The Turning Point Tour in The Netherlands


THE TURNING POINT TOUR 2017  – June 17, 2017 – June 25, 2017

Friday June 16, 2017

This day is not officially part of the tour but we strongly recommend you arrive today, take it easy and use the day to recover from your long flight. And get to know Haarlem a bit. You’ll love the town. Tim and Jan will arrive in Haarlem today as well and Bert will be around most of the day too. So if you have questions or want to be pointed in the right direction; we’ll be there!

Saturday June 17, 2017

Hope you had a good night sleep and are in good shape to start the Turning Point Tour 2017. We’ll meet between 10:30 and 11 AM have a cup of coffee, tea or whatever and walk to the river Spaarne where our friend Jeroen will be waiting for us with his sloop to take us through the canals of Haarlem and show us the city from a skipper’s point of view. The tour will take about 75 minutes. Back on Haarlem’s soil you’ll free to do whatever you want till 3:30 PM – have lunch, visit the market on Haarlem’s main square or just wonder around in Haarlem’s picturesque city center till 3:30 PM when we’ll meet again.

Here’s a bit of info about Haarlem:

It is the provincial capital of North Holland. (Dutch) Haarlem dates back to gothic times. It was granted city status in 1245, although the first city walls were not built until 1270. Haarlem was one of the most prosperous cities in the province of Holland. However, as shipping became increasingly important economically, the nearby city of Amsterdam became the main Dutch city of North Holland during the Dutch Golden Age and Haarlem became a quiet bedroom community. For this reason Haarlem still has many of its central medieval buildings intact with the majority in the old city center where our hotel is. Haarlem’s main source of wealth in the 15th and 16th century was beer brewing. In 1430 the city had more than a hundred breweries.

We reconvene late at 3:30 PM for a beer tasting walk, that starts and ends at the Jopen Church, the home of Jopen Beer, and with a guide we walk through Haarlem, get its brewing history explained and on the way make 3 stops at three different café’s to taste a different Jopen beer. In total we get to taste 4 for different Jopen Beers. Jopen Beer Brewery was founded in 1995 when Haarlem celebrated its 750th anniversary as a city. The beer they brew is based on a recipe form 1407.

Sunday June 18, 2017

We’ll meet at 11 AM and walk to the Hofje van Noblet. I already spoke to the lovely Anne van de Wetering and we are more than welcome. She promised us access to the Governor’s room again, which is beautiful. The original 18th century LEATHER wallpaper is still there!

HOFJE is a Dutch word for a courtyard with almshouses around it. They have existed since the Middle Ages and provided housing for elderly people (mostly women). They were privately funded, and served as a form of social security. In the Netherlands, especially Haarlem, there are still a number of hofjes in use.

The Hofje van Noblet almshouse was built in 1761 from the estate of Leonard Noblet and his sisters Sarah and Geertruida, all of whom had no legal next of kin. The courtyard of the houses is built in the garden of the house of the family Noblet that the father of Leonard, Elezar Noblet purchased in 1737. The family came originally from Amsterdam.

There were twenty houses. On the east side ten houses for women from Haarlem and on the west side ten houses for women from Amsterdam. These women should have been single their whole life, at least 50 years old and a member of the Dutch Reformed Church.


haarlem-hofje-2Next on the program is Teylers Museum, almost around the corner. Spend as long as you like in the museum. It closes at 5 PM so you’ll have plenty of time. Teylers Museum is an art, natural history and science museum established in 1778 that was originally founded as a center for contemporary art and science by the cloth merchant and banker Pieter Teyler van der Hulst, who was 
a Mennonite and follower of the Scottish Enlightenment. The art section of the museum is notable for its extensive collection of old master’s prints and drawings, including 25 works by Michelangelo and nearly the complete graphic work of Rembrandt.

You have been promised two dinners from us. Tonight is the first and our suggestion is a cheese fondue at Restaurant In Het Goede Uur (In The Good Hour), one of Haarlem’s oldest restaurants known for its excellent wines and cheeses. And yes Tim, they have beer too. Dutch singer/songwriter JP Den Tex will perform acoustically for you before dinner.

JP Den Tex is a modern-day troubadour and storyteller, mixing up Rock and Americana with European influences such as French chanson. Some pundits have dubbed his music “Beatnik Americana”, referring to JP’s quirky, nomadic brand of Americana. – “They say ‘Beatnik Americana’—I say ‘Top quality adult pop music” (Maverick Magazine / UK).

