Durgerdam, Holysloot and Back

Shining sun, mild wind, well above zero, rented bikes beneath us and off we go for a day of exploration.  Bike locking in Amsterdam is more casual than Saskatoon.  Your bike is considered quite safe with just a wheel lock if you are gone for a short time. The addition of a chain lock is advised if leaving overnight.  Here I am unlocking the bikes in front of our Airbnb.

As we follow our Maps.Me route to Durgerdam we feel an irresistible pull of exotic smells and visual feasts coming from an open air market along our route. It seems like spring is just below the surface pushing at the boundaries to burst forth with brilliant colors.

We encountered Richard a cheese vendor who was most engaging and offered us samples of his favorite cheese.  I was disappointed to see his eyes were closed in this photo as he had such a kind, lovely smile.

What market is complete without the addition of fish heads, shells and an assortment of colorful, carefully laid out sea creatures.

Shoes anyone?

The city soon gives way to the paved cycle tracks hugging the network of channels, dikes and fields never more than a few metres from the water that defines The Netherlands.

Dugerdam is a quaint, peaceful village with colorful, neatly manicured homes running in an arch that follows the contour of the open water.

Are you relaxed yet?

Coffee time announces itself just as a local is about to pass on her daily run.  She happily stops her jog to talk to us and tell about a lovely spot to eat in Holysloot a few km. further on.  Off we spin to find the “Drink & Eetlokaal Het Schoolhuis”.

Delicious pea soup, some Ale, a coffee and nice rest, renew our vigor.  We head back to the magic of paved paths and are off to find the ferry back to the bustling city. Even though we have only been away about 6 hours the contrast of bikes, people and scooters all vying for the same space is such a contrast to the pastoral scene of the morning.

Back in Amsterdam proper we transform into alert cyclists ready to jam our wheel into the first open spot to claim our space. Our head spins in circles ensuring that we avoid contact with those around us.  We encounter a few colorful, decorated cycles and a fellow feeding the birds as we head home after a stimulating day of exploration.

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