Archive For The “Europe” Category

Berendrecht Lock

Berendrecht Lock

The Berendrecht and Kieldrecht locks in the Port of Antwerp are the two biggest locks in the world. Both are 1,600 ft (1/2 km) long and 223 ft (68m) wide, and can accommodate post-Panamax ships. When completed in 1988, the 44-ft-deep (13.5 m) Berendrecht was the largest in the world until edged out by the…

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Ghent

Ghent

Ghent is one of Belgium’s oldest cities, with beautiful medieval and classical architecture, winding canals lined with cafes and bars, wonderful street art, and some of the best museums in the country. The city also is a university town and has the vibrant feel a youthful population brings, that we’re told feels less touristy than…

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Brussels

Brussels

Brussels famous Grand Place, named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998, is one of the most magnificent city squares in Europe. A 15th-century spired town hall rises on one side, while ornate 17th-century guild halls and other centuries-old buildings form the other three sides. The square is all but invisible until you walk through…

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Along the Scheldt

Along the Scheldt

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, two million Europeans departed Antwerp along the river Scheldt aboard Red Star Line ships bound for North America. Today, the shipping company’s riverside warehouse is now home to an excellent museum detailing the history of that emigration. During that time, the only connection between the east and west…

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Historic Antwerp

Historic Antwerp

Antwerp was already a major trading center by the 14th century, with sufficient resources to begin construction of the spectacular Cathedral of Our Lady. By the 16th century, Antwerp was the leading commercial center in Europe and home to one of continent’s most respected publishing houses, operated by Christophe Plantin. This period also saw the…

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Changing Plans

Changing Plans

After we got underway this morning from Antwerp, we learned that Belgium has closed all restaurants, bars, cafes, and night clubs. The US recently blocked anyone from the Schengen area from entering the US. Princess Cruise lines has suspended all operations for 2 months. Italy has shut down all non-essential, non-emergency services and already has…

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Antwerp Arrival

Antwerp Arrival

On our final day of travel from Amsterdam to Antwerp, we passed through two locks and one bridge on a 30-mile, 7.5-hour run through the river Scheldt. Antwerp is the second largest commercial port in Europe after Rotterdam and commercial traffic was heavy in the river. Most of the Port of Antwerp is behind the…

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Dordrecht to Hansweert

Dordrecht to Hansweert

From Dordrecht we ran 41 miles over 7 hours to Hansweert, our final stop in the Netherlands. We passed through two locks and only one bridge, and returned to saltwater for first time in four months. Pleasure craft normally can’t moor in the commercial harbour at Hansweert, but we were allowed to overnight there because…

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Leiden to Dordrecht

Leiden to Dordrecht

We departed Leiden at 6:00am on a Monday morning, making a 38-mile, 8-hour run to Dordrecht and passing through 20 bridges and one lock. We got an early start because the first 5 bridges would open on-demand between 6:00 and 6:45, but were then closed for rush-hour until 9:30. The pre-dawn run was the prettiest…

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Leiden

Leiden

Historic Leiden is home to the oldest university in the Netherlands, established in 1575. The university achieved international prominence during the Dutch Golden Age, has produced sixteen Nobel Laureates, attracted lecturers such as Albert Einstein, and currently is ranked in the top 100 universities in the world. The city also has several excellent museums, including…

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Haarlem to Leiden

Haarlem to Leiden

The run from Haarlem to Leiden is only seventeen miles, but passes through sixteen bridges, nearly one per mile. The day started with a trip along the narrow and intimate canal through the center of Haarlem, almost close enough to touch the buildings on either side, and on past the Cruquius Pumphouse. We’d visited the…

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Return to Haarlam

Return to Haarlam

When we visited Haarlem last year by train, we didn’t even consider that we could bring Dirona here through the narrow inland canals with our 2.1m water draft and 9.1m mast. But a route does exist, and in mid-February we set off on a trip from Amsterdam to Antwerp via the Netherlands’ inland canal system….

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Amsterdam Friends and Visitors

Amsterdam Friends and Visitors

Once again, our winter in Amsterdam provided a great opportunity to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and meet in person some we’d only corresponded with. Several we saw at METS, the Marine Equipment Trade Show held annually in Amsterdam, and others we met in town or on Dirona. Click any image below…

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Final Week in Amsterdam

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…

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January in Amsterdam

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,…

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Museum Island

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…

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Potsdamer Platz

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…

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The Berlin Wall

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…

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