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Sunday, May 01, 2011

#821 Tulips & Windmills-April 15

On the morning of the 15th the Viking Pride set sail for the town of Hoorn. Upon arrival we took a guided tour of the town. It began as a harbor town. It is a quaint village. It flourished as a trading town.


On the way we passed numerous fields of Tulips and other flowers.


Tulips were not the only sight of the Netherlands that we were promised. The windmills are still operational, but not very often. We stopped along the road to see these. There are also a lot of the more modern windmills in operation around the countryside.


One of the fascinating activities was a visit to the fruit and vegetable auction museum. We were treated to a sample of an auction. The farmers would bring their crop to the auction by boat. They eventually developed methods to keep track of the bids electronically. At these auctions the price starts high and goes lower. However there is a low price that the farmer will not go below. At that time the auction stops for those wares and the farmer takes them away. It was great fun observing our shipmates bidding on the small packages of fruits and vegetables.

Fruit and Vegetable Auction

After the auction we were then taken out among a few of the 1,000 islands that make up the countryside. There were a few farmers working their fields that were all built up from the surrounding waters. This country is mostly below sea level. During this little trip we did see a number of wildfowl.


Our Program Director did have a surprise for us. The museum had a fantastic display of wooden shoes. They really are something to behold. Many farmers still wear them and prefer them to other forms of footwear when they are working in the fields.
Wooden Shoes

As we traveled along by bus there were a number of homes with gardens that were not just an expanse of grass and a few flowers or shrubs. These are just a few of the gardens we saw.
Homes along the road

This was only third day of the cruise.  There is more to come.



Sandee said...

I love the boats and the harbor the very best. The tulips are awesome and the windmills rock too. What a terrific trip you had.

Have a terrific day. :)

shannon said...

love the wooden shoes! but that's no surprise... ;)

looks like you and mom had a great time. i can hardly wait to see you next month!!