Vermeer tour Delft holiday

Sleeping in Delft during Pentecost

Early Saturday morning. A couple of students wake you up by loudly ringing their bicycle bells right in front of your door. This way sleeping in Delft during Pentecost is impossible!  With the sanddust stil in your eyes, you look outside. The group carries big crates of Dutch doughnut look-a-likes. Your curiosity is sparked & you decide to follow them.

Whitsun sleepy head

In West Holland the Saturday before Whit Sunday is known as Luilak. It was an exciting day for young people. They rose early morning to make noise, shake up the city and wake up those who were sleeping long and being lazy – the so called ‘luilakken’. It was the time to say goodbye to winter, clean the house and welcome spring. There was no room for lazy people.

Morning Delft countryside tour Verita's Visit
Early morning view over Delft church from countryside

Sleeping in Delft for the holidays

In the 19th century this was still a decent festivity, if you came to work late, you had to buy your colleagues some drinks. That was it. Like any celebration, Luilak took on a different form as time went by. Just like New Year’s Day nowadays, the youngsters started disbehaving. Riots & vandalism became a common sight on the Saturday morning before Whit Sunday. There was no way to get any rest in any of the cities where the celebration. Government & municipalities looked for solutions, created their own parades and bonfires.  Sleeping in Delft during Pentecost became a challenge and while a group of Delftians lay awake at night an idea emerged.

Delft tour start historical centre Verita's Visit daytrip
No youngsters waking you up in Delft anymore

Food is the solution to sleeping well in Delft

For centuries bakeries made a special treat for Pentecost: de luilakkenbol, a sweet bun similar to a Dutch doughnut. This group of Delftians came up with the idea to create a parade for the youngsters. At the end a full load of luilakbollen would be thrown on top of them. It became a huge success and it was the start of an annual Delft festival called the Delft Bun Saturday or Delftse bollenzaterdag.

Nowadays Luilak is not celebrated any more. Its means sleeping in Delft during Pentecost is relaxed and quiet. The luilakbol is not sold by Delft bakers. But, you can make them yourself, they're similar to the English scone.

Vermeer tour Delft holiday
Pouring the milk like Vermeer's maid in Delft

Recipe for Pentecost luilakbol

  • 40 grams of yeast
  • 500 grams of flour ( of which 2/3 wheat flour and 1/3 rye flour)
  • 250 grams of milk
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 20 grams of brown sugar
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 300 grams of raisins
  • 100 grams of currants
  • tea spoon of cinnamon
My homemade luilakbol. Will you show me yours?

Step by step making of Delft bun

Mix the yeast with 4 spoons of lukewarm milk. Take the flour and mix it with the salt and sugar. Then make a little whole in the middle of the flour. Pour the melted butter in the yeast mix and add this to the flour. Knead until you have a smooth dough. Cover with a clean cloth and leave it to rise for 30 minutes.

Wash the raisins and currants and make sure they're dry. Then add them to the risen dough with the cinnamon. Knead and leave to rise for 15 minutes. Set the oven on 240°C.  Out of the dough, make buns of about 60 grams. Put them on a well-buttered baking tray, cut each bun on 4 sides.  Leave to rise for another 15 minutes. Then brush them with egg and bake them for 15 minutes.  Eat them with butter and syrup (or jam).


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Sources of inspiration:

https://www.bakkersinbedrijf.nl/recept_artikelen/recept-luilakbollen

https://www.maxvandaag.nl/sessies/themas/terug-naar-toen/luilak-het-uitstervende-kwajongensfeest/

https://www.beleven.org/feest/luilak

 

 

 


team building based on King's Day Verita's Visit Holland

Team building based on King's Day - 3 tips

Put on your orange dress, drink some Oranjebitter and get ready to sing the national anthem.  The best way to bond is to celebrate a national holiday together. So, let's create that ultimate holiday feeling. Here are 3 tips team building based on King's Day in Holland.

National holiday to unite your team

Once upon a time there was a little princess called Wilhelmina. She lived in the Netherlands, a country that was extremely divided. People didn't want to do any activities together. Now, Wilhelmina celebrated her 5th birthday on August 31 1885. 'A great day for a national holiday', a newspaper thought. And so a new national holiday was born.  It was called Princess Day and became a huge success. The Dutch people united, the nation was one.

