Snapshots from our trip to Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Checking in at Amsterdam Renaissance.
Typical street scene in Amsterdam
Let's see, bikes, bridges, boats and canals. Check off another typical street scene.
Neighborhood near the Amsterdam Marriott
Bikes taxi drivers waiting near the train station
Flowers are also common of course
Dam square and riding side saddle
Amsterdam museum. The coat of arms has the three X's
Going to work
Only 30% of trips in Netherlands are done by car
Seems like everyone rides
Aalsmeer flower market smells great. One of the largest exports of Netherlands is fresh flowers
We got there after many transfers too late to watch the auction, but we were able to see the last of the flowers being loaded for shipment
One of the auction rooms which has big screens where the flowers are shown for auction
This is the largest commercial building in the world.
This is the room for helping do research to keep the flowers fresher for shipment
The streets of Amsterdam are shared by all users.
The parking garage for bicycles near the train station. There is another parking lot next to this one and a building for paid parking
When taxes were charged based on the width of your house, this was built as a the smallest home in the city
Bike parking on a barge
The high speed train to Brussels and Paris was outfitted with special graphics for the Toue de France
Kathy and Alice waiting for the start of the Tour de France prologue
The Tour de France race caravan has hundreds of floats showing off sponsors and often throwing swag.
We stayed to watch as many riders as we could before leaving for Brussels
Tony Martin from Germany came out second in the prologue
American Levi Leipheimer took the safe route in the rain and rode to a safe finish
The scene outside our Brussels Marriott. Spain had won their world cup match and the space in front of this building is where people come to party
Here, we are at the stage finish in Brussels. Watching the race caravan is first for the day
A caravan participant is dispensing water over her back.
Podium girls are heading to the finish to report for work
One of the luxury spaces for watching the stage finish
American Tyler Farrar has another riders' bike attached to his own.
Tyler had a good chance to win this stage before the other rider crashed and his bike flew into Tyler's
Some of the riders looked hurt. The stage saw three major crashes in the last three miles
The limp right arm looks like a broken collar bone
Eddy Mercx was one of the starters for the second stage. He is a famous Belgian racer
Second stage ceremonial start
Some old American guy was in the race
One of the Radio Shack team cars
Radio Shack team bus
A junior team particpating in the start
We are getting bikes ready for our self guided tour
And we are ready. Kathy, Chris and Alice
First windmill of the day
Back country bike path
The backyard of Inn on the Lake at Broek in Waterland
The Inn was right next to the big church
Marken was an island when the causeway was built in the 60's
Harbor in Marken
Instead of the headwind, we took a shortcut by ferry to Volendam
Our lunch stop in Volendam
City street in Edam.
Edam is not named after the cheese Edam
Edam is the place where a dam was placed on the river E
Kathy was always impressed by the hydrengias
Hotel de Fortuna in Edam was our stop for the night
Courtyard of Hotel de Fortuna
Hoorn was one of the headquarters for the East India Trading company.
Street scene in Hoorn
Setting up for a cheese market in Hoorn
Cheese weigh house in Alkmaar
Cheese is one of the largest exports of Holland
During the cheese market, we were able to see the cheese grading done.
The experts cut open the cheese wheel and grade the quality of the cheese.
Making a deal for the price of the cheese
Moving the cheese from the weigh house to be transported to the buyer
A street organ with the operator and his change tin. From here we went back to Amsterdam to take our bike and barge trip
Our cabin for the bike and barge, where we ate lunch and came together
Our group meeting for the first time
Our bikes for the trip
Our first ride was done late the first day. We took a ride to a nearby island
A statue to honor widows of sailors.
Waiting to take a ferry back to Amsterdam
Traditional Dutch homes
Stopping for a swim in a canal
One of the riders crashed
These mushrooms have numbers on them to help you find where you are on maps.
