Bike Trip to Zaandam
Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
45Trip End Jul 02, 2012
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What I did
Saturday (9-10), I went on a ferry across the IJ with some friends to bike 10 miles north to Zaandam. We met up at 1 pm and took a ferry from Central Station across the IJ, a bay
Once we were across the bay, we started biking and realized we should have planned better, because we really had no idea where we were going. We ended up finding a family that was very nice biking to the same place we wanted to go, so we followed them. I'm so thankful Dutch people are so helpful and friendly. Usually people aren't that nice to tourists in other places I've been to, but Dutch people are always willing to help you with directions.
We biked for a couple of hours to get there, and got to pass through some farmland and see what more rural areas and villages in the Netherlands look like. When we passed through Zaandam, a small town, we got to walk through a carnival on one of the squares. A lot of the stands had candy and other goodies that, now looking back, I wish I would have stopped for. Everything looked so good!
After passing through Zaandam, we went to a historical village named Zaanse Schans. The long ride there was definitely worth it
We ended up stopping by one of the shops that was still open. We grabbed some ice cream and got to do some cheese tasting. They had big cheese wheels everywhere! I tried about 10 different types of cheese and they were all really good. I bought a smoked one that I liked the most for 4 Euros. The girl selling the cheese was wearing one of the typical white Dutch hats that they wear in the cheese shops.
It was really nice to get out of the city for a day to see the countryside. On the ride back we didn't have the family to guide us, so we asked for directions a lot along the way. We ended up catching a ferry at a different stop, and we wound up in Westerport, on the extreme west of the city. We eventually found our way to the city center and decided to try out an Indonesian restaurant our tour guide had told us was very good during the ISN Introduction. We got our food and ate on Spui (pronounced Spouw) Square
The weather was nice all day, with sunshine in the morning. It was even warm enough for shorts. Zaanse Swans was a really neat village, and I think I might bring my mom and brother there when they visit me in April, if the bus runs there. The rural areas of the Netherlands are very beautiful and green from what I saw. I had a really great time with the guys, Ritchie, Hugo and Alex, on the trip. Next weekend we are planning a trip to Rotterdam in the south, which I'm excited to see.