I know it is a bit too much to ask you to create your own national holiday. It is a good idea to look at national holidays though.  You can get inspiration on how to build & strengthen relationships . Let's have a look at King's Day!

old Dutch games King's Day teambuilding

Holiday feeling with old Dutch games: team building based on national celebration

The first tip for team building based on King's Day actually comes from Princess Day. In that time the holiday did not have the same dimension as nowadays. Focus was on strengthening relationships within your family & local community. That happened through games. Using these old Dutch games  for teambuilding is perfect as rules are simple, you don't have to use your brain a lot. They're just a fun activity to do together and a way to release any tension. Best part is also that you feel like you're getting a taste of Dutch culture. Add some orange clothes and an orange drink (Oranjebitter) and you feel like you're on holiday.

Why the royal birthday & flower parades in the Netherlands are connected

As the years went by princess Wilhelmina got older. In September 1898 she became Queen of the Netherlands and so Princess Day became Queen's Day.  Thanks to these two royal celebration; the birthday and the inauguration, the flower parades in the Netherlands became popular. Now, I let you think about it for a moment…Why is Wilhelmina’s birthday/ inauguration as Queen a good time for the flower parade? The answer is in the next blogpost.

other flower events in the Netherlands Verita's Visit HollandTeam building based on King's Day flower parade

Tip two on team building based on King's Day, is about these flower parades. Before WWII these flower processions were strongly connected to the royal family. Nowadays  the processions are used to underline the local identity & the small community feeling. Now this team building tip decorate your bike, car or other vehicle. Set some rules before you start this activity. One of these rules should be about how you combine local, regional aspects with national cultural elements. What is typical of your city? What is unique about your family or friends? When you do this group activity with your colleagues, you can also include the corporate culture and team culture in these game rules. For complete instructions & customisation of this teambuilding activity based on King's Day, contact me or book the We are one on King's Day game activity.

Team building based on King's DayBe like Dutch kids: sell what you love & they don't need

Another typical Dutch element of King's Day is the vrijmarkt, or garage sale/ flea market. This is one of the youngest traditions of the royal celebration. In the seventies, Beatrix was Queen. She is the mother of our present King Willem-Alexander and the granddaughter of Wilhelmina. She had married a German man and not everyone in the Netherlands  liked that.  Besides, you could again feel some tension building up in the Netherlands. The vrijmarkt already existed, but was not centrally organised. Here and there in the suburbs of Amsterdam and other Dutch cities these flea markets popped up. The idea was to bring these markets to the inner city centre, so the Dutch would get together in a central point. That worked!

How can you use this in a team building activity? The King's Day vrijmarkt is the ultimate way for kids to practise their entrepreneurship. So tip three in the team building based on King's Day is about negotiation skills. Try  to find some traditions or habits in your family, group of friends or team that you like, but others dislike. Imagine these habits are one of the items you sell on the vrijmarkt. You are attached to them, they see no value. How would you sell these, the Dutch way?

Liked these 3 ideas? Then contact me for the full We are one on King's Day teambuilding game.


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https://youtu.be/lt2KSwzXFCE


online workshop edible tulips Verita's Visit Holland

Free online workshop edible tulips & King's Day celebration

A gorgeous looking treat for holidays such as Easter and King's Day ánd the way to impress friends & family. Get your kids together, ask your grandkids to join online and get ready for this free online workshop edible tulips.

online workshop edible tulips Verita's Visit HollandThere are two things I miss right now: you, my participants & the sight of the tulip fields. So, my idea is to do an online workshop edible tulips. This way I can see you, connect with you ánd we can make these tulips together. As this treat looks great on the Easter brunch / dinner table or at any other celebrative event we will connect online on Good Friday 10 April. For those who can't make it: there's a 2nd session on April 27 ( our King's day).

What do you need to participate:

  • cherry tomatoes - I've bought cute tomatoes already shaped like a tulip
  • cream cheese
  • spring onion or green beans

For the King's Day session it is nice to have some orange ones.

If you already made these, or have some ideas of your own, bring them on the table during the online workshop tulip making!

 

When there still is time we can also make an origami tulip. For this you need to square papers of the same size.

As this is mainly my way to connect with you, this will also be your chance to ask questions about Holland & typical Dutch stuff!

