|Battle of Britain movie poster|
|Herman Goring portrayed by actor Hein Reiss|
|Map of route across Zuyder Zee|
|Causeway across Zuyder Zee|
Click on the player below to see video of Bob and Pat cruising around Amsterdam.
Prior to the sea’s incursion, there existed a little village far from sea. It was located on the River Amstel close to where a dam had been built. The name of the village therefore was Amsterdam. As the sea invaded to create the Zuyder Zee, the little village gradually became a coastal port with easy access to the prosperous Baltic Sea. It used this turn of events to become one of the greatest ports in the world. Today, the surrounding metropolitan area has a population of over eight million inhabitants. The city became a leader in the fields of diamonds and finance. Holland established its colonial empire and, as the financial and cultural capital of the country, Amsterdam profited from this. The Amsterdam Stock exchange is the oldest stock exchange in the world. Great wealth still exists here. It is possible to travel all over Amsterdam by canal boat. When doing so, one cannot fail to notice district after district of tall, narrow, elegant mansions built over recent centuries by wealthy merchants.
Finally, in the 20th century, moves began to reclaim the Zuyder Zee from the sea in order to give the Dutch a little more living space. The dams recently built in pursuit of that project, such as the causeway between Enkhuizen and Lelystad traveled by Pat and me, prevent the continued use the Zuyder Zee as a means of access for ships to the port of Amsterdam. However that is no problem, because the port of Amsterdam is now linked to the ocean by a great canal running west from the city. Its operation, as a leading shipping center, is therefore not hampered by the reclamation works in the Zuyder Zee.
|1928 Olympic Regatta on Zuyder Zee|
The status of Amsterdam as one of the world’s great cities is shown by the fact that the 1928 Olympic Games were held here. And where did they then hold the sailing events? The Zuyder Zee, of course.
This piece, written by Bob, was originally posted on our website on October 26, 2010.