Gemeente Waterland

Here you’ll find travel reports about Gemeente Waterland. Discover travel destinations in the Netherlands of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

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  • Day838

    Kaasboerderij Simonhoeve (Cheese Farm)

    October 12, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    We're going to have to watch our waistlines! Yesterday was the pancake house and today we are staying at Simonhoeve Cheese Farm and Clog Makers; another business offering overnights for prospective customers. This place is the epitome of all things Dutch and is set up for boatloads of tourists. Even on a Wednesday in mid October there are countless coach parties rolling in. Set amongst fields with a hotel over the road, the car park has plenty of space so we choose a spot next to the central chicken pen, except this is no ordinary chicken pen. The small brood of Isa Brown hens are living the high life in a beautiful deep green thatched cottage, with plenty of room to roam. It looks as if they once lived in the mini wooden windmill welcoming visitors to the site. A plastic Friesian cow stands in their pen looking towards the van, giving us a shock every time we open our door.

    After lunch we join one of the free tours led by guides in traditional costumes. We are with two Americans with an English speaking host but others talk to groups in Dutch, German and Spanish. The tour begins with a little intro showing us the cheese vat where 1000 litres of milk are being churned. The process is explained and we are shown the renate, the curds and whey, stirring paddles and the 1kg round of cheese this batch will make approximately 100 of. Our guide explains they used to use wooden bowls, but now they have switched to plastic to press the rounds because of hygiene.

    Next we move on to the clog making, where we are shown the blocks of wood destined to become traditional Dutch shoes. Most are Poplar but Willow is used for special occasions. The demonstrator takes one that has been soaked for 3 days and puts in an automated lathe to shave the outer wood to the correct shape. Next they then manually control another machine, using an existing clog as a template to drill out the centre. We move on and our guide gives a demo of the traditional hand tools, which would take a skilled crafter 4 hours of hard graft to make a clog. Apparently they were the best shoes to keep feet dry, so used extensively by farmers. We are shown a range of different clogs, each with their own story; little ones with leather straps 'for the ladies', a large one with metal crampons for walking on ice, one painted in the traditional way, then another belonging to a different region with flowers symbolising love and birds symbolising freedom. A pair had patterns carved on them and we were told that in the past a man would do this when he wanted to marry. He would leave them outside the house of his love's family home and in the morning if they were still there then it was bad news. If they had been taken in by the parents then the wedding could go ahead. The special clogs would be worn then hung on the wall of the marital dwelling. It was said to be a bad omen if they fell and sometimes the parents had been known to give them a bit if a nudge if their son in law wasn't living up to expectations!

    We looked around the clog shop and tried on a few pairs. There was some gorgeous paintwork mixed in with the outlandishly trashy tourist designs. The next room contained shelves lined with colourful rounds of cheese and a central island stacked with samples. We must have tried 20 different cheeses, including cumin cheese (a Dutch favourite), marijuana seed cheese (nutty), smoked, 2 year old gouda, pesto cheese and stinging nettle cheese. Will bought the smoked chilli cheese and a 1 year old gouda, while Vicky opted for a Dutch rasberry and redcurrant wine and we got some eggs that looked as if they'd been plucked straight from the coup.

    After a cuppa in the van we decided to cycle into the village of Edam, just 3.5km away. We'd driven through its beautiful (if terrifyingly narrow) lanes on the way to our stopover and wanted to explore further. With the flat land and excellent quality cycle track we found ourselves in the cobbled streets in no time. We risked leaving the tandem chained only to itself (as everybody here seems to do) and began to wander on foot. Centred around the main canal, lined with young autumnal trees, Edam's brown brick houses certainly had charm. The windows of the cheese shop near where we left the bike were chock-a-block with huge rounds of orange coated cheese. Even the upper floor whose walls were clad with green wooden boards displayed racks of edam though its window panes. We made our way to the small square where the historic cheese market is still held every Wednesday. It was empty now, but a statue of two people carrying a crate of cheese rounds told us we were in the right place.

