Beach Travelers: The Netherlands

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The Netherlands,house boat,Tulip museum
Canal houseboat with directions to the Tulip Museum.

Beach resident Becky Bodnar has graciously agreed to share some photos from her summer European travels with the Sand Paper. Here are a few photos from her recent visit to the Netherlands.

 

beach travelers, the netherlands, bike paths, tulips
Bikes and tulips–there are bike paths right alongside streets throughout Amsterdam, and bikers rule. If you walk in the bike path, you are taking your life in your own hands.

The Tulip Museum in Amsterdam

Tulips came to the Netherlands around 1550 from ISTANBUL, of all places. In the lavish palaces of 16th century Istanbul, the Sultans collected, nurtured and displayed large quantities of tulips. This beautiful flower, called “tulip” after the Turkish word for “turban,” was brought to Holland from Turkey and quickly became widely popular.

beach travelers, netherlands, amsterdam, tulips, museum
These frilly tulips were on display in front of the museum/shop.

It got so popular that in 1630′s, “Tulip Mania” erupted in The Netherlands and rare tulip bulbs exchanged hands for unbelievable amounts of money.

 

Tulip bulbs,The Netherlands
Tulip bulbs were and are big business in the Netherlands.
beach travelers, amsterdam, the netherlands, tulips
A Turkish child with tulips.
1.Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1494-1566) kept his tulips in his “Abode of Bliss,” an inner sanctum at the Topkapi Palace, planted exclusively for his enjoyment. 2.Tulip motifs can be seen everywhere in Amsterdam. Here are examples on tile and porcelain vases. 3.To this day in modern Turkey the tulip is still considered the embodiment of perfection and beauty.
1.Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent (1494-1566) kept his tulips in his “Abode of Bliss,” an inner sanctum at the Topkapi Palace, planted exclusively for his enjoyment. 2.Tulip motifs can be seen everywhere in Amsterdam. Here are examples on tile and porcelain vases. 3.To this day in modern Turkey the tulip is still considered the embodiment of perfection and beauty.
Almshouse,The Netherlands
Almshouse sign – Almshouses are medieval retirement homes for elderly, poor women, built between the 13th century and 19th century. Almshouses were financed by the rich in order to improve their chances of getting into heaven. Haarlem used to have about 40 almshouses but now has about 20 in use. They are still committed to providing cheap accommodation for elderly ladies of modest means.
Haarlem,Red light district
Red light district — Haarlem has a small red light district, legal since the 1980s. The district has around 38 windows within private areas hidden from public view.

Haarlem

The city of Haarlem is a 15-minute train ride from Amsterdam. Once a wealthy North Sea trading port, it retains its medieval character of cobblestone streets and gabled houses. It’s the center of a major flower-bulb-growing district and famous for its art museums and hofjes (almshouses built around leafy courtyards).

St. Bavo's Church,Laurens Janszoon Coster statue
1.St. Bavo’s Church (1370~1520) and Laurens Janszoon Coster statue (1856). The social center of old Haarlem is Market Square, anchored by Saint Bavo’s Church. The statue honors L.J. Coster (c.1370-1440), believed to have invented book printing. In his hand, he holds a printing stick. 2.Café on Market Square. Market Square, where 10 streets converge, is the town’s centerpiece. We stopped at this café for a piece of apple tart. (It was really good.)

Photos by Becky Bodnar.