|The mandatory aping of the painting photo|
We opted to skip the Heineken. Scott developed quite a fondness for Skuumkoppe beer instead.
What we discovered is that the seats on Dutch rental bikes are far less comfortable than those found on our bikes at home and also that Dutch bikes, in general, are insanely heavy. Somehow, we were always riding into a headwind on our longer excursions and, come to think of it, on some that were supposed to be pretty short as well.
|Dutch rental bikes, Round 2: Our trusty steeds of Texel|
The thing you don't expect so much, maybe, is that that tulip business is a blind. The national flower of Holland is clearly the hollyhock. They grow absolutely everywhere, including along the sidewalks in central Amsterdam. And most hollyhocks, it seems, contain a few very hardworking bumblebees who are seriously coated in pollen. They put those mason bees to shame, I tell you.
|One of great many bee-hosting hollyhocks|
|A frenzied turf war on a quiet street in Den Burg on Texel|
|Cocktails at Vesper|
Four tips that I can remember just now:
1) Stock up on your ginger beer before getting on the ferry in Den Helder.
2) Your ov-chipkaart will work on train travel as well as on mainland trams, metro, and buses, but not on Texel.
3) Order the green beans with miso dip at Vesper. (Mmmm, Vesper . . .)
4) Which reminds me of a fourth tip, courtesy of Jules, the very helpful bartender at Vesper, eat at d&a hummus bistro. Delicious and cheap!
|Preening Eurasian oystercatcher (Zuiderzee, Texel)|
For a much more literary account of our time in Amsterdam, see Scott's account here.