Since today is March 4, we are going to continue our somewhat new tradition of sharing our favorite post from the same month last year. We are missing our annual bicycle tour in the Netherlands this year, but we still have photos to remind us how much fun we have had there in the past. Come along and take another look at our Dutch travel photos.
We had such a great time. We stayed on a boat at night and left it each morning on our bikes to cycle all day. Then each evening we reboarded the boat in a different village for great food and a good night’s sleep.
The bulbs were at their peak when we were there.
There is a lot of luck involved in being in Holland when the flowers are blooming. The spring temperatures determine when the blossoms will look their best. However, the farmers cut off the blooms at a certain time so that the flowers’ energy can go into the bulbs that will be sold in the fall. The whole routine is choreographed by Mother Nature.
But if you miss the tulips and other flowers, don’t worry. There are plenty of things to see, like historic windmills.
This year my parents are mixing it up a bit. You see, each year they rent the same boat that sleeps 18 people. It was a former barge that has been converted into a passenger boat. (There are several bike and boat companies like this in the Netherlands). Then they and 16 other biking enthusiasts go cycling in the countryside for one or two weeks. Instead of meeting the boat in Amsterdam in the spring, like they usually do, this year they are meeting it in Paris in September to cycle from there to parts of Burgundy. They are returning to Holland next spring, though. (By the way, that windmill really isn’t growing out of her head).
When you have seen enough windmills, there are lots of small family-operated cheese farms that welcome visitors. The Dutch are known for their Gouda (they pronounce it howda) cheese.
I love cycling in the Dutch countryside much more than in the city. There is so much charm there. It’s a great way to experience some rural farm life.
The Netherlands is the most bicycle-friendly country in the world. They have a country-wide highway system just for bicycles. This photo of Mr. Spring and me shows the beauty of cycling on a bicycle lane beside a small canal.
We enjoyed seeing this bench made out of broken Delft pottery in where else but Delft!!!
We also enjoyed the beautiful gardens in front of and at the side of their houses. The Dutch have been innovators in bulb and seed creation for centuries. After all, the International Flower Market is located there, and they have created quite an industry out of supplying the world with spring bulbs.
We liked this weird egg art, too. It is a good example of the great sense of humor that the Dutch have. I hope you all get to go there some day. Be sure to add it to your bucket list.