6/4/12

Exploring the countryside..... Just outside Amsterdam!

Theo van kampen

When the sun is shining you can stay in the city and visit one of the countless terraces but actually to me it's a better idea to take a bicycle and give it a spin.

The countryside is never far away; in every direction you can find yourself between cows, sheep and / or windmills in 25 minutes!

Today we went up north, to the Waterland above Amsterdam since I know a beautiful tea garden in just 18 kilometer distance.



First we have to cross the river Ij, for this we take the ferry behind the Central Railway Station to Buiksloot, it's the middle one of the three ferries.

After we left the ferry we follow the cycling path and we keep an eye on the 'Broek in Waterland' road sign: Don't miss the first one, here you have to go right!




Now we continue cycling and we can immediately enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, trees and plants in the park when we enter Amsterdam Noord.




We just follow the Noord-Hollands Kanaal (an artificial waterway through the province Noord-Holland) for half a mile



and when we have to make a curve to the left we can allready see the traditional wooden houses who once dominated this area




Again we have to be careful not getting lost! Take care that you follow the road signs for 'Broek in Waterland' 




More and more we are leaving Amsterdam, cycling towards the unspoiled countryside while the motorists are getting cooked in their cars :-)




Broek in Waterland is the name of a small village above Amsterdam. The name refers to an ancient settlement in the swamps ('Broek') in this water land.




The canal  which is leading to the village becomes a kind of village itself. The Dutch builded houseboats and in the beautiful weather the people enjoy 100% the good life, swimming in the canal and riding their small boats




The village is gorgeous!  Nice wood carvings in the traditional wooden houses:





Now we are about leaving this neat little village heading northwards. Follow the road signs 'Purmerend'




Traditional Dutch meadows should be loaded with cattle and sheep and in this area you won't be disappointed. Look at this simpatico little fellow! In the background you'll see the typical Dutch cows and the village 'Monnikendam' but now we keep westwards because we are approaching the goal of our trip: The Overleek Tea garden (Theetuin Overleek) . If you pronounce the name you will hear 'lake' in it and so it is; we are still in the middle of the Waterland, 'leek' is referring to one of the small lakes over here.




The people of the Teetuin Overleek offer you home made lemonade, apple, and other fruit pies cheesecake and other delights which you can enjoy in the shade under the trees of the old orchard. The prices are reasonable and the quality of the food is excellent.

 




On the way back we picket a nice field bouquet and since the wild flowers grow in a good soil this bouquet holds for over a week!



Here we are waiting for the next ferry who will bring us back in the busy city of Amsterdam. 



Total distance: 36 km. Really a terrific way to spend such a beautiful day!

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