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Map of The Netherlands26th August 1997
Zeist, The Netherlands  0015
Well, after arriving in Amsterdam at 2230 last night, Maarten and I took a walk around Amsterdam before heading to Milika's flat for the night.  We got up at 0545 to catch a train to Groningen where we went to the university and checked out the town before getting another train to Leeuwarden for a few hours.  Both towns are in the north of Holland, about two hours from Amsterdam.
We then caught a train back to Utrecht and after dinner went to a pub for a few hours with Maarten and his brother.
So this morning we drove around the north-western part of Holland.  To Sneek for lunch and then drove over a 30Km long dyke, which separates the sea from the lake.   An amazing engineering feat which made it possible for Holland to reclaim vast amounts of land by pumping out the water from behind the dyke.  Some of the latest land reclamation occurred during the 1930's but the majority was carried out during the 1300's.

From Sneek we drove south to Hoorn and visited a little island village before heading into Amsterdam.  Where we climbed on bikes and like all good Dutch do, cycled around the capital taking in the sights.  It was amazing, dodging and weaving through the narrow lanes beside the canals; and through the dodgy red-light district (just for a look mind you!). 
Everybody rides in Holland, there are so many bikes!!!  Probably due to the fact that the country is so flat.

Centraal Station Lots of bikes! More bikes
On Dyke Is it any wonder the Dutch had to build dykes to pump the water out with Maarten filling it up again! Rotterdam and those cube houses

27th August 1997
Zeist, The Netherlands  2300
Today I caught a train into Amsterdam again, about 40 minutes away. 
I walked around seeing all the sights, particularly inspiring were the canals and bridges, shops which sell everything, cafes and of course the red-light district.   This area and the cafe's were real eye-openers, with all the drugs available, and the windows onto the street in the red-light district!?!
I stopped in a cafe for a while whilst it was raining, sampling a space-cake while I was there.  Very relaxing.......

Dodgy coffee shoppe Big Willy Fountain Heineken Brewery
Coffeee shop in Canal Shutters The Hauge
Dutch Explorer's Ship Sex Shop Street

2nd September 1997
Zeist, The Netherlands  0300
Last Thursday Maarten and I caught a train to Maastricht where the day was spent wandering around.  On Friday I cycled around Zeist and through the woods, which was wonderfully pretty.  On Saturday we went to Amsterdam for the weekend, 'UIT MARKT' a huge festival was on and we spent two full days sampling different music and arts.   We saw six bands plus a rendition of Brahms' and a number of great DJ's.   Saturday night night saw us at a rave in an old electrical substation.  It was fantastic!  We arrived home at 0630 after cycling to and from the club, which for me was quite bizarre. It has to be the first time I have ever ridden a bike to a club!
During UIT MARKT there were so many bikes on the streets that we even had trouble finding a park for our bikes! All of the railings were already crammed with bikes!
Of course I have had some trouble adjusting to cycling on the other side of the road and with that there have been a few close calls with cars, trams, police, pedestrians & other cyclists.  Most people are fairly good natured about it, occasionally I hear a yelp of (well deserved) abuse hurled my way.
On Sunday night we went to a huge danceparty in a town square with two of Europe's best DJ's, it was fantastic.  1000's of people having a great time outdoors on a balmy night.
So today we caught trains around to The Hauge, Rotterdam and Utrecht, which was great, especially the architecture in Rotterdam.

Forest in Ziest Building in Zeist (Town Hall?) Hitchhiking to Düsseldorf

Hitch-hike on to Germany with me

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