The Zuiderzee

Another beautiful day for a bicycle ride!  Today our route took us past tidy houses surrounded by canals with lush gardens, golf courses, endless fields of cows and sheep

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to some very old and historic towns on the Zuiderzee, which is now actually a lake since the dykes were built.  Monnickendam was our first stop.

Here is a map of part of our route.  This was from the Fietsplanner App which is very easy to use even though it is in Dutch!
Here is a map of part of our route. This was from the Fietsplanner App which is very easy to use even though it is in Dutch!

The numbers of sailboats moored there was astounding!  And the size of some of the barges and ships!  imageimageimageimage

We stopped for a coffee to wait for a huge black cloud to pass over.

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Then we carried on to Volendam which we were warned about as being a big tourist trap….and it was! But we scurried through town to the grand old hotel Spaander…..”Staying at art hotel Spaander means bathing in cultural history and romance. The hotel was founded in 1881 and has a remarkable story to tell. Because of the original paintings on all the walls, which old painters used to pay for their hotel room, you will get the illusion of walking in a museum. Icons such as Renoir, Elizabeth Taylor and Mohammed Ali were once mesmerized by this unique legacy. We would love to invite you into our World famous hotel!

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Foreign painters were the first real tourists of Volendam. They perpetuated their amazement with their paintbrushes. Often the painters were poor, so Leendert Spaander would accept their paintings in exchange of taking care of them. Because of this, a historical collection of great value was born. You have to see this for yourself.”  Surprisingly there were no other tourists in the hotel.  The walls are completely covered with paintings and along the top of every wall was also an impressive collection of Delft dish ware.

From there we carried on along the dyke road to Edam

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Lots of interesting cloud formations!

Nice cycling shoes, Johni!
Nice cycling shoes, Johni!

and then in to the wind the rest of the way home.   We are becoming very spoiled here riding on these paved ‘fietspads’…it was easy  to chalk up another 35 kms!

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