[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.]
LAST DAY at last! I’m not in a hurry to end the trip, just the marathon posting. Thank you kind readers for bearing with me. I must work on that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ thing.
We only bike about 5 miles today, to see the world’s largest flower market at Aalsmeer. Then we have a leisurely barge ride to Amsterdam harbor where we will have a long afternoon to sightsee in the city before our farewell dinner, overnight, and next morning departure for the U.S. of A.
I haven’t mentioned breakfast, which has been included in our tour. Every morning in the barge dining room we have a buffet with lots of variety including pancakes (with shenkstroop (Dutch pancake syrup)) or fried eggs or eggs and bacon. We are well fed.
On to the flower market! Visitors walk along an upper gallery above the monstrous warehouse. I swear it is nearly a half mile from one end to the other, then you walk back the other side. The computerized bidding rooms are in the center on the upper level. The amount of flowers and activity in selling them is unbelievable. The flowers come and go from literally the four corners of the earth. (Is the world square/cubed now and no longer flat? Oh well.) Be sure to check the videos I’ve included. We are talking a serious beehive of activity.
After touring the flower market we bike back to the barge for the ride to Amsterdam. We have a three-barge convoy, probably to consolidate passage through drawbridges, locks, and harbors.
We have a long afternoon to ourselves in Amsterdam and as much as I would like to visit the fabulous Van Gogh Museum yet again I suspect it is very crowded on the Friday afternoon of King’s Day weekend so we opt for the Rembrandthuis (house) which we have never visited. We get in easily and enjoy the great displays and audio tour.
After lunch at the Grand Cafe Amstel Hoeck (best Tosti of the trip) we go to the Dutch Resistance Museum (WWII) (Verzetsmuseum) across from the entrance to the Amsterdam Zoo. The audio tour and stories are highly informative and worthwhile.
We will miss Koos, but I think he just misses the captain, who has temporarily shut him out.
Did I mention we had NO rain during the entire week? Even in this the ‘relatively driest’ time of the year that is highly unusual. Not that we were bummed. Farewell to The Netherlands, this is how we leave it:
This is the end of my brief dissertations on biking in The Netherlands. My work here is done.