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Welcome to Hamster Dam (by Alex)

by on July 27, 2013

Today, we went to Meyer Werft. Meyer Werft is a ship building company. We started by entering Building E, which makes the large ships. We watched a video, and looked at some models, and at a museum. In the Disney Cruise Line Museum, they had a model of the Disney Magic, which just so happened to not be built by Meyer Werft. Apparently, the models come from the customer.

We saw the “Magic Porthole” (a TV put behind a circular cutout in the wall, that gets a live broadcast from the back of the ship) (it also is featured on every new Meyer Werft cruise ship), life sized model of part of the Aquaduck (Disney water slide).

Then, we saw an NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line) ship being built. NCL is ordering ships from 2012-2017 from Meyer Werft!

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Meyer supplies everything from the ship, all the way down to the coffee cups, towels, silverware, and Mickey Waffle machines. Linens are also included with the ship.

Due to the size of the building and size of the Ems river that ships have to take to get to the sea, Meyer has a limited height, weight, and width ships can be built to. The German government (who happens to care more about the environment than the Country of the United States, plus the State of California, plus the County of San Mateo) says that Meyer Werft can’t build a canal for their ships because “it would harm the environment” around Papenberg, and would be a threat to wildlife around Papenburg (as far as we could see, the wildlife was only humans and flies). A railroad bridge has to be demolished every time a new boat is to be released (the railroad company is notified 2 days before), and the ship stays in the open for three days so tourists will be swarming Papenburg. Unfortunately for the tourists, because of the captain who has to be trained for 6 months and the crew who has to train for three days, you can not get a hotel room in Papenburg when the ships are being released.

So continuing on, next we got to see where the ferries are built. Four ferries are built at the same time, and the ferries plus the big ship are released within about the same month or two. This was not as impressive as the cruise ship one, except for the fact that a research ship for the German Government was being built.

After Meyer Werft, we drove to Amsterdam. When we got there (Jane-the-British-GPS doesn’t know about the Netherlands, so she could not moo), we got to our houseboat. We are all happy to have blazing fast internet here.

The grocery store was really funny. First, they only accepted PIN, MAESTRO, and CREDIT cards, no cash. Second, for the OJ, there was a machine that squeezes the oranges for you. A bunch of oranges were put at the top, they were peeled, and squeezed. The leftovers went into the trash bin.

Finally, we went to the Huis (House) van Anne Frank (she was a Jewish girl in Nazi territory during the Nazi time). During her hiding, she kept a journal. You can get a published copy today. We saw that she (and the 7 others) lived in the back of the house that could only be accessed from a hidden stairway behind a bookshelf. Here we are on that stairway

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Here is Anna with the actual diary. (Daddy was not supposed to take the picture

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Then we walked back to the houseboat we are staying on.

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This is what happened today.

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One Comment
  1. Aunt Ginny permalink

    Wow! The shipbuilding process looks quite impressive…I’m sure it is a highlight of the trip.

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