June 25, 2019 (Day 1 of Viking cruise)
I’ve been busy the last few days and unable to participate in Becky’s Square July Blues.
So to make up for it (just a little!) I’m posting three blue squares today -all taken in the Netherlands in late June of this year. Known for its Delft china (which is also blue), Holland is also a country very much connected to the water. This is where the Rhine River ends, and there are many canals, rivers and bogs. In fact, most of the Netherlands is below sea level, which is why they had to build dykes. Boating and river-based sports are naturally popular, and cities grow up around waterways.
The first blue square photo was taken on a private canal tour during our four days in Amsterdam. Sleek modern buildings are not what come to mind when one conjures up an image of this city of canals and bicycles, but there are many such buildings, especially on the far side of the river, like this one. The Rhine River widens here as it flows to the Atlantic Ocean. Blue water, blue building, blue sky!
Our 2-week Viking river cruise began in Amsterdam on June 25 and wound along the Rhine, the Main and the Danube rivers. The next photo is of Nijmegen, a city in the south of the country.
There is a lot of boat and ship traffic on these rivers, not only popular for cruises but also to transport freight and leisure for the locals. This photo was taken on the cruise, somewhere between Amsterdam and Nijmegen. As a special touch, this photo has a blue square within a blue square! 😉
Climate change was very much in evidence in Europe in June and July this year. Just a few days ago, a fierce heat wave sent temperatures soaring to record highs in many countries unused to extreme heat (Paris broke all-time records on July 26 with an afternoon high of 109ºF/43ºC!). Although places of business often have air conditioning, most people live in houses or apartments without air conditioning because they so seldom have needed it.
An earlier heat wave (not as extreme, but it lasted longer) hit while we were in Amsterdam. Our Airbnb didn’t even have a fan! However, usually it would be cool enough with a balcony in front and another one in back creating a cross draft. Fortunately, two days after the heat wave started, we were on a Viking river ship, where all inside areas have air conditioning.
What does one do when temperatures reach 90-95°F/32-35° in Holland? Go to the beach!
We saw many scenes like this as we cruised up the Rhine River. And it wasn’t just people!
Cows also know how to “chill” when it’s hot!
Now “chill out” with this golden oldie, Heatwave by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas!