Archive for May, 2019

Tulip Tour on Bikes

Saturday, May 4th, 2019

From Amsterdam to Zaandam, Alkmaar , Egmond aan Zee, Hargen, Bergen, Heiloo, Bakkum, Uitgeest, Haarlem, Lisse, and all the quaint villages along the way to return to Amsterdam after 7 days aboard the Dutch Melody.  So many amazing things we saw and did as well as partaking in lots of cheese, local pancake concoctions, beers, and of course coffee!  The main attraction was the Tulips. We saw them in the fields growing, on an experimental farm, in towns, in a flower park and all spots in between.

We just missed the peak by a day but it was still spectacular, actually it was even better because in the fields we got to see where some flowers had been headed which is the removal of the flower and leave them in the rows.  They do this because the bulbs are what they are after.  They sell the bulbs internationally and that is their industry besides tourism coming to see the flowers in bloom.

The bike ride was the best way for us to see all of the things we wanted.

Sharkteeth

Without this we would have been lost.  If the teeth are facing you yield!  We thought we had never seen this before but then when we get home we find them in our own community!  Just shows you how unobservant we are until we are placed in a strange situation.

The tour was on your own each day but we buddy up with others and had a great time.  Above is our last day and Paul is the fearless leader of about 12 of us!  Good thing he had GPS.  We had a written explanation each day with numbers to follow, kind of like dot to dot! but the GPS app that the barge company provided was the best tool.  Many got lost and the locals did their best to help.  One day a mom escorted our dinner mates all the way back to the boat as they had gotten way off track.

This is a parking garage underground just for bikes in Alkmaar.

Our Tour leader Sondra.  We would find her along the route often, riding a helping those that were lost.  The tour was 60 riders, mostly in there 50’s.  I think we were among the 20 % that were over 60.  I had an electric assist bike, but Paul plowed along everyday for about 28-34 miles with no assistance.  One day he had a rough one as it was one of the longer days, we missed the shortcut and it was along the sand dunes with some hills and a lot of wind.

 

 

We found really charming little coffee spots, cheese houses and of course the beer.

There are so many churches in Europe but this one wins the prize.  It was in a village across the river from Amsterdam.  The village had only a few homes and this beautiful church.  Outside the sign said yogurt!  Inside there was a cafe counter where you could get coffee, pie,yogurt, ice cream,  beer and toilets!  But on Sunday am it is a Presbyterian Church!

Coffee, Beer, Sunday Church Services

Sometimes it was very confusing as there isn’t always lanes, or anything other than the sharkteeth!

Ferries to get us across the water.  We took the second one that cost us 1 euro.  The top is a people powered one that these two joggers knew how to avoid the 1 euro!  I guess if you are jogging everyday that could get pricey and besides its a work out at least for the one girl.  The other was cheering her on!

We saw lots of RV’s.  This one was among a long line of them camped along a path in the Tulip fields.  What a peaceful, beautiful spot to park and enjoy the scenery.

I love public art and these were among some we saw on our trip.  I didn’t see as many as we often see in towns in the US but there was some.  They have such beautiful architecture I guess they don’t need the extra art.

We even happened along a vintage car club.

And this guy was walking his new pet!  The horse was huge but the guy was so tall the horse looks like a pony.

Some of the beautiful buildings that are everywhere.  There is amazing structures that are so old and still so beautiful.

And finally another tribute to the toilet scene in Europe!

There were a couple times where I thought this may be an option!