Arrival at Amsterdam airport where you will be met by your tour escort. Transfer to the city for a short canal boat ride and a visit to the Anne Frank House. Check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day free. Dinner and overnight in Amsterdam.
After an early breakfast visit the Flower auction in Aalsmeer in the largest auction hall in the world. Then drive to the Keukenhof gardens (only open in April and May) to see all the flower bulbs on display. Afterwards drive to a restaurant overlooking the Kaaglakes for lunch during which a talk will be given about embroidery. After lunch drive back to Amsterdam and visit a shop that sells many folkloristic materials which are used in the Dutch costumes and are very nice to use in quilts. Rest of the day free time. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Amsterdam.
First drive to Marken, the former island in the Zuydersea, where they used to wear interesting costumes. Here you will visit a shop with materials used in these costumes. Then on to Schagen to visit an exhibition of mini-quilts. Then on to Hindeloopen, a picturesque town in Friesland. Friesland is the Northern Province where they have their own language and culture. Stroll through the town with the tiny houses, the bridges and the museum with decorated furniture special of this region. Also visit the shop with special folkloristic materials. Finally on to charming city of Sneek for dinner and overnight.
From Sneek drive to Staphorst where the people still wear their costumes. They belong to a very strict religious sect and have peculiar traditions. From here to Oldenzaal to visit the factory “t Paapje” where they produce typical Dutch materials. Then on to Apeldoorn and if time permits visit the Palace “ ‘t Loo”, summer residence of King William and Queen Mary of England. Dinner and overnight in Apeldoorn.
Travel first to Arnhem and visit the Open Air Museum. Here you can see many old farms, workshops and windmills and you will get a good impression how the Dutch used to live in former days. Also see the beautiful collection of Old Samplers made in the 16 and 17th century. A typical Dutch pancake lunch will be included. Then on to Groesbeek to see a workshop where a lady embroiders icons. She imitates the painted icons with thread and needle and the results are beautiful. Then drive to Maastricht, the most southerly city of the Netherlands. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Maastricht.
In the morning a city walk to see the city walls, the St. Servatius Church and the Vrijthof square. Afternoon free for shopping. Maastricht is a very lovely and quiet city which many Americans like better than Amsterdam. Dinner and overnight in Maastricht. At night we can arrange a lecture about patchwork and quilting with the machine.
Drive to Geldrop in the province of Brabant this morning and visit the Weverij Museum. A home cooked lunch will be ready at a private farmhouse. The family will receive you as if you will be home. During the lunch a lady will come to talk about the special Brabant costumes. Part of these costumes were large white bonnets made of lace and embroidery work. The ladies can even fit them on and have their picture taken. After this lunch to Breda where you could visit the Permin company specializing in needlepoint designs and patterns mostly made in Denmark. Or you could visit a store specialized in quilting materials. Dinner and overnight in Breda.
This morning drive to Bruges for a guided tour and visit to a lace factory. Early dinner in Bruges and then return to Breda for overnight.
In the morning drive to Wouw and visit the Silk museum. Then drive to Kinderdijk to see the collection Old windmills. Climb in one and see how it works. Finally drive to Delft and visit a Delftware factory and the beautiful Market with the Renaissance town hall and the New Church where all members of the Royal Family are buried. Continue onto Amsterdam for your last dinner and overnight.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.