|It's blurry, but I'm sure you get the idea.|
|Follow the flames to escape this backyard without falling into the pool.|
|Let us hide in the Heimatverein.|
|They're proud of their vintage machinery.|
Colored spotlights and water don't mix well. We spent some time hiding from the storm before escaping back to the car. I have to assume that Metelen is now a small lake.
The next morning, we hopped on an early train back to the Netherlands.
|The train tracks in Ochtrup. Not shown: trains.|
|Ah, there they are. Hello, trains.|
|Finally, the hotel. I think three stars is code for "our hallways are fashionably dark but our front desk service is sufficiently friendly".|
|It was time to return to Canal Town. It was much more humid this time.|
|This car is a bit like Amsterdam itself: exposed to more moisture than it probably should be but it remains a charming and colorful patchwork. (That sentence is best read in the voice of Rick Steves.)|
|It's the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. The royal folks don't live there but they visit on occasion.|
|The building is opulent by design. It's what you get to build when you're everyone's favorite merchant society.|
|This flooring stays shiny because it only gets used for state functions.|
|Many of the rooms are still in use by state visitors but were traditionally offices and lodging for government VIPs. This is the Insurance Chamber. It's where the guy in charge of insurance lived.|
|The Palace hallways are rather dark, both in lighting and in atmosphere. Many of its doorways are decorated with scenes of death and execution.|
Having had our fill of 17th century royal excess, we proceeded to the Kattenkabinet. It's a museum of cat art. That is, it doesn't appear to contain any art by cats but it features paintings, sculptures, and advertisements featuring cats. The collection is all nestled into a set of apartments in a very catlike way: unassuming, offering limited context, but undeniably unique.