This barn roof lowers as you use the hay
Heather is waiting for a car to bring her to the boat. She later found out that her leg was broken
Waiting to leave the farm
A view of Twiske, a recreational area near Amsterdam
A traditional garden in Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is a village of old buildings moved there to build a traditional Dutch village
Kathy is sitting in front of a copy of the original Albert Heijn Supermarket
Leaving Zaanse Schans
Taking a ferry across a river
The famous Hans Brinker. Almost unknown in Holland, he is famous for saving the Dutch with his finger in the dike.
The village of Spaarndam, where the Hans Brinker statue was erected
Leaving the boat on the night of the world cup final
We were in the town of Haarlem that night and we took a walk around the square to watch all the people in orange
Haarlem canal scene
Meat hall in Haarlem, which is now an art museum.
Old and new architecture across the canal
Working our way through the dunes to get to the North Sea
Overlooking the North Sea
An 11th century castle, now used as a backdrop for plays
A lunch stop in a little town
Coming into Leiden
Thatch roofs used to be a mark of poverty, now they are sported by the well to do
Back in the dunes
Picnic by the windy North Sea
Fancy water tower
Posing in front of the World Court
Home of Queen Beatrice
Statue of William of Orange in front of the queen's residence
Netherlands houses of Parliment
Inside the courtyard of the houses of Parliment
Sculptures in Delft
Smallest ferry we took
This little ferry could only take about a dozen people and their bikes
Delft's new church founded in 1396 and rebuilt in the 17th century after a fire
Tomb of William of Orange inside the new church
One of the pulpits in the old church in Delft
Tomb of Regnier de Graaf, buried in 1673. Note the floor is tombstones
A painter at the Royal Delft pottery factory.
Complete collection of Christmas plates
Leaving Delft to sail to Rotterdam.
Lowered cabin for a bridge.
Waiting for the high speed ferry in Rotterdam.
Watching our barge as we pass it on the ferry.
Leaving the ferry
Modern water lifts run by diesel engines.
Riding up to Kinderdijk
Inside the windmill to see the living area.
One of the largest export of Netherlands.
Our group with two extra people who invited us in for coffee
Stopping to watch a guy fix a thatch roof.
The thatch platform
See the spelling? Bruekelen. In what used to be called New Amsterdam, they now spell it Brooklyn.
Yep, you guessed it. The Breukelen bridge.
Another view of the bridge.
The guy on the bridge has a pole with a string tied to a wooden shoe. The lady is putting her toll in the shoe.
A visit to a dairy for our lunch stop
Our barge crew.
Ghent, Belgium. The sign says free ice cream with boat trip
12th century castle which is now a museum.
Old city gate on the bridge.
The front of our hotel is one of those on the right. This end is left just like the rest of the buildings, but inside, our hotel is very Americanized
Our hotel in Ghent
Brugge city hall
Lace making is one of the historical products of this area.
This part of Belgium used to be part of Holland.
Brugge is famous for the canals.
Made it to Paris. We stopped at our favorite bakery and took a picnic to the Champ de Mars
Scenes from our double decker bus tour. Many of them show the Eiffel Tower, because you can see it from so many places in town when nothing hides it.
Alexander III bridge
Hotel des Invalides, where Napolean is interred.
Sacred Heart on the hill
Scenes from Sainte Chapelle.
Lower chambre where the lowly people would worship
The roof of the main chapel
The front was covered for restoration
Meeting the guide at Fat Tire Bike Tours office.
The guide had us go out and buy picnic food from the local market, which is in the background.
Our (collective) picnic basket.
Riding the grounds of the palace
End of the grand canal
Walking up to the palace of Versailles
Gardens of Versailles
Young people from aorund the area lock padlocks with their names on it to show their love. Pisses off the gov't, so I guess they will never stop now.
Our hotel room in Paris
The Manx missile
Mmmm French Onion Soup. Which is actually hard to find.
Our hotel on the Champs Elysee. Note the flags in the presidential suite.
Nope, we didn't get to come home on the new A380. This was waiting to load. I bet that took a while.
Checking in at Amsterdam Renaissance.