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Holland and Belgium jewelry attractions


#1

Hello Orchidians,

I am about to embark on a 10 day river cruise through the Netherlands
and Belgium. I get on the boat in Amsterdam, cruise North then turn
around and head South, ending in Antwerp. Cities and towns that I’ll
be roaming about aRe: Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Amsterdam, Schoonhoven,
Veere, Ghent, and Antwerp. Since this is an organized tour, time in
each is limited and I’ll have no ground transport other than walking
or public means. Given those restrictions, are there any sights that
are ‘absolutely don’t miss this’? This is my first visit to these
countries so everything will be awesome to see but I don’t want to
come home and find out that I missed something phenomenal. Jewelry
related is good, but art and cultural sights are also welcomed.

Thanks,
Cheree


#2

Hi Cheree,

I don’t know so much about Holland, but regarding Belgium I’m OK :-))
Are you sure you’re going to Ghent? Isn’t it Gent? If yes, than there
is a fantastic castle right in the middle of the town, one part of
that castle has been remodeled as a museum of modern art… Very
interesting. Take a walk in the old part of the town, you’ll
discover some nice jewelry store (like Heursel, they are settled in
an old Pharmacy store).

In Antwerp, do not miss the diamond museum, and take a walk in
Vestingstraat (the diamond district) and Rijfstraat (don’t miss
Ginotti on the corner- he has one of a kind watches!-expensive one
though!), the old train station (great iron architecture). If you
like shopping, from were you are go to the port, the walk will take
you through old streets full of little boutiques… If you still have
some time try to visit the Technicum school of jewelry (it’s one of
the Belgian school that is really fashion oriented). Maybe you’ll be
proposed to visit Brugge, my advice would be go to Brussels instead,
and visit the Grand Place (the same architecture as in Brugge but
with many more things to see than “just” canals) and of course the
"Atomium" (google it you’ll see what it is!).

I’m from the Walloon side of Belgium (you’re actually visiting one
little part of the Flemish side) so if you can take a train or a cab
to push further your trip, come in Liege, there is allot to see and
to enjoy (the Liegeois are renowned for their joy of life and great
sense of humor) in addition there is allot of “old stones” and
museums to see here too. Let me know if you stay more than one day in
Belgium, I could maybe help you find interesting things to do to fill
the gaps… Enjoy your stay!

Ced


#3

Regarding getting around in Amsterdam, you can buy a very reasonably
priced ticket at the central train station, which entitles you to
travel on any of the major trams for the period of time specified on
the ticket. There are some small tram companies whose trams are not
covered by the ticket, but the vast majority of the city’s trams are
covered (the blue and white ones if I remember rightly) and you can
go absolutely anywhere. The trams come along very regularly and there
are easy to follow maps so you can work out which ones to catch. One
word of warning though, when you get on a tram, either find a seat
REALLY quickly, or hold on TIGHT!!! They move away from the stops
very fast and can catch you off guard if you’re not holding on.

Enjoy your trip!

Helen
UK