I will be going live on Facebook  on

Good Friday April 10  3:30 PM Amsterdam time (CEST) - 

And we'll be doing a Zoom session on

King's Day April 27 5:30 PM Amsterdam time (CEST)  -

Sign in for the zoom session through the link You'll then receive  a confirmation with all the meeting details.

You can check your time on https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/

 

See you there?


team-outing-by-bike-Leiden-windmill-Veritas-Visit-Holland

Tip for pre-meeting activity Leiden

Her whole person beams with confidence. She's to-the-point, has a great sense of responsibility and a hands-on mentality. She aims for the stars and...is new to the team. So she organises a team outing. Thé tip for a pre-meeting activity Leiden.

team-outing-by-bike-Leiden-windmill-Veritas-Visit-HollandMeeting your colleagues in real life

"Have you met each other before?" It's my favorite question when I greet a group for a teambuilding event or company outing. For me, the question is to open up conversation, get everyone talking to each other. From the group interaction I already know the answer. One of my participants was spot on when she said: "We know each other's voice".

Idea for pre-meeting activity Leiden

The power woman of this company  planned a 1-day meeting to get to know her team.  With the European headquarter in Leiden, she invited everyone to come over to the city of Rembrandt.  And she booked a bike tour as pre-meeting activity Leiden. That, I think, is a perfect idea.

Typical Dutch activity Leiden

Whether it is before a 1-day meeting or weeklong conference, an active outing is a good starting point to get to know your team. Most of the time Dutch colleagues love to do something typical Dutch like a workshop cheese making or Delft blue painting. Cycling is one on the most popular corporate outings for international companies. And a bike tour has  certain advantages.

Natural communication during team event

By doing something active the focus is on the activity itself. Communication happens more naturally. Sometimes networking feels forced. During the team activity it's mostly just small talk. The more intense conversations are kept for later.

teambuilding pre activity meeting business Verita's VisitDuring a typical Dutch cycling tour there's lot's to talk about. At least, when you're in the countryside. Although infrastructure in the Dutch cities is nice, passing busses, cyclists and pedestrians crisscrossing, might cause stress. The focus is not on the activity anymore. The only thing which is on your mind is how you'll get through this alive. Survival mode, that is. So, tip for pre-meeting activity in Leiden: go for a bike tour in the Leiden surroundings. Visit a windmill, pass by the lakes, have a drink at a castle. Talk to your colleagues from all around the world about everything you see and how that is different or the same from home.

Kasteel Castle tour Leiden groep reis Verita's Visit

What a bike ride tells about team spirit

The very very best of a bike tour as pre-meeting activity in Leiden is that you're in it together. Not everyone is born on a bicycle. The way you respond to the cycling skills of your colleague, says a lot about you as a team. Do you motivate her/ him? Do you leave him/ her behind, cycling all by him/herself or do you adjust your speed? Go for a bike ride and find out about your team's spirit!

Just curious: Do you have an idea who takes the lead in supporting the non-daily cyclists if you were to go on a cycling outing with your international team?

 


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Where is the best windmill in The Hague - Delft?

Woosh woosh woosh. The typical Dutch flat land is great for cycling except for when there's wind. And there always is wind. Always. So, it took me some time to get here, but here I am. On the dike, next to the best windmill in The Hague - Delft. And I have to say: this giant typical Dutch icon is making a terrible noise.

Delft windmill molen fietstocht gids bike tour Verita's VisitPeek inside a Dutch windmill

There are several opportunities per year to visit a Dutch windmill and have a look inside. Most popular are the industrial windmills in Zaanse Schans, near Amsterdam and the polder windmills in Unesco heritage site Kinderdijk, near Rotterdam.  If you want to meet more locals and get a more authentic experience keep your eyes open for a National Heritage Day or a National Windmill  Day. In my humble opinion the regional windmill days are even better. Take the Westland windmill day for instance. It is your chance to live the life of a miller in the best windmill in The Hague - Delft.

flour windmill Delft bike tour molentocht fiets groepsuitje Verita's VisitSmell Dutch delicacies at Delft windmill

She's a tough lady. No matter how the landscape around her changes, Windmill de Roos in Delft stands tall.  She's been here for ages. Not at exactly the same spot, she has been moved a few metres to the left, a few metres to the right when new roads or new railway tracks were created. And now, after the construction of the underground railway, she's earned her spot along a wide cycling path.  For your great view on the city, go here. At least, that's what they say. I am afraid of heights and the steep stairs will garantee I stay with both feet on the ground. When my participants climb up to the windmill's deck I  follow the flour dust to the small shop. As I wander past the rye flour, the mixes for cakes and crumbles I can almost smell the delicious fragrances of fresh made bread and pastries. The mix for the Dutch gingerbread cookies, which they sell in winter really makes my mouth water.

