Volendam

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Says It All Really

Easter weekend and the Easter Bunny visited Red Roo TWICE!  Saturday morning the captain awoke to find some chocolates left by fore mentioned bunny which apparently was a day early and therefore the captain voiced his expectation that he would also come again Sunday morning, on the correct day with a fresh supply of chocolate – and yes that is what happened.   As predicted we are now seeing more yachts on the water as well as stink boats (motor or power boats, they smell cause they burn fuel).

Volendam was a busy village, being Easter long weekend and also it being a tourist town was packed full of visitors all strolling really really slowly in a long line blocking across the streets and footpaths (making it impossible for others to pass), all eating fritz (chips) or ice creams.  The weather although windy was warm and pleasant, fingers crossed it stays this way, although one can’t complain we have had it pretty good since leaving the UK, still wearing jackets as the wind can be cold but bright sunshine being the norm.

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Exploring on the Bikes

We got the bikes out and assembled and went exploring, 20 km around via a man made spit is Marken a traditional fishing village now transformed for tourists and includes a clog making shop and museum.  With all those annoying tourists I just spoke of (they caught a ferry over from Volendam) we watch the clog making demonstration – they put some wood in the machine and a press of the magic the button equals one clog shaped piece of wood, transfer to the other machine and press the button and it gets hollowed out, there you have it a clog!  Easy!  Lucky it was a free demonstration.

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Marken
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Flowerpot Clogs
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The Clog Making Demonstration
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How It Is Done – Template (L) & Cutter (R)

On our return cycle back, we also visited Edam the other cheesy place!  We found a really good genuine cheese shop which still houses the cheese scales from back in the day when it used to be a cheese market and warehouse.  This time we were given a much better explanations of the difference in the cheeses from Holland, and the real difference between Gouda and Edam is the shape of the finished cheese (or I guess more correctly the mould used to shape the cheese)!  Traditional Edam being a round waxed ball shape and Gouda being roundish but flat top and bottom much easier for stacking and carting in ships and the like – hence Edam really went out of flavour or shape as the case may be once the Gouda shape was created as it was much more practical and remains so today.

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Edam Museum
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Edam Cheese Shop
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Edam

We also had a bit of a win in Volendam in regards to gas for the boat (which is the fuel used for the oven and hot plates).  As always Phil asked around about gas and the caravan park told him there was a refilling station a short bike ride away.  Phil went to suss it out with success, although it wasn’t a short bike ride (actually closer to 15km one way) he was told they were able to refill both English and French gas bottles.  Ripper! So on with the backpacks with gas bottles inside and off we went riding into a super strong headwind to the filling station.  Once arrived it was quite disappointing to find that despite the earlier visit and inquiry they could only actually fill our English bottles (not having an adaptor that fitted the french) but some is better than none so we filled our one empty English bottle then did another trip (another 30km round effort with the wind against us one way) to go and get our other English bottle (1/4 empty) that was currently in use.  The french bottle we had carried from the boat had a nice bike ride but remains empty.  Overall a good day, our two English bottles now full (that will be good for a minimum of two months or more) and a lot of good exercise for our legs, lungs, backs and arms (carrying the bottles) also thrown in.  We do so many kilometres walking or on the bikes to get the basics these days, so different from the old life when we would always drive to the shops.

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