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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Netherlands Summer 2013 Biking Part 2!

This windmill is located in Leiden., which is home to Holland's oldest universities with numerous cafes, shops and museums.
Who is this crazy couple?
Ernie is a master at repairing flat tires. Jim is a master at getting flat tires......
Sometimes we go the wrong way and have to turn around. No problem for this group! We expect it!

 Is anyone else fascinated with graveyards?
Charming villages with locks.

Jim and I cannot see too many boats!

These locks are manual, just like the Trent Severn in Canada.

Hey, look what we found! It is a Grand Banks 42, just like Crawdad!

Bunkers from WWII are visible along the coast.
Great meals with friends.

Les and me.  We enjoy sports back home in Michigan as well.

We asked for directions along the way, often!

I cannot help myself! Isn't he cute!

He just doesn't listen to me!
Many drawbridges.

Who is that chick on the wire? I thought she was riding her bicycle.

Jim Pettigrew and Clive Van Order. I am thinking they have had enough for the day.....
Are we lost again? Patti, Leslie and Ernie at work.

Netherland's Parliament.

Don't you love that rain?

Peace Palace at The Hague. We took a tour and heard how the US does not participate. Countries are bound by the arbitration dispensed here. Guess we don't want anyone else telling us what to do.

 Sally Price from Hilton Head will kill me if she sees this picture! Rain and miles on the road turns a kind, sweet woman into something else....

Julie Smith from Flint still gives me a smile. She must really be a crazy woman!
Gloria, don't you dare! Dorothy Martin from Brighton and Hilton Head. She really is very nice. Really!

Always positive! Good ole Les!
 That's my guy!

Bob Van den Bergh has accompanied us on every trip!  He lives in Amsterdam.  He is helping Leslie with low tire pressure.

Carol O'Rourke from Ada, MI, Patty Zensinger on the Ferry, crossing the river.

The top island is Texel Island. In 2005, Jim, Jamie, Joe, Leslie, Ernie and I took a train from Harlaam to the bus station, to the bike rental station, to the boat to get to Texel Island. It poured rain was freezing cold and the wind blew 30 knots. We didn't go to Texel on this trip...

The markets are in the central square in most cities. Fish, cheese, underwear or whatever else you may need is for sale.

We rented 3 speed bikes, except for lucky Jim with his 7 speed bike. Our panniers allowed us to carry our rain jackets, sunscreen, water and munchies.

Our final ride. This is the group that rode through night. We rode about 70 miles that day in the rain and ending in the dark, as we searched for our hotel. That is our idea of fun! There are people out there who have called us crazy! We love crazy!
Thank you Pat and Ernie!  You have enhanced our lives!
 We have enjoyed our bicycle trips with you - from riding along the Danube through Austria and Germany to Vermont, to Williamsburg and Jamestown, to Cape Cod-Nantucket-Martha's Vineyard, to Hilton Head, from Burlington to Montreal and two trips to the Netherlands. We will miss our trips as you retire, but we know where you live!



Netherlands, August 2013, on two wheels......and no motor!

What a great summer!

 During August, Jim and I traveled to Schiphol airport in Amsterdam to meet our friends from the Dutch Connection for a two week bicycle trip. Previously in 2005 we biked the Netherlands with our 3 children who were then 20, 25 and 28 (all single in 2005, now all married!).  We enjoyed the trip so much, we jumped at the opportunity to join our friends again in Holland this summer.
This is the happy group traveling with the Dutch Connection!
Pat and Ernie Myers are the Dutch Connection.  No lovelier couple! We absolutely adore them!  Ernie is the leader of the strongest riders  - he is 78. We have to keep up with him!
Jim and Gloria in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

                                                   Jamie, Gloria, Jim, Joe and Adrienne in 2005.

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch National Museum dedicated to the arts and history.  The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808.  The current building (incredibly beautiful!) was constructed in 1885.  The museum has a collection that spans 1200AD to 2000AD, displaying over 8000 objects. There are masterpieces by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Vermeer. 
Isn't this amazing! Early Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum.
I love Van Gogh's self portraits.
The Van Gogh Museum is on the same grounds as the Rijksmuseum and is dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The Museum holds the largest collection of his works.
Rijksmuseum half model display.
I'm reminded of Downton Abbey! Thank goodness we don't have to wear dresses like these displayed.  Notice the long sleeves to cover their hands. Might be tough to ride bikes or race sailboats with this dress on!

Clive Van Orden from Williamsburg, VA. We have traveled on many trips with Clive and he met us in Maryland when we cruised the Great Loop in 2010-2011.
We enjoyed a candlelight canal cruise on one of the many canals in Amsterdam.

The group gathered at 830AM each morning to review the plan for the day. Riders are divided by their perceived skill and whomever they wish to follow!  Jim and I enjoyed the fast riders (of course, haha!) and there were about 10 in our group (5 for the longest ride.)  27 people were there for the two week ride. The Dutch Connection had another group coming for the next two weeks for an identical ride.

This is a Dutch parking garage in Harlaam. No cars, just bikes. Almost every street had a road for cars, a bike path and a path for pedestrians. Bike riders are respected, unlike the US.
Lunch along the North Sea.

This is what it's like in the busy city. These are two of our friends, Leslie Wilson (my pal), from Flushing, MI and Patti Zensinger from Hilton Head.
We visited the lovely, old canal town of Delft with streets lined by medieval houses. Its charm goes far beyond its fame as the center for the famous porcelain Delftware.

One typically thinks of Delft as blue and white, but I am charmed by the colored Delftware.
Patti Zensinger and I at the Kinderdijk, which is a village of 19 windmills built around 1740.  This group of windmills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands.


Kinderdijk is one of my favorite places on earth, probably related to my childhood in Holland, Michigan and my Dutch roots. So lovely!
Where did this come from? (OK, I took a picture of a postcard!)
As we rode from city to city, we would take diversions to interesting sights, such as the Sypesteyn Caste. There was a castle on this site in 1288, but the present structure is more recent.
Riding through the Gooi (try to say that in Dutch and you are spitting bullets are you pronounce the "g"). We rode in the dark for an ice cream treat with our lights on our bikes. Great way to end the evening!
Cheese markets are everywhere in Holland.  We found our favorite cheese was Jong Belegen.
Hydrangeas are everywhere. Most homes have beautiful gardens and hydrangeas are the most flower. Colors range from pink to maroon.
Houseboats are common.  Who could have a house in Holland without flowers! Gorgeous!
My camera is on a lanyard around my neck, so that I can take pictures as we ride. Bike paths are everywhere. This path rode through the gardens of homes along a canal.
Follow next Blog for Part 2!