    The whole village was immaculately presented with doors and shutters recently painted with a glossy sheen, church bells chiming a tune at every quarter and well maintained gardens. Despite neither of us being particularly keen on Edam cheese, it really was a lovely place to stroll for an hour.
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  • Day1

    De Visscher Taverne

    March 30, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    Nachdem es bereits beginnt zu dämmern (8 Uhr) beschließen wir hier in Marken auch gleich zu Abend zu essen.

    Am Hafen suchen wir uns de Visscher Taverne aus. Das Restaurant ist schön dekoriert und macht einen gemütlichen Eindruck. Die Spezialität des Hauses sind Pannenkoeken. Wir ordern Tomatensuppe, Pannenkoeken mit Ziegenkäse, Fish 'n' Chips und diverse Getränke.

    Es dauerte ein wenig und das Gedächtnis unserer Bedienung ließ auch zu wünschen übrig, sie fragte nochmal nach den Pannenkoeken, es kam Sprite statt Rivella, die Suppe wurde mit den Essen serviert, obwohl sie Vorspeise sein sollte,... Aber das Essen war wirklich gut. Die Tomatensuppe frisch zubereitet und kein 'Packerl' oder 'Dose', der Pannenkoeken wirklich sehr gut, die Chips sahen sehr nach handcut aus. Nur der Fisch war leider nicht mehr knusprig, als er an den Tisch kam. Alles in allem können wir de Visscher Taverne empfehlen. Es ist mit Sicherheit kein Gourmettempel, aber die Qualität des Essens ist gut und die Preise sind angemessen. Die Pannenkoeken sind wirklich sehr gut zubereitet und auch die Kombination aus Ziegenkäse, Speck, Rucola, Honig und Pinienkerne überzeugte absolut.
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  • Day1


    March 30, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Nach einer kurzen Zimmererkundung und Rast im Hotelzimmer beschließen wie uns gleich nochmal auf den Weg zu machen und Region hier ein bisschen zu erkunden. Uns zieht es ans 'Meer'...

    Marken, eine 'kleine' Insel in der Gouwzee welche bis 1957 nur mit dem Schiff erreichbar war, ist unser Ziel. Wenn man nun über den Damm auf die Insel kommt wird man gleich in einem Parkplatz geführt, da viele Teile der Insel verkehrsberuhigt sind. Nur die Anwohner dürfen meist fahren, was aber auch super ist.

    Wir parken und laufen über die 'Beatrix Brug' gleich Richtung eines Souvenir Shop, dieser wird aber gerade trotz der späten Stunde von 19 Uhr von einer spanischen Reisegruppe gestürmt, so laufen wie nur kurz durch. Die Siedlung ist wunderschön, mit kleinen, leicht typisch Holländisch anmutenden Häusern. Wir laufen Richtung Hafen...

    Das war früher Mal ein Fischerhafen, ist aber jetzt 'nur noch ein touristischer' Hafen mit vielen Privatbooten. Trotzdem wunderschön und aufgrund der späten Stunde haben wir den fast für uns alleine.... Sogar die kleinen Läden direkt an der Pier haben schon 'gesloten'.

    Wir laufen einmal eine Runde ums Hafenbecken bis zum kleinen Strand am Ende. Auf dem Weg hat uns ein Restaurant angesprochen, wo wir noch zum Abendessen eingekehren werden.
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  • Day40

    First Ride Nord

    June 15, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    Our first ride north. Everyone kept telling us to ride north from Amsterdam to quickly get to the agrarian settings, canals, and little villages. Boy were they steering us right. One kilometer north of our place we took a ferry to cross the main canal which separates Amsterdam from Amsterdam Nord. Within 15 minutes we were riding in the countryside along another canal.

    We stopped a few times long our route. In Ilpendam we stopped for coffee and tea and met a friendly couple who are also a couple of years into retirement. They have been driving all over Europe cycling and camping out of a converted step van. We also sighted a cycling postal carrier who brings his dog along to work.

    Along the way we noted an instance of a location specific phenomenon Birgitt described by saying 'In Holland there are rules, but there are no rules'. We even shot a photo of a Dutch couple as proof positive.