Monday June 19, 2017

We’ll leave the hotel at 10 am, walk to Haarlem Station and take a train to Amsterdam. From the previous trips we learned that to please everybody in Amsterdam is very hard, maybe impossible, as everybody seem to have different ideas and wishes about what to visit and see in Amsterdam. Therefor we decided to give you a ‘Hop On – Hop Off Bus and Boat Combination Ticket’ and entrance to one ‘attraction of your choice’. That could be the Anne Frank House (which we wholeheartedly recommend) The van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum etc. Also recommended is the Amsterdam Museum

The hop on – hop off City sightseeing is the perfect way to experience all the highlights of Amsterdam. With the total 7 stops you will visit the famous sights such The Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum, the Heineken Experience and past most of Amsterdam top sights such as the Old Port, the Skinny Bridge and the Jordaan district. – The City sightseeing departs daily every 25 minutes from Central Station.

At the agreed time we meet again, find a place to eat and get a train back to Haarlem.

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Today we’ll be visiting Delft, the city that has the dubious honor of being the place where the first significant political murder took place when Balthazar Gerards shot and killed Willem of Orange / William The Silent in the Prinsenhof / Delft in 1584. He is buried at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft since Breda, where the family grave is located, is in Spanish hands. Since that time all members of the House of Orange are laid to rest in the underground burial chambers of the church. The church is open to the public.

But Delft is unmistakably the city of the painter Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675). We will visit the Vermeer Centre, the Prinsenhof and follow the Vermeer Walk. Delft is a charming, compact and cozy city, with beautiful architecture, old buildings and impressive churches, canals and shopping streets. Delft breathes history through all its pores.




You’ll get the Vermeer Combi Ticket that offers you access to the Vermeer Centrum Delft (including coffee and cake), Museum Het Prinsenhof and you’ll receive the Vermeer Walk that guides you past the Vermeer sites in the city.

After exploring Delft and becoming experts of the works and times of painter Johannes Vermeer we’ll look for a quick bite to eat and then … music! Tonight’s featured artists are The Watchman (aka Ad van Meurs)  and Tim Grimm.

Wednesday June 21, 2017

We depart 9:15 am today and will be driving towards the village Broek op Langedijk, where we’ll visit ‘The authentic vegetable auction where the auction clock is still going’, make a round trip by boat in the Realm of the Thousand Islands, have a look on an authentic auction day, learn everything about ‘baggerbeugel’ (dredging frames), a ‘slikpramen’ (silt flatboats) and ‘poepe-witte’ (poopy- whites) – cabbages and also walk through the historic vegetable garden. And …you’ll participate in a real auction. Below a picture of last year’s visit just before Tim Grimm bought 65 kilos of onions.











In the afternoon you finally get to visit a windmill and see how Dutch clogs are being made. This all will happen at the Zaanse Schans, After visiting a windmill or two, having watched how clogs are made etc. there will be a bit of time to walk around and get a taste of how it was when times were when.

Thursday June 22, 2017

Today it’s goodbye to Haarlem. We’ll be driving from one side of the country (the West Coast) to our hotel on the East side, almost on the German border. Kind of from L.A. to New York but this time it’s a 3 hours drive if we didn’t make a few stops. But we will!

First stop will be a picture opportunity at a ‘Polder’ whose groundwater level is still controlled by windmills i.e. windmills are used to get rid of the excess water.

Next stop will be my favorite Dutch town: Enkhuizen The history of the Dutch East India Company, the VOC, is still visible in Enkhhuizen today. In the 17th and 18th century the VOC was the largest trading company in the world that travelled to Asiatic countries with its beautiful ships to conduct trade. The favorable location beside the Zuiderzee ( now the IJsselmeer) made it attractive to base a ‘VOC Chamber’ here. The ‘Drommedaris’, the defence towers in the port, and the center with its historical buildings are reminders of these prosperous times.

But we’ll spend most of our time at the Zuiderzee Museum, Its open-air section covers 15 acres and accommodates authentic buildings from the former Zuiderzee region, such as a church, a fish-curing shed, a mill, a cheese warehouse, shops and dwelling houses from the surrounding fishing villages. Staff and volunteers demonstrate historical crafts from everyday life at the beginning of the previous century. On Sunday you’ll be returning to Enkhuizen by boat and have a bit of free time to wonder about.

