Following the cruise, we explored Amsterdam on our own. We visited the Anne Frank museum and Corrie Ten Boom’s house in nearby Harlem. Two completely different life situations, Anne a young girl, Corrie an older woman; Anne a Jew, Corrie a Gentile; Anne hidden, Corrie who hid Jews in her house. Both were significantly impacted by the events of World War 2 and wrote books about their experiences. Their books have helped ensure that people don’t forget history. Hopefully, we learn from the mistakes of the past.

Just outside Amsterdam, we visited a reconstructed windmill town with working windmills, called Zaanse Schans. It was fascinating to see how even in years gone by people harnessed the power of the wind to create energy.

Next Stop: Maastricht which is a historic town. The authorities have done a good job of combining the old with the new and keeping it functional. It’s also a bit cleaner than Amsterdam and the traffic’s not so hectic. It’s also not as touristy. It’s Andre Rieu’s home town and we went to one of his concerts. The costumes, backdrops, fireworks and dancers were all great, as well as the singers and musicians. There were a huge number of people there and it didn’t finish until after midnight.

We spent the last few days of our holiday in Switzerland in a town called, Sursee. We planned to do several day trips from here but we’re feeling quite tired. We did visit Lucerne, Lausanne and travelled on the scenic Golden Pass rail route, which gets up to 1279 metres above sea level.

From Sursee to Albury took two trains, three flights and a car ride over two days.

It’s good to be home.