Friday, April 24, 2009

Port Information - Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital city of the country known as the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands. Holland, as many believe the country to be called, is the name of 2 provinces within the Netherlands: North and South Holland.

The seat of the government is located in the Hague, Den Haag in Dutch. The Queen lives in the Hague and every April the biggest celebration of the year takes place on Queens Day. This year, it falls on April 30th. This national holiday honors the birthday of the current Queen Beatrix's mother, Queen Juliana.

Seventeen million people claim the Netherlands as their home while 20 million people in the world speak Dutch, the national language. Dutch is a Germanic language, so you may recognize some of the words and phrases.

Amsterdam is known as the "Venice of the North" due to the web of canals that encircle the city. It is easiest to get around by "tram", bicycle, or on foot. One of our guides told us that it is very costly to own an auto. You have to pay for your parking spot, if you can even get one.

We spent all day Saturday and part of Easter Sunday in Amsterdam. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are links to the first of many photo albums documenting our Tulip Time River Cruise on AMA Waterways Amalegro.

Amsterdam Photo Albums:

Amalegro - Amsterdam
Amsterdam - Canal & City Tour

The next post will include our Easter Sunday ports of call: Volendam and Edam.

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