After Enkhuizen we’ll continue our journey east. We’ll be taking the route across the afsluitdijk. That is the 32 km long enclosure dam, constructed between 1927 and 1933. It is a fundamental part of the larger Zuiderzee Works, damming off the Zuiderzee, a salt-water inlet of the North Sea, and turning it into the fresh water lake of the IJsselmeer. It’s on the Afsluitdijk that the picture used on the front of Tim’s CD was taken. We’ll ask Jan where exactly this historical moment took place and make a (last) stop, so we can take same picture and become famous too. After a cup of coffee, tea or snack we continue to our hotel in Stadskanaal, check in, have dinner and go to bed because it has been a loooong day.

bourtangelogokeerpuntFriday June 23, 2017

Today we’ll visit the fortress of Bourtange. Our friend Mo (that’s short for Maureen) will show you around

In 1580 William of Orange gave the order to build a fort on the sand ridge in the Bourtanger moor, on the border of modern Germany. On the order of William Louis of Nassau the fortress was raised in 1593. Between 1593 and 1851 Bourtange was an important fortress. An agrarian village came into being when the fortress was dismantled in 1851. Only a few buildings still remembered the glory of yesteryear. Between 1967 and 1992 the fortress was reconstructed. The ramparts were again raised, ditches were dug and soldiers’ barracks were built. Visitors of present day Bourtange believe themselves to be back centuries in time. Meet the fortress which has never been taken … Maybe we’ll see you in the year 1742.

After  (an early) lunch we’ll leave Bourtange and drive to the small town of Borger where we’ll have a look at and learn about ‘Hunebedden’

Everyone has heard of Stonehenge in England and dolmens and menhirs in France. But who knows of even older and more numerous megalithes in The Netherlands..? Even most of the Dutch themselves are unaware of the richness of the prehistoric monuments in their own country. But they exist..!,and they are there for over 5000 years. Older than the Egyptian pyramids! Built of huge granite stones, some of them weighing over 25,000 kilograms, dragged to the spot and piled up to form a rectangular stonegrave. 

“Hunebedden” as they are called in this country. But not built by Hunen (or huynen = giants) and not beds but graves as we know now. So Drenthe, in the northern part of the country, is the hunebedden-province. It’s a province of outstanding beauty with sanddunes, woods, moors, heather, picturesque villages, 200 years old farmhouses with thatched roofs. And mysterious stonegraves..! In Drenthe there are no mountains or rocks. But hunebedden are made of huge stones. Where did they come from..?


Next on our busy program ladies and gentlemen …the one and only Tim Grimm.. live at The Turning Point. Yes this is the place that named Tim Grimm’s latest album. The very place where the German soldier, who murdered the vicar, was chained to the wall. You know all the details from the title song. After dinner and a few beers we will enjoy a Tim Grimm concert at ‘t Keerpunt / The Turning Point.

Saturday June 24, 2017

Still using Stadskanaal as our base today a trip to and a trip through Giethoorn is on the program.


The village Giethoorn is called ‘The Venice of The North’ and with about 2.620 habitants is unique in the Netherlands because of its bridges, waterways and ‘punters’ (typical boats from Giethoorn). You see 18th and 19th century farmhouses hidden between the trees and wooden bridges. Of course this should be viewed from the water so we’ll hire a couple of so-called whisper boats (electric engines) that we drive ourselves through the canals of the village and the lake nearby. After our visit to Giethoorn we’ll return to Stadskanaal, refresh and have a lovely meal at Restaurant     Bussemaker in the village of Exloo. This dinner is our treat.

Sunday June 25, 2017

The last day of the trip so we heading back west. To the area actually called Holland. But obviously no short cuts here. First we’ll take you to the town of Stavoren in Friesland, the only province that has its own language. You’ll be crossing the former Zuiderzee by ferry and set foot on land approx.. 80 minutes later in Enkhuizen. You’ve been there before, so wonder around a bit in the old center / harbor area. Tim and I will be racing in our busses around the IJselmeer to pick you up at the agreed place and time in Enkhuizen

I am assuming that you’ll be in Enkhuizen around 4:30 PM. So after all this sailing stuff time for a bit of live music. We’ll check in at our third hotel and at approx. 7:30 Pm we go to Cafè De Slof around the corner where the band Skotwal will be playing for you.

Skotwal performs ‘translated’ Americana songs and the language they use is West-Frisian, the dialect spoken in this area.

Cafè De Slof is located in the oldest residential home in the town of Enkhuizen, It was built in 1461. It’s a intimate cozy place that also well-known for its excellent selection of beers. 75 different bottled ones and 6 on tap. I can’t imagine a better place for music, fun and a final toast

Contacts: Bert de Ruiter and Tim Grimm – Tel. +31(0)251235420 – Mobile +31(0)6 48268862 – European mobile TBA