We had a busy day today, yet time to relax on board. We had breakfast while the ship sailed out of Amsterdam and into the Zuiderzee, an artificially constructed lake out of teh North Sea by building dykes and allowing fresh water to displace teh salt water. We sailed to Volendam. It was misty and dull and we were afraid it would rain, but by the time we reached Volendam it had brightened up and we left without our raincoats. Volendam was interesting, but a bit of a tourist trap with stores selling the usual souvenirs and geegaws and the staff in restaurants in national costume. We wandered through the town found a Church with a very orderly cemetery. Every tomb had a stone and flowers. Some had solar powered lamps which no doubt switched on automatically at night. We made our way back to the ship.
The ship sailed as we started to enjoy a barbecue on the sun deck. Just as we finished, it started to rain and everyone moved indoors. The staff took in the lounge chair pads and then the rain went off and the sun came out. The pads were put back and everyone was outdoors again in time to watch the ship dock in Hoorn. We got off and joined a walking tour of the town which was most interesting. The building used by the region in the past for an assembly hall was decorated with crests meaningful to each part of the region. We saw the oldest building dating to 1563, but the beams - enormous timbers, go back to the 13th century. We saw some buildings which had housed widows and older single ladies in the past. At the conclusion of the walk we stopped for a tea and orange juice and a pastry before walking back to the ship. In the harbour we found a pair of coots nesting and a pair of Grebes trying to steal the material from their nest.
When we returned to the ship we sorted out some of the photos and had dinner while the ship sailed to Enkhuisen where we will spend the night. We then retired to the lounge for coffee and completed the photos.
Tomorrow we go to Sneek (pronounced "snake") by a smaller boat and spend most of the day there.