After Gouda, we zipped right along, completely bypassing Amsterdam, to another of the four Dutch towns that have a regular, if mostly for the tourists, cheese auction. Again, we were there on the wrong day to see the rigamarole.

Our Airbnb was right at the city wall, dating back a few hundred years. A view from our second floor terrace shows the closeness of one of the city’s canals. A block away stood a fine windmill, now a private residence.

View from our room

View from our room

Our neighborhood windmill

Our neighborhood windmill

We walked downtown to see the sights, passing a picturesque canal, a drawbridge still in use, and other delights of a picture perfect Dutch town.

Canal leads into town.

Canal leads into town.

Drawbridge

Drawbridge

Typical buildings on the market square

Typical buildings on the market square

Neat door decoration

Neat door decoration

Poppy arrangement in a store window.

Tulips arrangement in a store window.

A place for eat'in and drink'in

A place for eat’n and drink’n

Decoration above a doorway

Decoration above a doorway

Our Airbnb host suggested we drive into the countryside to see windmills and tulip farms. We’re glad we did because the tulips were nearly gone. When the time is right, the blossoms are cut off so the plants do not go to seed. By the time we arrived most of the tulip fields were already decapitated. We got to see the action when we pulled off the road to take a few photos. Big machines were mowing down the flowers before our eyes.

Picture perfect field of poppies

Picture perfect field of tulips

Blossoms meeting their end right before our eyes.

Blossoms meeting their end right before our eyes.

Next morning we had to scoot along to Delfzijl, our last night in the Netherlands. Many of the byway roads were quite narrow, often one lane for cars and more space for bikes. We got used to it, sort of.

Common road layout in Dutch villages

Common road layout in Dutch villages

Eva couldn’t resist the opportunity to spend one night perched out over the ocean, or at least the North Sea. Our hotel on stilts seemed like a rather crazy idea but it’s been in business for over 50 years, and so far it’s been our most luxurious accommodation. One enters from the top of the dyke that keeps the nearby town from drowning when the gods play rough with the weather.

View from our room over the water

View from our room over the water

Our home on stilts

Our home on stilts

At night we could see the lights from Germany, and after nine days in the Netherlands this would be our next destination. We expect to skim across coastal towns all the way to Poland, savoring the region where Eva spent her childhood and has deepest impressions.

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