On the Viking Mimir

We say goodbye to wonderful Amsterdam with a few parting bits of info and a few photos. There are 162 canals in Amsterdam.  All were dug by hand, and filled with fresh water, to depths between three to ten feet. The houseboats originally alongside of the canals were to shelter poor people who couldn’t afford real housing.  Eventually, there were so many that the government put a halt to allowing any additional ones.  Since then, houseboats have gained access to sewer lines, and plumbing and electrical through underwater pipes.  If one becomes available today, the slip goes for as much as one million dollars.  Bring your checkbook for a waterfront view.  

A million dollar piece of property.
The canals are an integral part of life in this city, which has often been called the “Little Venice of the North.”   Several neighboring homeowners often share the expense of a boat to get to and from their housing. They can even shop for food, like take out pizza, right from the seat of their boat. 

How do I get to my front door?
  
Parking might be a little tough…
 

With a population of 800,000, it’s amazing to know there are 900,000 bikes…one to ride, one to park by the canals, and one to get stolen.  Parking your car, if you can even find a space, will cost you five dollars an hour, which is why everyone has a bike. 

We board our river boat, the Viking Longship Mimar today. It has a passenger capacity of 183 with a staff of 50.  The staff all seem extremely excited…we find out that we are on the maiden voyage of this ship.  Just completed in April 2015, the staff have been training, anxiously awaiting this first group of passengers. One can smell the new leather of the sofas, see the shine of new varnish on the wood, with beds that have never been slept on, and heated bathroom floors that are being used for the first time.   The chef introduces himself and promises that his food is so good that every passenger is guaranteed to gain six pounds before this two week journey is over.  Thanks for the warning…

It should be quite an adventure…   

The wifi on the boat is sketchy, but I’ll try to write when it is working…

 

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