The Turning Point Tour in Holland 2018


September 8, 2018 > September 16, 2018

Visit places off the beaten track, enjoy Dutch culture & art from then and now, meet the locals, learn more about the Dutch golden age and   the country that inspired the Founding Fathers  and the people from the “Continental Congress” who drafted the USA constitution.

From time to time, colonial governors and administrators in North America considered proposals for unification, primarily for defensive purposes. They looked to Europe for inspiration, finding in the Union of Utrecht a model that had served to regularize the confederation known as the United Provinces of the Netherlands. 

Rembrandt’s country, …Flower Centre of the world….Dutch experts in water management designed new flood plan for New Orleans ….Windmills  made Holland a world power in 17th century….Vincent van Gogh was Dutch too….American constitution is based on Dutch Charter….Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam…New York was once New Amsterdam….New Netherland was New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware…Dutch New York: Brooklyn (= Breukelen), Wallstreet (=Waal Straat), Stuyvesant, The Bronx (named after Dutch settles Jonas Bronck) Staten Island (named after the Dutch parliament Staten Generaal) Harlem (=Haarlem), Coney Island (=Konijnen Eiland, means ‘Rabbit Island) and Flushing (= Vlissingen) …Piet Mondrian was Dutch too…President van Buuren spoke Dutch at home…Many of ‘America’s Royal Families’ like Vanderbilt, Schermerhorn and Roosevelt have Dutch roots…Elvis Presley’s manager Colonel Tom Parker was not a colonel and not Tom Parker. He was an (illegal) Dutch immigrant whose real name was Dries van Kuijk… Bruce Springsteen, Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, David Crosby and Tim Grimm have Dutch roots too.








Friday September 7, 2018

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 city-centre. Tim and Jan will arrive in Haarlem today too and Bert will be around most of the day as well. So, if you have questions or want to be pointed in the right direction; we’ll be there!

We suggest a joint dinner this evening. This will give you an opportunity to get to know your fellow-travellers and hosts a bit before the tour officially starts.

Saturday September 8, 2018

Hope you had a good night sleep and are in good shape to start the Turning Point Tour 2018. 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 centre 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 centre 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.

As mentioned before, we reconvene 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 cafés 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 September 9, 2018

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.

Next 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.

haarlem-goede-uur-henkhaarlem-goede-uur-jp-den-texYou 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.


[Your host Henk – owner of Restaurant Het Goede Uur – and JP Den Tex]

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 September 10, 2018

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 even 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 very much recommended is the Rembrandt House. Here are some suggestions. 

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. 

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

Tuesday September 11, 2018

Today we’ll drive 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 picture of was taken 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.











Wednesday September 12, 2018

Today it’s goodbye to Haarlem and hello Enkhuizen.We’ll check out from the Hotel in Haarlem, jump on the buses and onwards to our first stop which will be a photo-stop at Brederode Castle, just north of Haarlem.

Brederode Castle was built in 1282 by Willem van Brederode. The first castle consisted of a bailey and a square keep which probably stood at the present-day courtyard. Its function was to control the through road to the Kennemerland region.

Around 1300, the main castle was built with 3 square and 1 round tower at its corners. This castle was besieged and destroyed by the Cod troops under the command of Gijsbert van Nijenrode in 1351.

Between 1354 and 1426 Brederode Castle was completely restored on the existing foundations. Until its destruction in 1426 by the people of Haarlem, which mainly damaged the southern part of the castle, Brederode Castle had been the residence of the Lords of Brederode. It took until 1464 before the northern part, which had been less damaged, was again suitable for habitation. The new castle wasn’t a defensible house anymore, but a fairly comfortable residence. In 1491 however, the castle fell prey to plundering German soldiimagesers and the castle fell into decay.

Around 1573, shortly after the siege of the city of Haarlem, Spanish troops set fire to the castle. With that the north wall of the kitchen wing collapsed and fell into the moat. Its debris nowadays forms a little overgrown island in the moat.

In the following period only the buildings on the bailey were habitable, but after 1600 these also fell into decay.

After this short stop we’ll be heading to my favourite Dutch town: Enkhuizen, where we’ll be staying for one night.

The small city of Enkhuizen is an old Dutch harbour town, and one of the most prominent ones of the Dutch Golden Age. It lost its trade position by the late 17th century, due to the wars with England, the silting of its waters and the rise of Amsterdam, but maintained much of its historic grandeur. It is an old city with many centuries of maritime tradition. Enkhuizen gained city rights in 1355 and grew to be one of the main trade harbours of the VOC, the Dutch East Indies trade company. The town was one of the first to rally behind the Prince of Orange and in return was granted the exclusive right to produce and place the sea-marks in the Zuiderzee. For that, it was allowed to charge all vessels on that sea, making the whole thing a very lucrative affair.

