Judy in a cheese shop
We are fed so well on the boat we don't need to buy any more but some of the tasting is good.
Saturday 19th May 2012
We spent the morning on the boat, leaving some of the others to cycle into Amsterdam. As we travelled through the Amsterdam we spent our time getting the blog up to date and generally giving our bodies a rest.
On our return to Amsterdam, where we moored close to where we were when we departed, we set off to the Jordaan area which is now considered to be a bit of a yuppee area, once it was a slum. The weather was sunny and mild and we wandered down interesting little shopping streets alive with people and wandered through a market before deciding to head back as our feet had grown weary. We saw people sitting out in the sunshine outside a bar, so decided this was best for tired feet and made the decision to join them. Shortly after settling in with a local brew enjoying the scenery Judy noticed Nina riding past. On getting her attention we found that she was leading the cycling group, just coming in from their trip.
There are several well-known markets operating and afterwards we spent some time walking through the New Market area where there
All sorts of interesting events in lively Amsterdam.
appeared to be an Asian Festival in progress and dancers on a stage. From here we wandered back to the boat through the red-light area, this being packed with many people. We kept our eyes open for a suitable place to eat as tonight the boat was not providing a meal.
Pre-dinner drinks were had on the boat with the group after which we had our showers and dressed for the evening. Most of the group were going out for a “typical” Dutch meal but several of us were going our own way.
A Tibetan cafe was our first choice, but after looking at the menu, and being told we had to vacate in 40 minutes as a large group was coming, we moved out and eventually found the Kama Sutra Indonesian Indian Cafe. Here we had a tasty meal, right in the middle of the red light area where the ladies sit in windows baring lots of flesh and some of them have lots to bare. From our table we could watch a myriad of characters pass by.
Interestingly, even though there were the curtained booths in the streets, you could easily walk through without knowing
Stopping at a little cafe
While we were here it poured with rain outside so we were pleased to be here out of the rain for a while!
it was such an area, everything being calm and peaceful.
Sunday 20th May 2012
We awoke to the patter of rain early in the morning, it not letting up over breakfast. On the hope that the rain would stop most of us rugged up in our rain gear and set off at 0900. A short ride took us to the ferry terminal near the Central Station and as there was a ferry about to leave, Nina urged us on. About 5 minutes into the trip she realised we were on the wrong ferry, so we settled in for the return ride.
An hour later we were on the correct ferry and we set off again. The final destination for the day was Volendam but before that we had several detours in our 45 kms ride. The rain continued and at one stage it even hailed. About 4 kms before the town of Marken we stopped at a small cafe to have a warming coffee before riding along the dyke into town. This causeway was built in 1957, joining the island to the mainland, the village now being a bit of a museum piece with an
Lots of little touristy shops in Marken. This one had good prices and Judy bought a hat as she had forgotten to bring hers from Perth!
As the rain had started again when we reached the little touristy village of Marken, we had lunch in the shelter of a cafe, supplementing our cut lunch with a house soup (seafood with huge slices of salmon) and a slice of the delicious apple tart on sale there.
From here we had an easy ride back down the causeway as the wind was behind us, and soon reached the little harbour port of the town of Volendam. This once fishing town has now become a bit of a tourist trap with its rows of quaint houses, cafes and souvenir shops. Two large tourist barges were tied up, the town being full of passengers from them.
We had a fantastic position in that we were tied up at the wharf right in front of everything, similar to what we had when we sailed the islands in Greece.
The rest of the afternoon was spent perusing the shops, watching people, or just relaxing with a drink on the deck in the now near perfect weather. Rags and Judy wandered around the village but Rags was soon ready to return to the boat. Luckily they met
Julie so Judy joined her and continued to sightsee ending up in a small garden full of sculptures.
Dinner was zuccini soup, coq au vin, finished with a raspberry bavaroise. Zander had produced another delicious meal!
As it was still light after dinner (2030hrs) the group scattered around the boat, either typing up their memories, connecting to the Net, or just sitting around upstairs on the deck.
Monday 21st May 2012
Today we rode more than 54kms, much of it into the wind. We left the boat at 0900 as usual, Judy deciding to ride two days straight, our first stop was the pretty little town of Edam. Unfortunately it was not market day so we didn't get to see their famous cheese markets.
By the time we reached Hoorn, an elegant and quiet port, it was lunchtime. Any cafes we had passed during the morning were closed as it was a Monday, when most places in the Netherlands are closed until 1300.
Most of the group set off for their caffeine fix, we being content to eat our lunch right in the middle of the old harbour. From here we walked
We watched this chap carve a basic clog out of a piece of wood in only a few minutes. Extra time would then be needed to smooth it out and cut the interior to the exact size.
around the town, meeting others of the group going about their own business until 1400 when we all met at the agreed spot.
A long arduous ride followed, on the top of the sea dyke into a fresh breeze. Several of the 'newbies' found the going tough, we handled it pretty well but were still very glad to see the end of the trip at the town of Enkhuisen. Judy's knees have been giving her trouble so were quite sore after two days of riding.
At Enkhuisen we caught up with a group who had gone ahead, already on the way to the local pub.
After a shower and a change into more respectable clothes we joined them, making for a large boisterous group out the front. The manager was obviously glad to have us there, handing out complimentary containers of peanuts and refilling them as needed! We did comment on these containers, narrow-necked so that the nuts weren't able to be touched by other hands. Hygienic in a simple way.
Rags was suffering a bit today, probably pushing himself a little too much. Whilst Judy went out with the others Rags had a sleep for an
hour. This was unfortunate as this was a special night in Enkhuisen when the locals recreate the 15th century event of overthrowing the 80 years of Spanish rule. Enkhuizen was one of the first towns to revolt against Spanish rule in 1572 and the story was told in street theatre by locals which ended up with everyone marching on city hall. Here we were treated to the local bitter orange genever.
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