We got back on board and had lunch (eating again!). Then we entered a lock. I took a lot of pics, many on my camera because it was amazing. There were 2 Viking cruise ships, a freight barge and 4 other ships in the lock with very little clearance. It was a sight to see. We were talking to the people on the other ship- they were so close. After we passed thru the lock we went for a wheelhouse tour and then to a tea with many pastries from the Netherlands. The person in the wheelhouse pic is the captain. Tonight is the Captain’s cocktail party and dinner. Help, I’m going to explode!
Last night we were in the lounge dancing. There is a picture of some food and of the port we were in.
Today we boarded buses at 8:30am and the ship left to meet us at the next docking station. We first went to the town of Veere, a charming little town with a few small shops. To get there we drove on the top of the dykes. As I said before everything is below sea level and you get a clear picture of what a battle it is to keep the North Sea from reclaiming the land.
We then went to the Delta Works. This is the giant flood control system that prevents storm surge from flooding the Netherlands. This project was started after a flooding storm killed 1,835 people in 1953. The project was finished in 1986 and is still considered an engineering marvel. We drove across these gates to get to the Watersnood Museum which has lots of documentation of the flood and the Delta project. Then we drove to the next port to catch up with the ship.
Today was an early start day. Europe went on daylight savings time plus we had to to be on the busses at 8:30 to be driven to Brugge. The ride was about 45 minutes plus we have tour guides on all of these tours. We are all on a wireless communication system so we can hear the guide. This works really well. All our tours have been this way. We saw the sights of Brugge and then we had an hour of free time. We then boarded buses to go back to the ship do we could make the shuttle into the center of Ghent. Of course we had lunch on board the ship. I keep saying it must have been an hour since we ate last. Tonight we are having a Dutch themed dinner. I’m surprised I still fit into my clothes!! Attached are pictures of Brugge and Ghent. I have to say this cruise is really wonderful. The staff go out of their way to make sure we are spoiled. And I do mean spoiled.
We left Kinderdijk and continued along the Rhine? River. We passed miles and miles of refineries. There is a lot of commercial shipping on the river. We also passed thru several locks.
After breakfast there was a guided walking tour of Antwerp. The end of the tour was at the Cathedral of Our Lady which houses several paintings by Peter Paul Rubens. We decided to stay in town for lunch. Lunch was beer and fries. The size we ordered was the small. Then there was time to just wander on our own and several of us did shopping. We came back to the ship about 4:30pm. There are several events scheduled in the lounge tonight, but we have not decided what we will do. While I was in town I found a yarn store and bought sock yarn,
We left the shop to see the windmills. Most windmills are new and use modern technology. The windmills at Kinderdijk are really historical museums. The area is 2 meters below sea level as most of Holland is below sea level. We disembarked at 2pm and set sail at 4:30pm. Attached are pictures of windmills and I thought I would include a pic of tonight’s menu.