Enkhuizen blossomed in the 17th century, gaining wealth through international trade and herring fishery. Some 25.000 people resided in the city around 1650; substantially more even than today, as some 18.000 people live here now. The tide changed at the end of the 17th century, however, as shifting sands made the harbour less accessible, the wars with England took great costs and nearby Amsterdam rose to fame. By 1850, the population had dramatically declined to only 5400 and Enkhuizen became a sleepy fishermen’s town.

We’ll spend most of today at the Zuiderzee Museum, its open-air section covers 15 acres and accommodates authentic buildings from the former Zuiderzee region, such as a  today 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.

The evening programme tonight will be at 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 an intimate cosy place that also well-known for its excellent selection of beers. 75 different bottled ones and 6 on tap.









Thursday September 13, 2018

First job today is checking out of the hotel and loading your luggage on the buses.


After all this “hard” work, you may stroll to Enkhuizen Harbour, where you’ll board the MS Friesland and sail to Medenblik, the oldest city in West Friesland.  Upon arrival in Medenblik maybe wonder around a bit, have a bite to eat and then board  the steam train to the city Hoorn for a timeless ride through the West-Frisian countryside. At beautifully retored stations along the route you can witness how goods and mail used to be transferred between platform and purpose-built goods and mail vans, all under the watchful eye of the station master.

In Hoorn you’ll have to jump on out buses again. Next we’ll be heading East almost towards the German border. 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 The Turning Point was taken. Jan Lucas took the picture, so she has the details of this historical moment.  After a cup of coffee, tea or snack on the “dijk” we continue to our hotel in (TBA), check in, have dinner and lay our weary heads to rest, because tomorrow will be a long day.

Friday September 14, 2018









Today we’ll be visiting 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 lunch we’ll leavlodewijkbruckman3e Bourtange. After all this old stuff it’s about time to return to modern times with a visit to Museum De Oude Wolde that focuses on art, region, and history with a permanent exhibition of magic realistic painter Lodewijk  Bruckman  (1903–1995) who lived in Bellingwolde in a hotel opposite to the museum from 1987 to 1989. He donated 21 paintings to the Bellingwedde municipality in 1988 These paintings, which are now exhibited in the museum, are mostly still lifes in a style which is described as realistic, surrealistic, or magic realistic

Bruckman gained popularity in the United States, while he remained relatively unknown in the Netherlands. His painting Composition With Peaches won the popular vote at the Boston Arts Festival in 1953 and he became second in 1957. He won the J. Porter Brinton Prize in 1954 The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a still life called Mobile (1955) by Bruckman in its collection and the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Dennis a painting named Rancho Style (1960).

Next on today’s 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 brilliant 2013 album.  The 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 September 15, 2018

Checking out today of the hotel and leaving timely for a trip to and a trip through Giethoorn.

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 continue to our next lodgings in or near Apeldoorn in an area called “National Park De Hoge Veluwe” (The Hoge Veluwe National Park),  one of the largest continuous nature reserves in the Netherlands.

Sunday September 16, 2018

The park De Hoge Veluwe was established by the businessman Anton Kröller and his wife Helene Kröller-Müller as an private estate in 1909.  Helene Kröller-Müller was an art collector and started building an art museum inside the park. Due to worsening economic conditions the building of the museum was halted and the couple found themselves unable to keep the estate. In 1935 the art collection was donated to the State of the Netherlands, which then continued to build the Kröller-Müller Museum,  one of Netherland’s most interesting art museums and the main act on our program today.  The Park / Museum grounds cover 5,500 hectares of woodland, heath, grasslands and shifting sands. On foot or on the White Bicycles, provided by the museum you are free to roam around in nature, to naturally arrive at the museum itself.


The Kröller-Müller Museum boasts the second-largest Van Gogh collection in thimages-32e world: almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. The Van Gogh Gallery displays varying selections of about 40 works by Vincent van Gogh.

Furthermore, you will also find masterpieces by modern masters such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan.

In the sculpture garden, one of the largest in Europe, you can enjoy both sculptures and nature. Distributed throughout the garden are over 160 sculptures by iconic artists, from Aristide Maillol to Jean Dubuffet, from Marta Pan to Pierre Huyghe.



After Kröller-Müller we head back to the hotel, refresh and get ready for our last supper at Huisje James (Little House of James) This dinner is our treat

Monday September 17, 2018

Your last hotel is about 75 minutes drive from Amsterdam Airport. So if you decide to return to The States on Monday September 17, please do not book an early morning flight. You are expected to be at the airport at least 2 ½ hours before depature of a trans-atlantic flight. So that roughly means leaving the last hotel 4 hours before departure of your flight.

Contacts: Bert de Ruiter and Tim Grimm