Thursday, September 15, 2016

Floating Honeymoon

If canals are your passion you should head for Amsterdam which has around 80km (50 miles) of canals, as well over 1,250 bridges.

The first pleasure cruise in the history of Amsterdam canals took place in 1621 when Queen Elisabeth Stuart of Bohemia was welcomed into the city. Since then cruises have been taken by Winston Churchill, the Beatles, Nelson Mandela, Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, to name a few.

One of the Beatles, John Lennon, went a little bit further. Instead of just a cruise, he and his wife, Yoko Ono, spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam with their ‘Bed-In for Peace’ demonstration in protest of the Vietnam War. The protest lasted for a week and the press from around the world were invited into the couple’s suite to witness their bed-in for twelve hours per day between 9am and 9pm. To encourage the world leaders to think peace rather than war Yoko Ono sent each one of them an acorn - a symbol of peace - in the hope that they would plant them and be reminded that peace could be achieved. From this experience came the classic ‘Give Peace a Chance’ song. 

For those more interested in discovering what the city of Amsterdam itself has to offer, sailing through the canals rather than sitting in the hotel, is the answer. The canal boat tours allow couples to get off and explore any particular sight they may have decided on, and then get back on and float to the next sight.

One of the major stops is Anne Frank's House, located in the heart of Amsterdam. Visitors come here to see where Anne and her family hid during World War II — and where she wrote her famous diary, ‘The Anne Frank Diary’. The diary itself, together with photographs, official documents, letters, postcards, books and possessions belonging to the Frank family, are on display. 

Another popular sight is Bloemenmarkt, world's only Floating Flower Market. Its location is the Singel canal which has the distinction of being one of the oldest of Amsterdam's canals, dating back to 1862. The market consists of small shops inside a row of floating barges. In years past, flowers arrived in Amsterdam every day from the countryside by boat.

Since such great artists as Rembrandt and Van Gogh came from Holland, there are museums displaying the works of both, including Rembrandt’s famous and largest painting ‘The Night Watch’ and Vincent van Gogh’s most recognisable painting ‘Sunflowers’. Other artists represented in the various museums include Gaugin, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Manet, and many other, less-recognisable artists.

Based on the book, 'Honeymoon! A Sizzle or a Fizzle'

Find it on Amazon and Smashwords

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