One of the best things we did on our recent Amsterdam trip was to get the ferry off the main bit of Amsterdam town and hire cycles for the day.
Everyone cycles in Amsterdam so this was all very easy.
We headed off with great plans of all the villages we visit on a round-trip and with a little warning from the cycle hire guy about not being over ambitious because of the wind.
Ah the wind! I figured cycling on the flat would be a breeze (excuse the pun!)
We stopped on the way at Broek-in-Waterland which is a beautiful historic little village full of gorgeous houses and fascinating architecture.
Then we continued on to Marken – OMG I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was the loveliest place ever…
the houses, the architecture, the scenery, the ducks everywhere,
the shutters, the fences, the harbour…all set out like a cute little toy-town.
And having laughed all the way up till this point we soon realised that the return route was going to be real hard against the wind and did have to curtail our grand plans to cycle-see everything and we began the slog home against the wind.
But so worth it. We often find on a city break, that a day out in the surrounding country not only gives us a break but contextualizes what we see of life in that place. And this was never more true here where we could see how people live and commute and what the land looks like – I would never in a million years have guessed how lovely the Dutch country villages could be.
And it has inspired a wealth of creativity since.