Today we rented bikes from Orange Bike, and biked over 20 miles roundtrip to Muiderslot castle, which has been an Amazing Race pitstop (Season 4, Leg 5). The Orange Bike bikes were not nearly as good of quality bikes as the ones we rented from Pro Bike in Eindhoven, but they were still certainly usable.
We packed up our backpacks this morning, and left them at Hotel Internationaal. We went to Orange Bike and rented two bikes, and then went to Albert Heijn (an amazing Dutch grocery store chain) and picked up breakfast goods. We ate them on a bridge overlooking a lightly-used canal. We then biked to the very unique Pythonbrug (“Python Bridge” – 2002 International Footbridge Award winner) on our way to the castle. The bike path to the castle consisted of biking on some roads, but mainly consisted of bike-only paths meandering through parks (that were often on the water). One part of the path went through farmland, and we saw many sheep and cows.
We had a traditional pancake lunch in Muiden (the town with the castle), where we sat outside overlooking the town’s only bridge, which was part of a two-compartment lock system. JT enjoyed watching the lock, and noticed that the difference in the water level on each side was actually pretty similar. Katie had an apple cinnamon pancake and JT had a cheese and bacon pancake – we will stay away from sweet pancakes in the future. The apple and cinnamon was not bad – but JT’s pancake was much better.
After lunch, we biked back through a few rainstorms to Amsterdam. When almost back, we stopped for photos at “Le Moulin de Gooyer”, one of the few remaining windwills in Amsterdam. Having some time before we needed to return our bikes, we stopped at the bar/brewery attached to the windmill, named Brouwerij’tij. We lucked out! They had incredible and cheap beers, which were much appreciated after biking 20 miles! From there, we stopped by Albert Heijn to get dinner and breakfast for our train ride, and then returned our bikes. Now we are sitting in the Hotel Internationaal (Booking.com) bar, waiting for it to be time to wander over to the train station for our night train to Prague. It’s hard to imagine that tomorrow morning we’ll be in Prague!