Well it has been a wonderful trip so far!! We arrived in Amsterdam Sunday August 2 at 9 pm, built up our bikes and cycled out of the airport at 12 am. The kids were tired but really pumped. Using the gps, we managed to get to our hotel. The ride through Amsterdam was quiet and lovely, on bike path the whole way. We stayed at the WOW Hotel, this funky artsy hotel. They did not bat an eye when we rolled in at 2 am! The next day we decided to bike on to a campsite about 20 k north of Amsterdam to get out of the city–Amsterdam was too expensive and the biking was scary for anna at rush hour. As soon as we left the city we felt much better. We were still getting used to riding the fully loaded bikes.
The campsite was a typical euro campsite, with almost no trees and sites quite close together. But we expected that and had a wonderful time. We stayed there 2 nights to get our bearings before we carried on through noord holland, to the city of Alkmaar. After that we headed north through the sand dunes and canals to Den Helder. Where we took a ferry to the island of Texel. We stayed there 2 nights and then took the ferry back and cycled to einkhuizen where we are now. we are planning to take a rest day here.
The cycling in noord holland is the best in the world for our purposes and we are really glad we started our trip here. There are completely separated bike paths all over the place . The bike routes are numbered every 10 km or so and there are signs pointing to the next numbers. Also, we are completely normal here! At one campground there were maybe 4 other families travelling by bike. Not to mention the beautiful scenery– little cobblestones roads in the towns, canals everywhere, bike paths through the dunes, ancient churches and more! The kids are just loving it and often make friends at the campsites. We are all learning Dutch!