Pottery, Planetarium And Steam Pump
Pottery, Planetarium and Steam Pump
Upon arriving to Amsterdam meet your local, friendly and knowledgeable representative near your ship pier and depart for a day of history and adventure. A short, 15 minutes later in your comfortable, air-conditioned minivan, you will have left behind the busy city center and will begin to discover the Dutch countryside. Your guide will inform you with history of this land, where life below sea level was reclaimed land (Polders in Dutch), and how the fight against water is what has defined this nation.
Your experienced driver and guide will be leading you to your first stop of the day, the Enclosing Dike. This most famous and most important dike of the country is a 30 kilometer (17 Miles) long piece of water management engineering. Listen as your guide will tell you all about the significance of this man-made dike and then stop in the middle to get out and explore to learn even more about the building of the dike.
Continue your journey driving on the other half of the dike and soon you will approach Friesland. Considered to be the most beautiful province of the country, listen as your guide explains about what makes this province unique. Your first stop in Friesland is Harlinger Pottery and Tiles Factory; an authentic family business and the last company in the Netherlands to produce pottery and tiles in an original manner. The products are still made entirely by hand using the tin glazing technique. Internationally, this technique is called majolica, faience or Delftware. In Harlingen, pottery and tiles have been made using the tin glazing technique since 1598. A local resident guide will tell you more about the process while you observe the painters hand painting the tiles.
Next, it is time to make your way to Franeker, the old academy city of Friesland. Once you arrive, first enjoy a delicious and typical lunch in a cozy, local restaurant and relax for a bit, as you savor the delectable fare presented and soak up the authentic atmosphere.
Your next highlight is the oldest and still working planetarium in the world. This accurately moving model of the solar system was built between 1774 and 1781 by the Frisian wool comber, Eise Eisinga. Eise Eisinga is the creator of the oldest still-working planetarium in the world. On his ceiling in Franeker, you can see the orbiting of the planets and sun. During your visit you will be given plenty of information in the Planet Room and there is even time to discover the rest of the museum on your own.
The last stop of today is the Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal, this steam pumping station is the biggest such station in the world. Be introduced to one of the local operators, who will give you an exclusive tour while explaining everything about water management. On October 7, 1920 Queen Wilhelmina opened the pumping station. It was built to pump excess water out of Friesland and this steam pumping station remains with a practical function today in the Frisian water system.
After all these unique visits, it's time to sit back and relax with your exclusive map of the Amsterdam Lake District that is handed out as part of your tour. Recount the many wonderful sites and places you will have visited on this very special day as you travel back to Amsterdam.
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