I will share a few updates on stories that I have posted before. Just a few things going on in The Netherlands…

Since it reopened in April of this year, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has had two million visitors. On average there are 7-10,000 visitors a day.  Recently, the two millionth visitor walked through the museum’s door and the director was there to greet her. He had flowers and a bag of items from the gift shop. This lucky visitor was a tourist from Israel and she was on the last day of her holiday.

I have written many stories about how OLD this country is. When there is any construction going on, you can usually expect an announcement about what has been found buried for over 500 years or so.  There could be bones, money, weapons, or even a wooden bicycle.

In central Utrecht, archeologists have found part of a Roman road. The northern border of the Roman Empire ran through The Netherlands, via Utrecht, and through to Germany.  A Roman fort has stood on this site. This discovery was found near the Domtoren (the tallest tower in this country) and a very popular area for people to visit or sit at a nearby café. This is an area that I really love. Once construction is complete, this road is going to covered by a glass walkway so that the public will be able to see it.

And finally, we come back to the prostitutes. Five months after the houseboats (they were the working spaces of the prostitutes) lost their licenses, the Utrecht city council has agreed to a new location.  The city was concerned about the possibility that women were being forced to work in this profession and that there was some human trafficking going on. This was a big deal for the city, as there were many arguments for both sides. Ultimately, the city closed down the entire area and the women were either out of work or they went to other cities.

But now the city says they will create a new work space, although there will be no houseboats, just boring buildings. The houseboats will be removed in March of next year and the new space will open after that. There will be 162 windows, as they are called here. This new area will be known as The Prostitute Centrum.  I am not kidding.

Also, the city now requires that all prostitutes must be at least 21 years of age.

I just keep wondering about those houseboats. Where they are going and how will they be used…it just makes you wonder.

Recommended viewing:  In Britain, they have just aired the final POIROT episode. After 25 years, David Suchet is leaving the famous detective behind. The last episode is actually Poirot’s last case, just as Agatha Christie wrote it.  It was very bittersweet to watch this. In the USA, the final three episodes will air next year.

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  • LadyGregory  On December 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Well done, as usual. Good info on the Romans. Thank you!

  • krunn7  On December 14, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Let us know what they finally decide to do with those houseboats.

  • Shers Gallagher  On December 14, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ on Suchet’s ‘Poirot’ series. I wasn’t aware that it was still running. So I’ve now delightedly got all of the 2013 season to watch. IMO, David Suchet is Hercule Poirot! He’s done such a fine job of ‘being’ the part and will surely be missed. But no one lives on the Silver Screen forever, alas.

    As for the Utrecht prostitutes…”comme ci, comme ça”, eh? We had a person in our province of Zeeland trying to give away his houseboat. Evidentially, he could no longer keep up his lease of canal space and the municipality asked him to move his barge, which unfortunately also costs money. So he considered it a fair price for whomever would be interested in his living space to only need to take it off his hands…along with the added towing fees. Such is life on Dutch waters. 🙂

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