    The route today swung through several small towns and villages. Monnickendam was especially picturesque. We stopped for a bite there and took a shot of a beautiful sailing rig. We'll be returning with our guests this summer for fish and chips. There's also a Bach concert this Sunday, so we'll probably head up for that too.

    Most of the route followed the dikes along the coastline.

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  • Day50

    One Fun Morning...

    June 25, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    We heard the weather was changing from cold and gray to sunny and warm so we hit the road. Augie rode my bike and I got a spin on Harrie's city bike. We rode north through the area above Amsterdam called Waterland. First leg took us to Broek in Waterland. Over the past two centuries this was the quintessential Holland village. Anyone who visited Holland toured this village. Often they'd take a canal boat and spend the day. Napoleon even paid a visit. Mary Mapes Dodge also had this town in mind when she penned Hans Brinker. Next leg took us to the village of Waterland, and the last leg took us home.

    A Google Video can be found here:

    We, of course, stopped for treats along the way.

    Off to the market for the afternoon. We are getting ready for Sophie and Jacob's visit tomorrow!
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  • Day61

    Five Villages on a 10€ Bus Pass!

    July 6, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    Today Alison, Nancy, and I headed north to visit villages lining the western edge of the Zuider Zee (southern sea). We bought a 10 euro bus day pass at Amsterdam Centraal station to begin our journey.

    Our first stop was the tiny village of Marken. The town is one of those places that are so cute, one wonders if people actually live there. Sort of like Bruges or Disneyland. We got a shot of some LBBs (little brown birds) waiting for the crumbs from the cookie that came with our cappuccinos.

    In Marken we caught a ferry to Volendam. Another, slightly bigger, quintessentially dutch town with a seaside strip that had suffered the same fate as the previous town. Shop after shop of kitch and fried food. We quickly began walking north toward the next village and were rewarded with a pleasant town with lovely houses and canals just a block away from the tourist strip. Volendam was actually a very nice place! At one point we passed an elementary school as it was letting out for the weekend. Lots of parents on bikes picking up their offspring. I turned to look at the school and it was named after J. F. Kennedy. Nice.

    Our walk wended north along a canal to the town of Edam. Famous for its cheese. At the top of the village was the Grote Kerk or Big Church. It wasn't being used for services any longer but there was an art exhibit being set up for the season. I took some shots of a few of the more formidable pieces and they can be seen here:

    I also had one of those sublime experiences sitting on a bench outside of that church. The view was of flat green fields framed by an old bridge and stretching out in the distance. A cow grazed on the near field, occasionally scratching its chin on willows by the bank of a small canal. Very pleasant.

    From Edam we bussed it north to Hoorn a base for the Dutch East India company. Extraordinary town with lots of 16th century buildings and a rather fancy shopping area. I've included some more photos of Hoorn here:

    Last stop was the town of Monnickendam where they were preparing for a weekend of traditional Dutch inland sailing boats. They were all amassed in the little harbor. We had pretty good fish and chips while watching the goings on.

    All in all a very pleasant day.
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  • Day39


    May 28, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 68 °F

    After fighting the city crowds and a brief heat wave yesterday, we are biking in the countryside north of Amsterdam. We found a cafe in the shade for coffee and apple pie (with the whipped cream, of course). Our lodging is a garden house on a canal near Amsterdam. (Our hostess Zita and her daughter, Erna are pictured) Found it through Airbnb - a first experience and very pleasant so far. We are using Airbnb in Bruges and Home Away in Normandy and Paris. We are remembering our fallen soldiers this weekend and during the week, too. Wednesday we will attend a remembrance ceremony in Ypres for the 90,000 soldiers who were lost in Flanders during WWI and will be tracing my father's path in the area during the war almost 100 years ago. Dad was born in 1896 and joined the Calvary in 1917, trained in Augusta, GA, and was sent overseas in 1918. His diaries and letters are intact along with a map and memorabilia from his service. Precious artifacts from a war that doesn't receive much notice.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Gemeente Waterland, Waterland

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