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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Family Holland cheese making & windmill Leiden

A Mexican family with a passion for cheese made several stops on their Euro trip. After their workshop of parmigiano cheese making in Italy they came to the Netherlands. I took them for a workshop fresh Holland cheese making and windmill visit in Leiden area. A tasty experience!

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The Day I Ate Local Food in Leiden Countryside

The day I ate local food in Leiden countryside was a day I went cycling with two American girls who were delighted by everything they saw. At least, I think so, as they said ‘how delightful’ all the time. It was the open landscape, I guess, or maybe the tour at the Leiden cheese farm or meeting the miller in the typical Dutch village.

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