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dykes of amsterdam

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1. Posted by duffyj (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y

My friend and I are going to Amsterdam for five days next May. We plan to see the main sites in Amsterdam and then take a few day trips outside of the city. We are interested in Haarlem, Leiden, and Delft. (Recommendations welcome). But we would also like to know if we might go someplace to see the legendary dykes that hold the waters back from Amsterdam. And is it worth seeing. We have been given to undersand that these work better that those that protect New Orleans--sorry, this is a travel site, not a political site.
So, let me know...

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Well, the dykes are pretty hard to miss really... head pretty much anywhere close to water and you'll see them. Just so you know, the dykes hold back water from huge parts of the country, not just Amsterdam. People from Rotterdam wouldn't appreciate outsiders thinking that, even though a lot of people do!

Quite a large part of the country lies below sea level so there are dykes everywhere. You don't even really know you are on them sometimes as a lot have roads built over them. In my opinion they are not very spectacular to see, but I've seen so many having lived there that it's nothing special. In reality, it's a pretty amazing thing if you think about it!

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4958 posts) 11y

If you get a chance, try heading to the Deltaworks in Zeeland. Those are the massive dikes that were built after the flood of 1953 put most of the province under water, and unlike the regular dikes along pretty much any body of water in the Netherlands, these are quite impressive to see. Several of them have tours where you can walk through them, take a boatride to see them from the water, and a kind of musuem with scalemodels so you can see how they operate when there's a big storm and they need to close.
I don't know if there's any decent way to get there with public transport though.

  • googles* Ah, the one I was specifically thinking of was "waterland Neeltje-Jans" (the website of which is unfortunately not available in english, although I distinctly recall the tours and the museum itself having everything in at least four languages). Public transport there is train to Rotterdam Zuidplein, and then bus 133 (direction Vlissingen), stop "Neeltje Jans/WaterLand" (ask the driver). *looks more* - ouch. no, that's a bus trip of almost two hours. And the train journey will be over an hour by itself already. Not worth it. You might look for a tour though, or rent a car.
4. Posted by ReinierNL (Full Member 207 posts) 11y

Why only five days? You need more than that to visit the Netherlands!
Anyhow, as a native of the Amsterdam region I would skip Haarlem. Delft and the Deltawerken are mandatory. Leiden is also beautiful city. I suggest to visit the Zaanse Schans (a series of windmills and wooden houses in the local style, just 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam), Volendam, Edam, Marken, Monnickendam (lovely fishing villages, easily reached by bus from Amsterdam). I have several pictures from Delft in my photo gallery.

Good luck preparing your holidays and have fun!

5. Posted by duffyj (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y

Thanks for all the great info. So how about Rotterdam? We will base ourselves in Amsterdam, but would like to make several trips, almost certainly via public transport (thanks for checking on all that), outside of the city. I have never been to the Netherlands, other than that refueling stop in 1980. I'm really excited about it, but guide books tend to refrain from making judgements about where to go and where not to go--except the Michelin, whose opinions I tend not to trust outside of France, frankly.

I wish I had more than five days in the Netherlands. I am taking a group of students to study in France for the month of June--don't worry, I will not be bringing them to Amsterdam! I will meet them in Paris. But I always think of trips as my "first trip" or my "next trip" to this place or that place, never as my "last trip." I hope to get back.

While I'm on this subject, my father and I were taken to a wonderful restaurant in Jakarta for a Riistaffel (forgive the spelling). Where to go for good Indonisian food in Amsterdam?

Thanks in advance.

6. Posted by standard67 (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y

Oh great, this is about dams, not *dikes*

I have seen some impressive lockes in seattle, but eurpoes are sure to be grander and older.

Arney Carlsson

Attack's going to kill you anyway!

[ Edit: Sorry, no personal contact details in the forum please.... ]

7. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting standard67

Oh great, this is about dams, not *dikes*

I have seen some impressive lockes in seattle, but eurpoes are sure to be grander and older.

Arney Carlsson

Attack's going to kill you anyway!

Hey Arney, first time I see your message uncensored.....well done

8. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Quoting wouterrr

Hey Arney, first time I see your message uncensored.....well done

Well, it's touch and go really....