The Enchantment is cut in half!

Trip Start May 19, 2005
Trip End May 25, 2005

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Flag of Netherlands  ,
Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Early morning, we're back on the bus and headed to Rotterdam. We arrive, get off the bus and are hustled into the tent. It seems the shipyard doesn't want to give us clearance.

We can't even walk two feet from the tent. Lisa is talking to someone. About a half hour later, we've got the clearance to walk across the street and see the ship now cut in two. We're not allowed down in the dock area.

This is still an unusual site to see a ship cut and pulled apart 70 plus feet. We're told by an employee of the shipyard how the seperation was preformed. An engineering feat! According to our guide, who was fortunate enough to witness this event  " It took about six hours, until nearly midnight May 23, to slide the 22.63-million pound, 427-foot-long foresection apart from the rear section.

The weight of the vessel, positioned on the Teflon-coated pads of the skid track, was sufficient to keep it upright, though supports glided alongside it. The move meant the midsection would have roughly 8.5 feet between it and each of the parts of the Enchantment, once the midsection was slid forward."  

Darn, I wish we were there to see that! Even though this would be one of the slowest "moves" it would have been so worth it!. But we're allowed to take photos of the "cut".

We're told the mid section is being pushed in late tonight. With secuitity this tight, there isn't anyway to hang around the dry dock area, so we're politely asked to leave.

It looks like we won't be able to see the new section inserted. I'm dissapointed, but, I never in my life could imagine that I would be able to witness something like the splitting in half of a ship!

Back to Amsterdam and a tour of Zaanse Schoans - a quaint village on a canal. We're touring a wooden dutch shoe store. A demonstration shows how the shoes are made. Across the village bridge is a cheese shop, which ate up my money on the cheese and the chocolate souvineers.  

Then back to Amsterdam to prepare for our "farewell dinner" at Pasta E Basta, a unique Italian restaurant with talented singing waiters and waitresses. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the restaurant.

We're meandering down the canal on our boat, and BANG! Then another small Bang! It seems our boat has hit something in the water. I'm looking down to see if we are taking on water. The pilot doesn't look to happy. At least, on the canals, you're always close to the side of the wall. It's jumping up that may be the problem though.

We get to our landing point, relieved, and hungry. Then into this wonderful smelling restaurant. It's fun, it's got good food and entertainment. What else can we want? DESERT. This is a killler tray of every fattening thing I have ever dreamed of in life. It's also a "everyone dig in" type of adventure. So we're digging IN! Stuffed, but happy, even though there is a slight drizzle in the air, we're headed back to the hopefully still floating canal boat. It's there, we're on the canal and too soon back at the Pulitzer. A perfect ending to a once in a lifetime trip.        
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