End of the Bike Path…

I am sitting here on the boat after our last day of biking, rather amazed that I actually did it. I have spent the last 6 days sleeping and eating on a 100 year old barge… and biking an average of 35 kilometers each day. (that’s just under 22 miles) Sure, now I can hardly walk. But I did it!

                            Today we finished with a ride from Haarlem to Amsterdam. The guide said it’s about 15 kilometers from city to city. But that’s too short! And not scenic. So we took an alternate… another 35 km route.

                        She showed us the statue of Hans Brinker… the boy who heard the dike leaking in the middle of the night and stuck his finger in to hold back the water. She said it’s a story children in Holland grow up with. And she didn’t know until she became a tour guide that it wasn’t true… it’s just an American story. (ok, she said lie. I’m going with story)

                        She also took us to a little village just outside of Amsterdam where all the buildings are built to look like those from a few hundred years ago. Sort of a Dutch Williamsburg. We saw a demonstration of how wooden shoes are made… complete with the shavings flying all around our unprotected eyes. The explanation for why they wore them seemed a little lacking. They’re strong and waterproof. That much I’d guessed. We watched a cheese making demonstration; that was a bit dull. At least there were no flecks of fromage to dodge. Bill and Kaitlyn went up inside a working windmill where paint pigment is milled. I skipped the scary excuse for a staircase and milled around the gift shop.

                        I was surprised when we reached the boat. It didn’t feel like we’d biked very far… but we were done. But when I got off the bike, it sure felt like we’d gone a long way!

                        I think Kaitlyn won over the hearts of the others on the bike circuit with us. Each time we stopped today, the gentleman from Norway picked big long willow sticks for her… to act as her flag on the back of the bike. (He had to keep picking them because she kept destroying them) She’s also in a lot of pictures others took.

                        Kaitlyn has been a good little passenger. She has been disappointed that she didn’t get to ride her own bike after the first day. But Bill promised her a big-girl bike when we get home. She’s happy with that.

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