The Dutch Countryside and Clogs: A Bike Tour
Posted on Sep 24, 2014
in Amsterdam, Biking, Europe, Netherlands
A warm breeze, pedals underfoot, peaceful countryside and cheese, these are things I enjoy.
While in Amsterdam a few weeks ago I reached out to Mike’s Bike Tour company and scheduled an afternoon countryside tour. Led by our chipper, informed, guide Stuart (not the Schnoodle), we were led out of the hub-bub of the city to the countryside. Coasting leisurely along the serene Amstel River we were introduced to one of the oldest windmills in the region.
Shortly after we made our way to a traditional Dutch cheese farm. Well, I should say, cheese and clog making farm. The best kind of farm, I say.
Led inside by one of the cheese-makers (cheesologists?), he explained, with loads of sarcasm and jokes, the process for making and aging Gouda cheese. The details on these processes are fuzzy but somehow he made a brief presentation about cheese a stand up act and we loved it.
Then it was on to the clog room. Clogs for days and a few fancy but old-timey machines doing all the work. Again, our guide was a riot and nearly convinced all of us that we did, in fact, need clogs of our own. My dear Aunt took the bait and claims they’re her new ‘house shoes’. Supposedly there are quite a few medicinal benefits, such as improved circulation, but who really knows. Even Stuart, our bike tour guide, sported the wooden kicks, claiming that they were more comfortable than tennis shoes.
After sampling cheese and stumbling around the gift shop in clogs, it was time to move on.
Off we went through the Dutch polder land, low-lying lands surrounded by dikes which pump the water out frequently to prevent flooding, en route back to the city.
I challenged Liz to bike without hands while I attempted to stay upright taking pictures of her with my DSLR. We’re wild sisters aren’t we?
Ahead of us Stuart led the way with a bubble wand in hand. Like any childish adult blogger, I begged him to “do it again!” so I could take pictures. Really though, I’ve been on zillions of bike tours, the bubble wand was a first. Take notes tour companies! Bubble wands are where it’s at.
Heading back to the city we stopped at the beautiful Vondelpark where public fornication is legal after dark. Yes, really.
After the tour we headed back to our fantastic AirBnb apartment (HERE), changed and headed our to dinner at Pacific Parc restaurant and brewery. Vacationing is so exhausting. 🙂
Are you a bike tour person? If so, Mike’s gets my stamp of approval. A beautiful ride and great guide, kudos to them!