Amsterdam - Monnickendam - Zaandam
Thanks to Gerrit Jan we found out about the 'Knooppunten' system for bikers and hikers. The whole country is full of these 'Knot points', connecting towns together along dedicated bike paths, leading one along the more quiet and scenic routes. It's blowing our minds how many routes one can plan through this country:
For our first true biking day (since yesterday was just arrival in Amsterdam), we decided to make a detour to Monnickendam, instead of heading straight to Zaandam. According to the 'app' it would be 20.3km from the Vondelpark.
We enjoyed biking through the streets of Amsterdam, it took us past the Westerkerk and the Anne Frank House, and to my favourite homemade apple pie place (Tracy, do you recall sitting outside with the boys in 2012?). This time we did not stop but kept going to the ferry, which scooted us across for free to North Amsterdam.
The landscape quickly changed as soon as we were on the other side. We biked for quite a ways along 'Noordhollandsch Kanaal' until a little 'pontje' (ferry) took us across so we could continue to 'Broek in Waterline', where a bight yellow canoe made us feel at home. The town has a beautiful collection of old style Dutch homes. We pushed on until we were in Monnickendam where had a delicious lunch at the "de Waegh". A plein air painter was making progress on the bridge and had quite a few passerby's look over his shoulder.
The afternoon took us from Monnickendam to Zaandam:
We had to take another 'pontje' to get across the canal again and off we were along wide fields and along waters filled with waterlilies.
We arrived in Zaandam and found our funky looking hotel quite easily. It's rather sticking out... If anyone needs a place to stay in Zaandam, we can recommend the unique Inntel Hotel...
According to e-architect.com: "The hotel is unique, familiar yet original and idiosyncratic. It is a design that could be realised only in Zaandam but at the same time transcends and reinvigorates local tradition. It was, moreover, specifically tailored to this site. ‘The Blue House’, inspired by the work Claude Monet painted at Zaandam in 1871, is the ultimate attention-grabber."
The stunning sunset from the Mosterd Room was an additional bonus...
This was a great first biking day! We loved the sights of North Holland, and the weather was so pleasant too.
For previous posts, please scroll down. Next up: Zaandam to Noordwijk...