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4/25 - Haarlem to Alkmaar- Cloudy but warm (18 celsius - 65 F) for our 35 miles of
cycling today. Everywhere we stop, we've met and talked with lots of friendly locals.
They all are so willing to give us hints about things to see, restaurants, etc.
Can't say enough good things about the Dutch people!
ABOVE - Breakfast in the Ambassador Hotel's Egyptian themed dining room
Below, left - Windmill outside of Haarlem, love the reflections
Below, right - Another ferry ride
Below, left - Beautiful old houses in Koog aan de Zaan
Below - We loved the miniature Dutch scenes in the yards.
Below, left - Stop lights for us. No, we can't turn right on red.
Below, middle - Koog aan de Zaan Netherlands
Below, right - close-up of the houses
Below - Zaanse Schans is a re-created 17th century town devoted to the traditional
lifestyles along the Zaan River. In the 1960's, houses from around the region
were moved here to preserve traditional culture.
Above - Zaanse Schans buildings. Attractions here include a clock museum,
cheese farm, bakery museum and wooden shoe workshop.
Lots of windmills at Zaanse Schans. Mills are built with sturdy oak timber frames to withstand
the constant tension of movement. To catch the desired amount of wind, millers turn the cap
of the building, which weighs several tons, to face the breeze.
Windmills at this site have different purposes - one is a sawmill;
another grinds dyes; another crushes oil from seeds and nuts.
Below, middle - Here we are in Alkmaar with the Weigh House
(Waaggebouw) behind us. Can you tell we're from California?
Above, right - This bike frame is carved from aged French oak.
Below, left - This tandem bike frame is also carved from aged French oak. This is a concept frame,
but single bike frames are already being sold by this bike builder, Bough Bikes.
Below, middle - Judith with woman in traditional Dutch costume in cheese shop.
Below, right - Stairstep facades in Alkmaar
Below, left - The richly decorated Waaggebouw (Weigh House) has been used since
the 16th century for weighing cheese. The right to weigh, sell & tax cheese is what put
Alkmaar on the map in the Middle Ages, and it's still what the town is celebrated for today.
It's the cheese (and high cholesterol) capital of Holland.
Below, right - Town square in Alkmaar. Love the varied building facades!