European Riverboat Cruise

DAY 4-August 8 Amsterdam & Viking Tir

WEATHER: Partly cloudy and 71*

We get up at 6:45, shower and pack our luggage and set it out to be taken to the ship – The Viking Tir. We have breakfast and are ready to go on our tour today called the “Golden Age”, which includes : Rijksmuseum, Coster Diamonds factory, a canal cruise, restaurant-Vijff Vlieghen, a living area -Het Begijnhof, sculptures depicting The Night Watch painting by Rembrandt, and the Museum Van Loon.

Our first stop was at Coster Diamonds which is the world’s oldest diamond polishing factory. We see a crown and polishing tools. Rick gets sick again and we almost miss the next group tour to Rijksmuseum, but make it at the last moment.

Royal Crown of Great Britain – replica, at Coster Diamonds,where they polished the diamonds.
Replica British Royal Crown Coster Diamonds

The Rijksmuseum is our next stop and a very informative one. It has Rembrandt’s most famous masterpiece: “The Night Watch”, as well as many of his other paintings. It also has other famous paintings such as those by Van Gogh and here you can take pictures! Our guide is very good and explains the meanings behind a lot of the paintings. The museum is in the process of restoring “The Night Watch” painting, but before even starting they are scanning ever inch of the painting and analyzing it.

The museum also has a huge research library of books on history and the arts. The public is allowed in to look individually at books. They also have a model of the three masted ship that is part of the maritime museum.

We are then onto a canal cruise of the city, seeing some different things than we saw last night.

We get off the canal cruise and get lunch at a restaurant called Vijff Vlieghen. It is a very pretty old building and they serve a traditional Dutch meal with salad, meatballs and mashed potatoes with carrots, and apple pie. Rick is brave and tries eating a little.

Where we ate lunch in Amsterdam.

After lunch we continue on foot to see sights in Amsterdam. Our first stop is to where our older tour guide lives – Het Begijnhof. It is where only single women over 55, who are very religious, but don’t want to go into the convent live. You have to apply and be accepted to live there. It is very peaceful and quiet.

We continue walking. We go by a square where there is a statue of Rembrandt. It is the oldest statue in Amsterdam. There also are bronze statues depicting his “Night Watch” painting. We also see stained glass windows with Rembrandt depicted in them.

We continue walking and the guide points out homes/buildings that are actually sinking because the ground is so wet in this area.

Note the sloping angle under the windows on the middle black house and the last gray house.

We pass by more of the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Glad we spent two extra days here, in order to see the sights, and we still didn’t see it all.

We make one last stop for the day to see the Museum Van Loon. It is the home of the Van Loon family who have been connected to Amsterdam for 400 years and one of the best preserve homes in the Netherlands.

We then go by taxi to embark on our ship – The Viking Tir. We were upgraded to a room with a balcony, rm #229.

We have dinner, on board our ship, which was very good. Dinner is one seating and seating is open every night, so you never know who you will sit with. We end up sitting with a couple from Vancouver Island – Parksville Graham & Roseann and another couple from Conneticut. After dinner we are back to our room and to bed. Rick is out in no time. It was another big day. The ship is to leave the dock at 11:55, leaving Amsterdam. We really enjoyed our time here, but now on to more new places and things to see.