Holland's best kept secrets

The best kept secrets from Holland are best kept secrets because they are either hidden from view or not that easy to reach. For the next best windmill The Hague - Delft area, leave the car at the parking and hop on a bike. One of the reasons why we cycle so much in the Netherlands is that we get everywhere. Even to the places that are not on Google Maps.

 

Cycle below the water

From the one and only flour windmill in Delft it is a 15 minutes bike ride to the Schaapweimolen. You could follow the route of the Westland floating flower parade. Essentialy that means you follow the water. Best part is where you go through a small cycling tunnel. The experience is over in the blink of an eye, so make sure you blink slowly. While you cycle in the deep dark tunnel, take a look at your right. At the deepest point you cycle below the water!

Best windmill The Hague -Delft for water management

The water level in this area is all managed by the electric pumping station you see when your eyes get used to the light again. Up you go, swirling on the bridge to cross the canal. Don't swirl to fast now. Take a moment to look out on the canal. You'll immediately see the Schaapweimolen. A few metres before are the remains of another windmill. Can you picture a row of windmills here, pumping the water from the polder land into the canal?

Meet the miller

When you visit the Schaapweimolen take your time. Many visitors take a few pictures from the outside and have a quick look inside during one of the open windmill days. If you take your time, you'll meet the miller. From the tiny window of the miller's house Wim has a good view on everyone passing by. Wim is 80 years old and quite a character.  When I ask him if he still puts the sails on the blades himself, I know I've made a mistake. He looks at me as if I just asked him if windmills can walk. Having worked at windmills for most of his life, putting the sails is like eating a sandwich with cheese. Wim is a man of little words. He'll take you inside the miller's house, where grandgrandparents would just feel at home. There are images of windmills everywhere. And, you can take a look outside of that tiny window. "Say hi to Rob" is what Wim mumbles when I tell him we're off to the Groeneveldsemolen.

local food  Verita's Visit gastronomy tour Delft region

Coffee stop on windmill route

There's more wind now, but nothing can stop me to get to my final destination, definitely on my list of  best windmill in The Hague - Delft . I've never been to the Groeneveldsemolen,  although it has a big attraction on me. I passed by when a thunderstorm was about to hit The Hague area. It looked like Jekyll and Hyde, its white side overtaken by its dark side. The cycling route from Schaapweimolen to this polder windmill leads past the tiniest village in this region: 't Woudt. It's always busy and gezellig at Koffiehuis de Hooiberg, thé place for a coffee break.

windnill The Hague Delft tour groep reis uitje event  Verita's Visit Den Haag Delft

Highspeed windmill scale models

Back on the pedals, cross the bridge and then take a right. Rob, the miller and other volunteers organise many activities for all ages on the open windmill days. Rob is so busy, I don't get a chance to talk to him today. A kid leads me to the small scale models of different windmills in the polder land. He opens each model and shows the mechanism. At a model of a flour windmill he scoops up some of the grain here, some of the flour there. "See, feel, touch' he yells through the sound of the turning blades.  The blades, wow, the blades of these models. They  turn in a high speed.  It's nothing compared to the Groeneveldsemolen itself.

Whoosh whoosh and krikkriek

The blades of this giant Dutch icon turn at a terrifying speed.  The doors of the windmill open a view into the wheel. Krikkriek. It rattles as the water runs through. The water gushes out and foam splashes everywhere. It goes without saying that I'm spellbound by the rhytms this windmill makes. Is this the best windmill The Hague - Delft?

Visit the The Hague - Delft windmills

Visit these and other windmills during National windmill Day in May or on the regional windmill day . Or, book a personalised bike tour with visit windmill. We start in The Hague, Delft or an amazing location in Westland - more than greenhouses!-

 


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summer best time combine visit attractions Keukenhof

Windmill tour Keukenhof area

The flower and tulip fields make a great day trip to the Amsterdam flower strip in spring and summer. In these seasons and in the rest of the year there are plenty of other sights to visit as well. Today's traveltip: a windmill tour Keukenhof area.

