Biking in The Netherlands – 04 – Meet the Biking Tour

[Categories: Travel, Photography, Travel Photography]
[This series of posts is about our recent 3-day sightseeing plus 7-day  Bike & Barge, Holland:Tulip Tour in the North and South Holland Provinces of The Netherlands.]
[See a list of all posts currently in this series HERE.]

FINALLY we are ready to start the bike tour.  We meet the group and have a pedestrian sightseeing day, tomorrow we start biking!  Our host International Bicycle Tours has directed us to assemble at the Car Rentals area in the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, then we board the bus for sightseeing and the barge.

Small-size picture sampler:

Of the 22 tour members 9 of us are from Colorado and 2 others are former CO residents.  Voi-la!

Our main sightseeing activity today is Zaanse Schans, an assembled collection of 18th/19th century buildings where you can see windmills, houses, wooden shoe production, and get your first taste of pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes).  It’s a busy, somewhat touristy place, but that wouldn’t keep you from seeing somewhere like Williamsburg, VA would it?

DSC_4172Have shoes?  (Wooden?)  The shoe shop demo was interesting though I managed to abstain from the temptation of having my own pair as well as avoid being beaten on the head by what seemed like a Black Friday tourist scramble for the last pair of wooden shoes extant.



The village:


See more VILLAGE.

Pannenkoeken!  At the village restaurant.  One MUST ingest some when visiting the Netherlands, along with the occasional Dutch Apple Pie.  🙂  By the way all sightseeing entrance fees and special events such as this lunch were included in the cost of our tour. Breakfast and supper served on the boat were included also.  All other lunches while biking were at our own expense.

Version 2

On to our boat, the FIEP, and sail (uh, motor actually) from Amsterdam to Purmerend. This picture was taken later in the tour but it gives a good overall view.  Two porthole windows per cabin, 3 per side front and back, 12 total, to accommodate 24 passengers.  We have 22 on our tour.  Two people somewhere missed the absolute best-ever weather for biking in the Netherlands.  More on that later.



Our stateroom, cozy and compact but with plenty of cupboard and under-bed storage, was very nicely appointed.



Dinner is served.  Salad with cheese, tomato, walnuts, and greens.



Where we were today:



The sun slowly sinks in Purmerend as we settle for our first night on the tour.



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