Workshop cheese making & stroopwafel baking Holland

Today we’re meeting for a workshop cheese making & stroopwafel baking. We’ll be visiting two cities, famous for cheese, syrup waffles and other regional, artisanal products. Outside it’s bitterly cold. Fortunately we can warm ourselves. It's the people we meet and the food we eat that makes us feel warm inside.

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How to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam by public transport 2020

How to get to Keukenhof from Amsterdam by public transport? It's fairly easy. As explained in this blogpost, the popular flower garden of the Netherlands is located in Lisse. This year, the Keukenhof is open from 21 March till 10 May 2020. In these six weeks,  there are special buses that drop you right in front of the entrance of this magnificent flower park.

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Maastricht Winter Carnival 2022 - the Netherlands

Experience the Netherlands like you never experienced it before. Head to the southern regions of the Netherlands in February and celebrate the Maastricht Winter Carnival 2022 with the locals. Go below the rivers and indulge yourself in the Burgundian lifestyle.
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Venues in nature & outdoor team events in the Netherlands

The region of Utrecht is known for its castles and estates, located in the middle of nature. It is a great area to explore by bike when you’re on holiday in the Netherlands, but did you know Utrecht also offers plenty of options for business meetings in green surroundings & outdoor team events in the Netherlands?

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fietstocht Delft blauw

Family Bike Tour Delft Countryside

It was a warm and sunny Friday afternoon. I was waiting for my participants at Delft station. We would do a family bike tour Delft and surroundings. I looked at the big digital clock on the busplatform. They were late.

From Europe trip to daytrip Delft

The family of four was on a Europe trip and was staying in Amsterdam for five days. Dad wanted to make a daytrip to Delft, where he had studied when he was young.  Back then he mostly stayed in Delft so he thought it would be a nice idea to explore the surroundings of Delft a bit. Besides, they had already been in the city for some time so a day outdoors would be nice. Mum and dad were quite looking forward to doing something which was relaxing and active at the same time. Their girls were excited, it was one big adventure for them.

"Sorry we're late, I was just amazed by the interior of Delft station. So much has changed here in Delft!"

The family bike tour Delft went downhill

"Sorry we're late, I was just amazed by the interior of Delft station. So much has changed here in Delft!" Dad said with a broad smile on his face. While he was still taking in all the changes, we walked over to the bikes. It took a while to get started; the girls felt a bit uncomfortable on bikes which were not their own. As soon as they were used to them and got a good cycling speed we were flying! Especially downhill.  We get to that later ;)

hand operated bridge tour Delft Verita's Visit ophaalbrug
Family watching hand operated bridge

 

Holland bridges & windmills

We reached Schipluiden right in time to see the draw bridge being opened. Manually. The whole family was impressed and even I have to say I was quite surprised that this bridge is still drawn manually. Mum quickly slipped into a shop selling only local products. Her interest inspired me to show the big greenhouse behind restaurant Indigo.  Everything produced here is used in their dishes.

We went through the Schipluiden village. Through the 'ohs' and the 'ahs' I could make out the family bike tour Delft & surroundings was a success. Mum was clearly enjoying the houses, the water and the girls happily pointed out all the flowers and young  birds. When we reached the river Gaag I told them the story of the flour mill De Korpershoek. The train bridge once used for transporting fruit & vegetable is now part of the cycle route. The 10-year old threw her legs in the air when she went downhill. This train bridge is a big hit!

 

Family time bike tour Delft playground stop Verita's Visit familie uitje

 

I promised the girls a farmers' ice-cream which they rapidly finished. When mum saw the special swing on the playground she gets the whole family together. That swing is quite an attraction every time I have a family on tour in Delft.

DIY bike ferry Delft Verita's Visit

The famous Delft bike ferry

We continued out family bike tour Delft area with polders on one side, the water on the other.  When we reached my favourite bike ferry the girls look a tad bit scared. "Do we have to cross with that, mum?", they ask.  Dad took the lead, giving the wheel with the chain a good swing. We jumped onto the ferry and mum, dad and the girls had a good exercise bringing us across. - I always take the pictures of the whole activity which in itself needs a lot of concentration :P -

After drinks & bites on the terrace boats with view on the wetlands & sailing boats at restaurant Vlietzicht it was time to head back and end our family bike tour Delft.


