In 1999, the Chateau of Versailles sustained enormous damage from a large storm, losing 10,000 trees. They subsequently had a fundraising effort in 2000 to raise money to replant the gardens and repair the buildings. I bought a tree through this fundraising effort and was glad to contribute to the rebuilding of Versailles.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild has extensive vineyards that go 8 feet deep into the ground which makes them very hardy. In addition, there is a museum with valuable and beautiful art objects as well as the wine labels over the years, created by artists such as Picasso.
Then, down to Bordeaux and the Haut Medoc where the Premier Cru vineyards are located. While staying in the small village of Margaux, I had a chance to explore the countryside. I participated in wine tasting events at the Chateau Margaux, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and Ormes de Pez north of Pauillac.
This time I stayed in the Museum Quarter in Amsterdam, close to the van Gogh museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the various interesting museums in the quartier. The large Vondel Park in Amsterdam is close by as well as the Sotheby’s office.
Another visit to the St Laurenskerk in Rotterdam where my ancestor, Johan van Brakel, is buried with a large monument and headstone. A meeting with Frank Migchielsen, directeur of the Laurenskerk in Rotterdam, resulted in better pictures and more information about my ancestor and the Church itself. I made a donation to the Childrens’ programs of the Church.
My Grandfather van Gerve’s apartment buildings in Amsterdam have been renovated and look great! The brick façades have been cleaned, resulting in a brighter look to the buildings and the neighborhood. The apartment buildings on Stuyvesanstraat by the Canal Kostverlorenvaart form a great working class neighborhood, south of the busy Kinkerstraat filled with many shops and restaurants.
Are you into wines? …of any kind? The environs of Bordeaux can offer you every wine for your palate…along with good food, a dab of history, and some great architecture! http://www.bordeauxwinetrip.com/