolleys end-up here. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering up/down Damarak Street . . . this is a street that connects the main railroad station to Dam Square and the Royal Palace. From here, we hopped on a boat for a sightseeing tour of the city’s canals which has more canals that Venice. Around dinner time we took the trolley back to the stop (Lutmastratt) close to our hotel. A Viking representative in the hotel pointed out a favorite restaurant within walking distance. We ended up at a restaurant called ‘Loetje’. Dave had a steak almost 2” thick and it was so tender it could be cut with a fork. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to pack and get ready for an early morning departure. We were taken to the airport about 6:30 am. In conclusion, I want to say that Viking was awesome; they planned everything down to the last detail and then had contingencies for disruptions. We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare and made it home on schedule. If you have been following this blog from the start (15-Aug) and looked at all the photos, you viewed over 900 photographs. I took over 5,000 photos and am still working on some of those in Photoshop. Thanks for viewing!
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29-Aug – We leave the Viking Skirnir for the last time about 7:30 am and shortly thereafter everyone that has extended the trip by 2-days is transported to one of two hotels. We were taken to the Pestana Amsterdam Riverside Hotel (reportedly owned by Viking) where we checked into a beautiful room and subsequently had an incuded buffet breakfast. We then had a morning walking tour in part of Amsterdam by a local Viking employee. After the tour we were left on our own to explore the sights. We attempted to get tickets to the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, however, there were no tickets available for our two days in Amsterdam. We did get into the Rijksmuseum which is the national museum of the Netherlands dedicated to Dutch arts and history. The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. After spending several hours in the museum, we walked back to the hotel to get instructions on how to use the transit system. We had purchased a 2-day trolly pass but it was not totally clear how to negotiate the city. You couldn’t talk to the trolly operator and most of the people we approached denied speaking English. The stops were all identified in Dutch and it was next to impossible to do anything without getting specific stop names and transfer information from the Viking representative in the hotel. We could not even pick out landmarks to identify our starting point as everything looked very similar and the trolley moves pretty fast. Viking provided maps but they did not help! Once we got some information we headed out and boarded the trolly got off at the Central Station. We walked around the area and found a small Italian restaurant where we had dinner. Taking the trolley to Central Station gave us a little more confidence to use it. We rode the trolly (#24) back to ‘Lutmastratt,’ got off and walked to the hotel about two blocks away.
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28-Aug – We sail along the Merwede and Waal Rivers and view the scenic sights. The Merwede river is part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and is mostly fed by the Rhine river. The Waal is the main distributary branch of the Rhine flowing approximately 80 km (50 mi) through the Netherlands. In the afternoon we docked and did a barge tour of the Kinderdijk Windmills. This included a walk-through of a windmill set up as a museum. We were only able to go on the ground floor, however, the tour was very informative. The town of Kinderdijk hosts a population of about 60 and they get about 600,000 visitors a year! Kinderdijk is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site — dotted with 19 windmills, which still work much as they did in the mid-18th century when they were built. This, of course, was the highlight of the day’s travels; Tomorrow, the 29th, the river tour will end and in the morning we will leave the Viking Skirnir and relocate to our hotel in Amsterdam for our last two days of this vacation.
Viking_28Aug_3943Enroute to Kinderdijk, Neatherlands
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27-Aug – The Viking Skirnir arrives in Cologne, Germany around 9:00 am and shortly thereafter we begin a walking tour of the city center. The Cologne Cathedral is truly unbelievable; the craftsmanship, architecture and design of this magnificent building was begun around 1248 and it took nearly seven centuries to be completed. Spared Allied bombs during World War II, the cathedral’s imposing twin spires are visible for miles and stained-glass windows fill the interior with brilliant colored light. As you might expect, this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is a mix of old and new and the city reveals its Roman heritage in its city layout and ancient ruins that lie scattered through the town
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