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Final Week in Amsterdam

Between Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis, we spent a final week in Amsterdam before departing for destinations south. We completed a few boat projects with parts we brought back from Seattle, did some final provisioning, met some new friends and enjoyed a “second annual” Valentine’s Day dinner at Bistrot Neuf. Below are trip highlights from…

January in Amsterdam

After returning to Amsterdam from a Rhine River cruise in late December, we spent the first three weeks in January completing a number of boat projects and preparing for our upcoming trip south to the Mediterranean. Projects completed included installing a new 55-inch TV, replacing the windshield wiper arms, greasing the davit, replacing a depth-sounder,…

Return Trip to Seattle

The day after returning from Berlin, we made a ten-day trip to Seattle for James to attend some work meetings. While there, we picked up our mail, caught the last day of the Seattle Boat Show, met up with old friends and handled several medical appointments. And Spitfire enjoyed some time at “the resort” of…

Museum Island

Berlin’s Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site consisting of five museums built between 1824 and 1830 on an island in the river Spree, with a sixth scheduled to open later this year. The museums are significant in that each was designed to showcase the collection it held and they demonstrate the evolution of…

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz was once one of the busiest intersections in Europe and the geographical center of Berlin, but was completely destroyed during World War II. The area remained largely abandoned during the Cold War, as the Berlin Wall bisected it and sections formed the “death strip” of the Berlin Wall. After the wall fell, Potsdamer…

The Berlin Wall

Little remains of the infamous Berlin Wall that once divided the city, separating East and West, but it will long be a part of Berlin. After World War II, Germany was divided into four sectors controlled by France, Britain, America and the Soviet Union. The capital city of Berlin, entirely within the Soviet sector, was…

Amsterdam Light Festival

We really enjoyed the Amsterdam Light Festival last year, and were looking forward to viewing it again. The theme for this year was disruption, where the artists “use light in a unique way to be disruptive and give us new impulses”. The route of the festival was quite different from last year, and only two…

Amsterdam on the AmaMora

We arrived back into Amsterdam on the morning of the seventh day of our Rhine River cruise, where passengers would spend a day in the city and a final night on the AmaMora before departing the following morning. The AmaMora was moored right next to City Marina, only a half-block from Dirona, and we debated…

Cologne, Germany

Spectacular Cologne Cathedral dominates the city’s skyline and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is among Germany’s most popular tourist attraction. Built starting in the 1248, it is the biggest cathedral in Germany and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in northern Europe. The exterior is covered with ornately carved sculptures and the 142-ft-high (43.35 m)…

Rhine Gorge

The 41-mile (65km) section of the Rhine River known as the Rhine Gorge was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its castles, historic views and vineyards. This dramatic stretch of waterway has 40 castles, among the greatest concentration in the world, and was featured in The Learning Channel’s Great Castles of Europe Rhine Castles…