© Copyright Peter Crawford 2015

The next holiday involves a trip to Holland - not Peter's favorite country - and a visit to the Friedags, in their home city of Münster - where we learn just a little more about this enigmatic family.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2015
Wasser Schloß
Münster Westfalen

Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of the
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2015
For some reason John Crawford had a hankering to go the Holland, and the obvious place was Amsterdam.
Now at the beginning of the sixties Amsterdam was not the seedy city, with a reputation for 'dirty weekends', sex and drugs that it is today.
Then it was a very 'staid' destination.
A respectable location for museums and historical sites, with its 'quaint' canals, windmills and gabled houses.
In fact, for Peter, it was a bit too 'staid', and definitely too 'flat'.
After the Bavarian Alps, Peter had a hankering for the mountains, or at least some rugged scenery – and not the flat-lands of Holland.
However, he had no choice in the matter, and the holiday was arranged.
Stadt Wappen Münster
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2015
There was, though, a more interesting aspect to this trip.

Jane and John had decide to take a few days to cross the border into West Germnay – to Westfalen - in order to visit the Friedags, in their home city of Münster.
Jane didn't like flying (maybe the flight to France, some years before, had put her off) - so, despite living very close to what was then known as 'London Airport' (now Heathrow Airport), and catching a 'plane just down the road, there was a long journey to Harwich, and then an evening boat trip across the North Sea.
But Peter always enjoyed the crossing by sea.
The smell of the marine diesel, the salty sea air, the bustle on the quay-side in the fading light of the early eveing, with the bright lights, and the cranes swinging.
To Peter, all this meant adventure.
It was summer, the sea was calm, the air was warm and it was a pleasant night to be crossing - even if it was the North Sea.
There was a stroll round the decks with John, and then the inevitable fine meal.
Not something taken in an uncomfortable cafeteria, as one would find today, but a full, four course, evening meal, with a waiter service - starched tablecloths and napkins and that subtle, restful ambiance that now seems to have disappeared from the world.
An then to a cabin and a restful sleep under the dim blue safety light, with the gentle hum of the engines far below.

Centraal Station van Amsterdam
Centraal Station van Amsterdam
Cooked breakfast, of course, was taken on the ship, despite the fact that the ferry was already docked, and then disembarkation - a quick perusal of the passports by some intimidating, pistol toting Dutch border guards, and then on to a train for the short trip to Amsterdam. 
Peter was amazed by the Centraal Station in Amsterdam.
It was not only huge, very clean and very ornate, but it also had the largest chandeliers that Peter had ever seen in his life.
Wappen Amsterdam

And so to - not a hotel - but a guest house.
After Rhupolding, John wanted to live with a Continental family, this time Dutch.
The guest house was a large building, with a typical Amsterdam style Dutch gable, overlooking the Prinzengracht canal.
Peter had his own, large room, overflowing with potted plants.
On the Continent potted house plants were very popular, particularly in Holland and Germany, but the fashion was not well known in the UK, apart from the proverbial, Victorian Aspidistra.
And - just as in Austria and Germany - coffee was the 'order of the day', although Peter was not particularly 'taken' with most Dutch cooking, unlike the venison, and the paprika and goulash that he had enjoyed so much in Austria and Germany the previous year.
John wanted to see Amsterdam, but also the Hague (den Hagg) and the coast, so there would not be much time, as the bulk of the holiday was to be spent in Münster.
John, being well read, and well educated, particularly in matters historical, was always keen to visit museums. - (Peter still had not entirely pleasant memories of a long afternoon in the Hohe Salzburg museum with John from the previous year.)
This time it would be the Rijksmuseum, in the center of Amsterdam.

The Rijksmuseum - (State Museum) is a Netherlands national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.
The Rijksmuseum was founded in den Hagg in 1800, and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis. The current main building was designed by Pierre Cuypers and first opened its doors in 1885.
The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer. The museum also has a small Asian collection which is on display in the Asian pavilion. The director at the time of Peter's visit was the newly appointed Arthur van Schendel.

So John spent a whole morning with Peter, wandering round the Rijksmuseum, while Jane did some shopping for souvenirs.
Now the Rijksmuseum is full of paintings by the neurotically introspective Rembrandt, sloppy, 'flashy' Frans Hals, and Vermeer - not very exciting for a young boy.
Peter got very bored, and was put off the art of the 'Low Countries' for the rest of his life (particularly Rembrandt), although later he came to appreciate the genius of some of Vermeer's art - his depiction of light and space.
In fact, Peter's main impression of his trip to Amsterdam was endlessly trudging round dusty, dark museums, looking at dusty, dreary exhibits and paintings.

Amsterdam Canal Trip
In the afternoon, however, things lightened up a little with a trip down the canals - but still not very exciting - as you can probably see from the image on the left.
By then it was time to start the journey to Münster.
The trip from Amsterdam to Münster was not long, as Münster was very close to the German border, and although Amsterdam was on the coast, Holland was a very small country - almost claustrophobic one could say.

Münster Hauptbahnhof
Münster  - Ariel View

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