 

Windmill tour Keukenhof area spring fall summer molen rondleiding Bollenstreek teambuilding Verita's VisitA new miller for Holland heritage

A new face. Robert stands tall next to the even taller windmill. The passionate Jan, who still lives in this amazing Dutch icon, steps out of his house. He'll give us the windmill tour Keukenhof area while Robert, the new miller, shows us how to handle the sails, the blades and the wheels of this historical monument.

Dutch icon in polder landscape

This windmill is beautifully located. On top of a dike, it looks out on the canal on one side. On the other the polders - the green meadows which lay much lower than the canal. In between the polders are ditches. This mill is called a polder drainage windmill. An enormous screw under the house pumps the water of the ditches in the canal. The obvious question: does Jan not hear the mechanism when it's operating?

Jan's answer: "You get used to it. The windmill's monotonous sound is actually quite calming"

Windmill flower region molen bezoek teambuilding Verita's Visit

Windmill tour Keukenhof area

The Golden Age comes to life when you see the blades of this 17th century typical Dutch icon turning. It's quite close by  the worldfamous tulip garden and participants often request a windmill tour Keukenhof area when they book the tulip field bike tour.

Windmill bike tour fietstocht Keukenhof omgeving area teambuilding Verita's Visit

It is also possible to organise a visit by bike or boat to this windmill in fall or winter. Or add it to the Holland beach and summer flower bike tour.

 


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Verita's Visit teambuilding Delft

Meet Vermeer in Holland - From virtual museum to real life

Meeting Vermeer in Holland. It's the end of your travel through time and space. 15 december is the death anniversary of the Delft painter. On 3 December 2018 a special museum opened its doors. It shows all 37 works of the Golden Age painter. This is where you start your journey.Read more


Flower Parade Netherlands 2021 - When & Where

In spring it's time for the Flower Parade Netherlands 2021. The name in Dutch is Bloemencorso Bollenstreek.  The flower decorated floats follow a route around Keukenhof. In this post you read when the Bulb Flower Parade takes place and where you can watch it.

When does the spring flower parade Netherlands 2021 take place?

The Dutch love to celebrate flowers and color. There are many Dutch flower parades and fortunately they all take place at a different time. Every season has its own flower. The Zundert Flower Parade Netherlands 2021 takes place at the end of summer. Dahlias bloom from August till far into the autumn season. These make the perfect flowers for the Corso in Zundert.

Flower parade special behind scenes tour achter de schermen Bloemencorso dagje uit Verita's Visit

Mid-April the tulips and hyacinths bloom. Tulips are quite fragile and you won't see them that often in the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek. The hyacinths are much firmer. Besides, they can be used in different ways. You can use a full flower with stem or just a single petal as you can see in this post.

In 2021 you can view the famous street parade of the Flower Parade Bulb Region on   Saturday 17 April 2021. 18 floats decorated with spring flowers will be participating in the flower procession this year.

Verita goes behind the scenes of the flower parade from Wednesday 14 April till Friday 16 April 2021. On Friday afternoon there's a special bike tour to the evening flower parade.  Want to join her on a cycle tour or just for a visit behind the scenes?   Contact  Verita's Visit Holland for more information.

Flower parade special behind scenes 4 hour tour achter de schermen Bloemencorso mid dagje uit Verita's Visit

Where can I see the Bulb Flower Parade Netherlands 2021?

My tip of the day: go see this evening flower parade on Friday 16 April.  It's amazing and not so crowded. The nicely scented and colorfully decorated floats leave the huge hall around 2 PM. They head for Noordwijkerhout. In this cosy town they start the party at noon.

On Saturday morning 17 April around 9:30 AM the bulb flower parade starts in Noordwijk. It follows a route through the flower villages Voorhout, Sassenheim, Lisse, Hillegom, Bennebroek, Heemstede. At 21:30 the spring flower parade Netherlands 2021 ends in Haarlem.

On Sunday 18 April you can see the floats displayed on the market square of Haarlem.

Want to know where to go exactly?  Or looking for more info on the full route & timings?

In 2022 the Bulb Flower Parade will take place in the week of 18 April. 

 


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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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Maastricht Winter Carnival 2020 - 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 2020 with the locals. Go below the rivers and indulge yourself in the Burgundian lifestyle.
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