Monday, September 5, 2022


For more extensive notes on Amsterdam and the surrounding area, please see the earlier entries of October, 2018. Above is a photo of the interior of the Theater Tuschinski. Theaters are very popular in Amsterdam and known for their ornate interiors. 

A city of approximately 1,000,000, vibrant Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Sixty miles of canals wind through the city and many residents continue to make their homes on board. Some craft appear seaworthy, some not so much!

Magnet fishing is popular locally as anglers seek to retrieve bicycles and other objects lost to the canals. No size limit!

Bet van Beeren was a lesbian who opened a bar in 1927, which was welcome to all--gays, pimps, prostitutes, etc. During WWII, she developed elaborate ruses to prevent being raided by the Nazis. Today, her niece runs the bar and has preserved the interior.

Majoor Bosshardthuis was an officer in the Salvation Army who was able to save dozens of Jewish children from the Nazis. In 2009, she was posthumously named the Greatest Inhabitant of Amsterdam of All Time.

                                                              The Rijksmuseum at night. 

                                                              Great Van Gogh collection

                                                                   Rijksmuseum, daytime

                                                            A leisurely canal ride is a must!!

                   In the background is the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Amsterdam.

Delft and The Hague


 Delft is a charming city of approximately 100,000 residents. It was home to famed painter Jan Vermeer, and was the site of the Delft Thunderclap of 1654, when a munitions dump exploded and destroyed much of the city. Those killed in the explosion included Carel Fabritius, painter of The Goldfinch.

                                           Note the seemingly precarious tilt of this structure.


 No visit would be complete without a tour of the Royal Deflt company, to understand how they craft the famed blue porcelain. As witnessed above, the product is everywhere in Delft, including the streetlamps!

                                                                            THE HAGUE

With a population of over 500,000, this administrative and royal capital of the Netherlands is the third largest city in the country.

A true jewel is the Mauritshuis Museum, which houses several notable works by the likes of Vermeer and Rembrandt, including the former's Girl with a Pearl Earring. 


                                                    Note the dog keeping watch on the street. 

                                               Interior of the New Church, completed in 1656.

                                      One of the many charming canals that thread through the city. 

                                                                         Old City Hall

Spire and interior of the Great Church; construction began in the 1400's. To this day, members of the royal House of Orange are baptized and married there. 

The Panorama Mesdag, below, was well worth a visit. This cylindrical painting, completed in 1881, is more than 120 meters in circumference and 14 meters high. The illusion of overlooking the sea and village is striking.


Photos from the Old Market,which has been there for centuries. Zanzibar has a unique and complex history, having been ruled at various times by the Portuguese, the Sultanate of Oman, and the British Empire. It became a major trade center, including a pivotal role in the slave trade.

When the British Protectorate ended in 1963, Zanzibar became a constitutional monarchy. However, the Zanzibar Revolution occurred soon thereafter, and a socialist government came to power. In 1964, it merged with mainland Tanganyika to form Tanzania. To this day, Zanzibar remains semi-autonomous.

            Chains used to restrain slaves held in one of two underground rooms used to keep slaves.

This crucifix is fashioned from the wood of the tree under which D. David Livingston died in 1873. The church which houses it was built atop the site of the former whipping post used by slavers. 

Stone Town, the historic center of Zanzibar City, is known for its exotic doors. This was graces the home of native Freddie Mercury.

                                Prison Island, a brief boat ride away, is home to a tortoise sanctuary. 

The building in fact never served as a prison, but as a yellow fever quarantine site or holding quarters for slaves. 

                                                           The mangrove forest on Zanzibar.

                                                                The red colobus monkey.

                                   The Rock restaurant, accessible on foot at low tide and by boat at high tide.

                                  Red makeup and lipstick from a plant at the Zito Spice Farm. 

                                       Children saying hello during our visit to the butterfly farm. 

                                                        And...the beach...the main attraction...

Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Lake Manyara National Park houses Lake Manyara, a shallow, alkaline body of water. The lions in the park are known for their ability to climb trees, although we did not witness any during our visit.

A few banded mongoose.

Baboons were plentiful. We saw at least 100 frolic along a riverbank.