What the family said:

We had such a nice time with you. Thank you for a fun day!


Related posts:

Cycle Tour Delft Countryside

Tandem Bike tour Delft Countryside


september events The Hague Verita's Visit Holland

September events in The Hague 2021

We wave the summer holidays goodbye as the first signs of autumn creep in. Schools in the Netherlands have started again and everyone's back to work. Many expats in The Hague have just arrived. The Dutch language, the Dutch culture, the food & the people. It's not easy to get used to. Fortunately there are a few  September events in The Hague that make internationals feel at home. Read more


Lovely locations for company events Zwolle

Outside are two ladies, chatting with the bus driver. The ladies look like they are coming for the Zwolle site visit organised by Congresregio Zwolle. My intuition is right; they are event managers here to explore all locations for company events Zwolle. The bus driver  explains that he’s here to bring the people to the Provinciehuis. That means he’s not here for us. Me and the ladies, we have good chitchat about all event managers do. Other participants of the site visit in this city in Eastern Netherlands join us and it seems like we know each other for ages. A mini-bus stops in front of Lumen hotel & IJsseldelta conference center and  brings us to the starting location of the Zwolle site visit.

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team event boat race Gouda Holland Verita's Visit

Team building event in Gouda area

The 7th of June was going to be the day.  The team building event in Gouda area. I was going to meet a group of 17 people from an international company at their office in Bodegraven for a bike- & boat tour with game elements. And then it started to rain. Windspeed 6. The long predicted storm happened on the day I was most looking forward to. Emma, who managed the event from client's side, emailed me the day before and suggested to move  this team building event to the 20th of June. For this event we quickly made other arrangements.

team event boat race Gouda Holland Verita's VisitBrewing a company outing

It was great to organise two team building events in Gouda area for the same international company. I was in close contact with Emma and kept communicating with the other organisations. The bike- and boat tour was a dream event and even when everything had to be changed lastminute for the event on the 7th my heart was beating faster.  I have so many ideas and at the moment I have the change to use my creativity and get a green light I just let myself go. Emma suggested a brewery tour for the 7th, which I had in mind as well. After that she thought a city walk through Gouda would be nice as the rain would clear in the late afternoon/ early evening. So, very lastminute I made the arrangements and they had a fun and informative company outing.

Video made by participant

Building a team in the Dutch Wetlands

Then the 20th of June came. Together with Lisette, the event planner and jack-of-all-trade at Watersnip, I had planned out the team building activity on the water. The 33 participants of the international company would be doing a rowing competition and if they had some sailing experience do some sailing game as well. The teams had all be given colourful shirts by my client and soon showed their practical, social and/ or leadership skills. As images speak a thousand words, here is a selection of the pictures I took of the team building event in Gouda area.

Dear participants, dear Lisette, Emma & Kellie, thank you all for this colourful day!


Tour Gouda quesería - mercado de queso Holanda

Visit Gouda City of Cheese

They all come to Gouda, city of cheese. Cheese fans from all over the world look forward to the new season of the Gouda cheese market, which opens on Thursday 6 April 2017. Whether you like Old Amsterdammer, Beemster cheese or Edammer Cheese, Gouda is the place to taste the different types of delicious round gold. Gouda cheese market is only on Thursdays though. So, what kind of cheese related things can you do when you visit Gouda on another day? And, is there anything else worth seeing & tasting? Let's find out.

Gouda countryside tour natuur fietstocht groepsactiviteit Verita's Visit

Gouda Countryside

It's Saturday. In a Gouda cheese farm, a 5 km bike ride from Gouda, city of cheese, the women are making cheese. We arrive to early, the cheese is still curd and spinning in a big tub. So, I suggest to hit the road and visit the cheese warehouse first. Enroute we are thrilled with the sight of the typical Dutch landscape, we are amazed by the flat organised structure of the polders. Seeing the first windmill makes us clap our hands in excitement. It can only get better. And it does. When we reach the cheese warehouse, our jaws drop.

cheese farm visit Verita's kaasboerderij rondleiding activiteit

 

Gouda Cheese Museum & Cheese Shop

We do visit the Gouda cheese farm again, see the cheese go in the presses.  Then we head back to Gouda city of cheese, because we have a full program. The Gouda cheese museum is first on our list. A volunteer of the museum guides us through the history of cheese and other dairy products. We are almost done with the cheese part of our visit to Gouda. We have tasted quite some Gouda farmer cheeses at the Gouda cheese warehouse and the cheese farm, but at 't Kaaswinkeltje we not only see the golden version, but also many other colours. One last time we taste different types of cheese, one last time we buy another Gouda cheese, this time a cheese with cumin.

