I have just returned from a cruise on the “Hidden Waterways of Germany” - an interesting trip visiting many old towns and cities in the north of the country, ending up in the Dutch City of Amsterdam.
Of special interest was the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam where the Potsdam Conference between the victorious leaders (Truman, Stalin and Churchill) was held in July 1945 at the end of World War II.
The visit to the picturesque towns in the Hartz Mountains was fascinating . This is an area steeped in European folklore where every crag is supposedly hiding a giant, goblin or gnome. Witches are still feared today. The Brothers Grimm used many of the local stories as inspiration for their fantasy tales.
The cruise finished in Holland sailing across the Ijsselmeer (formerly known as the Ziderzee) which was quite choppy. The Dutch towns were very pretty but one needed to have eyes in the back of one’s head to avoid the multitude of bicycles which came at you from all sides, especially in Amsterdam. I was told that there were 880,000+, and I can believe this.