Friday, July 2, 2010

02. My visit to Netherlands and Germany

The World Becomes Short When You Travel Vast

Veni - Vidi - Vici

Europe Tour - 42 days - From July 26, 1988 to September 5, 1988 with Kapali, Lynn, Shanti and Shiela.

Europe is the world's second smallest major land area after Ocenaia. It has only 7 percent of the globe's land but with 15 percent of the world's population. It is the most populous continent second to Asia. Europe's great geographical diversity extends from the world's largest country, the USSR, to its smallest sovereign state, the Vatican City.

July 26, 1988: Left San Francisco via British Airways in Business Class with Kapali Eswaran. Arrived at Heathrow Airport, London. Left London and arrived at Amsterdam Airport, Holland

Before we arrived in Amsterdam, Lynn, Shanti and Sheila were there in the Airport waiting for us, since they left San Francisco in advance on another flight. We rented a camper in Amsterdam and travelled throughout the countries in Europe in it.

July 27 to July 31, 1988 -  5 days in Netherlands (Holland)

Holland is a kingdom  of northwestern Europe. With forty percent of its land lying below the sea level, Holland is one of the world's lowest country. One of Europe's greatest producers of dairy, the country's economy is based heavily on agriculture. The Hague is the seat of government. Capital is Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands in North Holland province, consisting of 70 islands separated by 80 Kilometers of canals and connected by 1000 bridges. It lies on the Ij, an arm of the Ijsslmeer and is linked to the North Sea by a ship canal. The city has one of the world's most important stock exchanges and is a major center of the diamond-cutting industry.

We visited the Rijks Museum, which houses the largest collection of Dutch paintings; It is outstanding. The visited Heineken Beer Brewery, Van Noppes, Diamond Cutting Factory ( a world famous factory), Flower Auction Market at Halsmeer, auction held in a big hall by computer system. We saw all kinds of flowers of the world. At the end of the auction, the flowers are exported to various parts of the world to the bidders forwarding addresses by airplanes.
Next we visited The Hague -- the city in the western Netherlands, the capital of South Holland Province in the North Sea. Most of the Netherlands governments' administrative offices are located here, the Supreme Court and Foreign Embassies. It is also the site of the International Court of Justice, the main judicial body of the United Nations, founded in 1945 and also called "The World Court". We were so pleased to admire the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, the Apostle of Peace and Non-violence (Father of the Indian Nation) decorated in the Hall of Fame in the court. When we were proceeding The Hague, we travelled over the dike (Dike or Dyke - an embankment of earth and rock, specially built to prevent floods). Also visited Anne Frank's house and Zuderzee Castle. Night halt in the camp area.

(Anne Frank - Young Jewish girl who with her family hid in a small room for two years in order to avoid capture by the barbaric Nazi regime who had control of this state during the early forties)

August 1,  to Aug 8th 1988  - East and West Germany

Germany : A country in the central Europe, divided since 1945 into Federal Republic of Gernamy (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Hitler's aggressive and expansionist foreign policy led to the outbreak of World War II in 1939, defeated at the hands of the Allies in 1945 and the subsequent split in to East & West Germany. The two parts of the city were divided by the Berlin Wall, a wire and concrete barrier erected by the communist East German government. Now the wall had been demolished and the two parts of the Germany have been united into one.

Entered Germany through Dusseldorf in North Rhine- Westphalia, West Germany. It is a port on the Rhine River serving  the Rhut and Wupper industrial areas. Its industries include iron, steel car assembly and chemicals. Visited Berdoff Castle -- Kohn (Cologne) city which is famous for scented perfume; -- Naotto Diesel factory -- Cochen City and Brendenburg Castle.

 Arrived at Bonn, the capital of West Germany since 1949, on the Rhine River in the western part of the country. It was founded as a Roman garrison (1st century A.D.). Its baroque architectural character is due to its having rebuilt in 1685 after being destroyed by Elector Frederick II of Brendenburg. Visited the Federal Diet (Parliament) and then roamed through the downtown and other shopping centers.

Traveling through Mossel Valley-Lorrey Echo hill - reached Frankfurt Main industrial city, financial  center and river port in Hesse. From 1816 to 1866 the city was the virtual capital of Germany and the seat of the Federal Diet (Parliament). Visited Nicholas Church and Wurzburg Church; City Hall; Shopping in Hauf Hof center; Bamburg, the original town and also Rotherburg City.

After visiting these places we were traveling on the autobahn at midnight. No speed limit, unlimted speed on the autobahnen (expressways). Everybody was speeding in 120 to 140 mph. Unfortunately out camper ran out of gas. We pulled out of the camper on the shoulder and showed hike signs. Nobody stopped.  At last one gentleman stopped his car and came down and enquired about our problem. When Kapali said "out of gas", the man jerked his shoulders and muttered "Please don't say out of Gas. It is a serious crime to run the vehicles on autobahnen out of gas in Germany. Before you enter in the express way, you must check gas and fill it up. Heavy penalty for going out of gas". Then he took Kapali in his car , drove to the gas station and came back, filled the tank and wished us a happy continued journey. When he was about to start his car I presented two bottles of wine to keep up the Indian hospitality. He politely refused my offer and started his engine, but I kindly place two bottled on the back seat of his car and thanked him for his kind help.

After recovering from this obstacle we reached Tubuigen where Kapali's friend Mr. Brian is living. We celebrated Kapali's birthday in his house. He took us to Sindelfingen where we visited one of the world's largest and biggest swimming pools having 3 outdoor and 3 indoor pools with various temperatures of water and equipped with many slides, diving boards, children pools etc. Half-naked and full-naked men and women swimming, playing and taking sun-baths. We spent the whole day there. On August 8th we visited the oldest University in the world in Heidleberg and then passed through Black Forest to reach Switzerland.

Continued in Switzerland blog..

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