Gouda city of cheese soup & syrup waffle dessert

After a lunch of Gouda cheese soup on the terrace of Belvedère, with view on the very attractive Saturday market, we pass by a couple of the stroopwafel shops to taste and buy the different syrup waffles - and yes, there is also great difference in the syrup waffles you get in Gouda-.

 

Gouda stained glasses & pollard willows

stained glass tour Gouda gebrandschilderde glazen rondleiding Verita's Visit

We've kept the best for last. On our way to the Gouda cheese farm & warehouse, we saw these special type of pruned trees along the canals. Apparently you don't see them ( that much) in America. In the Netherlands we are used to them and they are centuries old. In the St John church of Gouda, famous of the large stained glasses, there is a pane that also depicts these pollard willows.  The upper part of this stained glass depicts a scene in the life of John the Baptist. Although it doesn't take place in the Netherlands, these pollard willows at the riverside give a Dutch touch to this Middle Eastern scene.

To be able to point the others to this specific stained glass in the St John church ánd to be able to show them Gouda city of cheese and so much more, made me immensely happy. And, not just me...

https://youtu.be/YP2pi-U1tlE

 


Impression of Delft Vermeer Challenge

The bullet holes in the wall were not the reason why I visited the Museum Prinsenhof last July. In my heart, I keep a special place for Delft, the city where I was born. One of my wishes was to create a challenge, a treasure hunt in Delft. But, Delft has no festival based on a historical event or full of traditions. What could I do? Then came the request.

Rowena had organised a group bike tour through the Delft nature with Verita’s Visit and enjoyed herself. After that she approached me and asked if I could create a city challenge in Delft. I was thrilled with the request. My dream of creating a treasure hunt in Delft came true.

At the end it wasn’t difficult to come up with a theme. The exact location of the masterpiece The little street by Delft painter Johannes Vermeer had just been discovered and Museum Prinsenhof  Delft had managed to borrow the painting from the Rijksmuseum. From 25 March until 17 July 2016 Prinsenhof dedicated a full exhibition on this painting of Vermeer and its location in Delft. The news spread like wildfire and local businesses, churches and other museums joined in by offering special Vermeer products and deals. Delft was under the spell of Vermeer.

City game Vermeer Delft painting science. Photo by: Barbara van Gelder
Assignment: become a Vermeer character. Photo by: Barbara van Gelder

I had always wanted to work with Barbara van Gelder, owner of the studio Something Extra. In her studio you can become Vermeer or one of his characters. Dressed in 17th century costumes and some nice accessories added to the scene she will immortalize you in a portrait. Barbara has many ideas and is always enthusiastic. When I told her about the Delft Vermeer Challenge, she immediately came up with questions and assignments.

In the last weekend of the exhibition the participants of the challenge gathered at a special place  where they were served a cup of tea ( in Delftware cups). Rowena whispered in my ear: “Are we getting our portrait made here?”.  I smiled and said : “Who knows..”

In the Delft Vermeer Challenge the teams followed a route past different locations important to Vermeer. Through questions and creative assignments they could find out about his life, his family, the technique he used. One of my favourite assignments was in the Vlamingstraat, the location of The Little Street.  This is where Vermeer’s aunt lived. She sold intestines. The assignment was to make a video while tasting this 17th century delicacy. The looks on the faces of the participants! It was fantastic….I don’t know if they ever found out that what they ate was kokosbrood  a typical Dutch spread made out of cocos. Well, in Verita’s Visit’s tours and events things never are what they look like ;)

The Delft Vermeer Challenge finished at a special place where, how could it be otherwise, the assignment was to become a Vermeer character, pick the right costume and get your portrait taken. Love to show you this unique place in Delft!


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Challenge Delft Blue Vermeer & group activity

Delft activities & tips

Bike tour Delft blue countryside