Monday, May 4, 2015


We saw all sorts of windmills from little ones to modern ones.  They were developed in the 1600s and were used to grind grain, saw logs into planks, move water uphill using an Archimedes screw, and to grind stones for making paint colours.

Below you can see the vertical saw blades attached to the grey unit.  

 People lived inside the windmill- and what a noise they had to live with as the blades rotated  in the wind!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Well, perhaps not so wild. We rode often on the tops of dykes around meadowlands and there were lots and lots of goslings and lambs.

at one point we were riding through a forest in the dunes and came upon this herd of Scottish Highland cattle which we had to ride through. They weren't interested I us at all thank goodness.  

A Farm

Our captain is friends with a farmer who produces artisanal Gouda on a farm owned by his family for 4 generations and this farm is on an island.

This little one was born the day before and to the delight of one of group had been called Monika, her name as well  

The farmer sitting on his Burberry couch - tile, not fabric!

The cheeses 

Looking at the island as we left.   He rents out cottages on it. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Start of the Ride and More tulips!

This the barge which was our hotel for the next 7 nights. The accommodation was modest but nice and the food was excellent. There were 12 other bikers and a guide who led us around.

In this picture and the two below are floats for the tulip festival.  The entire float is made up of individual flowers. The purple from hyacinths and the yellow from daffodils.  They spent the entire day travelling from town to town picking up local bands to play.  We saw part of the parade and were lucky enough to see them the next morning in daylight. 

More fields.  The colours were so vibrant despite a dull day.  Did I mention the cold and wind!  We started each day with the temperature about 4C and the wind at times (against us of course) was about Force 5.

Here we all are in front of a statue of Hans Brinker. 


This picture shows how wonky the buildings have become.  The three above the car are all tilted.  The buildings are all built on stilts that are about 12 feet long as the land was all swampy. From the 1600s until recently they used logs, which are still there but have a tendency to rot if exposed to air.  And many buildings were tilted forward to facilitate the use of hoists to load furniture etc into them.

Below are the tulips floating in front of the Rijksmuseum 

 And me fresh off the plane. 

Another day finds us enjoying a traditional Dutch Apple cake amid the hustle and bustle of bikers cars and pedestrians 

A classic scene overlooking a canal.

Not only tulips were in bloom but fritillarias as well.