Our day began at the Flora Holland flower auction location. It is an amazing place that auctions off millions of flowers every single day, speeding them from the growers to the customers as fast as possible. We walked a catwalk over the areas where flowers on carts are moved around quickly.
Next, we walked through the old castle courtyard in Den Haag which is home to the Dutch parliament and government. Inside the courtyard is Knights Hall, a special building used by the King to give his state of the union address each September.
After a lunch stop in Delft, we traveled to the large storm surge barrier near the city of Rotterdam. The pictures show the impressive size of the barrier. Our day wrapped up when we arrived in Goes, NL for our hotel stay and dinner. This group of students really enjoys playing the game “Rook.”
for a video of some of us driving a “virtual” flower cart click on this link (start at about 0:50)
Today we went on a boat cruise around the canals of Amsterdam. The boat traveled in and out of the canals with an audio tour to listen to. This tour was at 3:30 in the afternoon, so we had all been up for about 30 hours with only maybe a couple hours of sleep on the plane. Professor Brouwer attempted to give us a pep talk to keep us awake to enjoy the cruise, right before he feel asleep. Pretty sure everyone fell asleep for at least a little bit on that cruise, we were all exhausted, and sitting in the warm boat did not help. Overall the boat cruise was fun, and a nice midday napping experience.
We had the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank house. This was an interesting, and sobering experience. As we walked through the cramped passage and small rooms that made up Anne Frank’s whole world for two years, I was struck first at the fear, and brutality the Nazis brought with them into the Netherlands, and also the simple courage of the people who helped the Franks to hide. There was one quote from one of the neighborhood ladies that agreed to help them that read “They were in need, and I was in a position to help them. It was as simple as that.” Not to mention she put her life and her family’s lives on the line for this family, but she knew it was right and did not hesitate to help them. Such compassion and faith is inspiring. We were also able to glimpse the amazing impact her journal has had on the world. It has been translated into more than 70 language and has printed millions of copies. Overall it was a very interesting experience.