As a result, we had to content ourselves with the extensive flower market in the centre of Amsterdam. Here you could buy tulips in almost any colour and composition, including wood, plastic, paper etc. They were displayed as fresh bunches, colourful fridge magnets, place mats, trivets, the list goes on.
Not every bicycle was a wooden shoe, however, there would not have been enough room in the streets. I think that Holland's motto should be "Why walk when you can ride a bike!" Cycling is clearly a way of life in The Netherlands. You go to work, do your shopping, give someone a lift, even take your kids to school, on a bike. In fact, I saw one hearty mother with a young child on the handle bars, another on the cross bar and a third straddling the panniers behind - whew!! If you happen to have more than three children, you pile them in a bin that looks like a wheel barrow at the front of the bike and peddle on. No one wears a helmet and no one, it seems, complains!!
Finally, I have to mention the cheese shops. Where the rest of Europe has fruit stands, Holland has cheese shops, each one striving to out do the other. I have never seen so many cheese wheels. Gouda - pronounced "howda" with a hack to the H - is the mother of all cheeses, in Holland anyway. It's greened with pesto, reddened with tomato, freckled with caraway, spiced with chutneys and served in a myriad of shapes and sizes. It can be sliced, diced, melted, grated, you name it. In fact unless you knew it began as a humble wheel, you would never recognize it, in its many transformations. Oh, and did I mention, it's delicious!!
More tomorrow - have a great day!!