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The next morning, we left about 7AM and had breakfast in the hotel. Cereal and fruit was perfect for the start of the day. We arrived in Holland around 2pm. Cathy had arranged for a local, costumed, city-tour with a guide who came onboard and told us about the area. We really enjoyed the tour and I took a lot of pictures through the windows. One amazing thing that I learned on the tour, was that the city had put plastic pipe under the sidewalk of over 2 miles in the downtown area. The electric company pumps warm water through the tube in the winter and melts the snow. The area is completely walkable and the locals love it. I’ve posted a picture of a sample tube in below. I’ve heard of houses having tube under slate floor to heat the area, but had not heard of heated sidewalks previously. I loved it.
While touring the city, we passed the downtown area and nearby city park. We saw a bunch of people dressed as Holland residents (klopen dancers) to in a roped-off street ready to perform a dance. We asked the guide if we could stop and see the show and she said it was alright. The bus was parked nearby on the side of the road and the guide asked a nearby policeman if we could park there for the show. We really enjoyed the performance. There was a loudspeaker and information about the many different dress-styles of the costumes. After that, the loudspeaker played music and the people danced in their wooden shoes. It was absolutely incredible. I have included more pictures here:
At night, we attended the “New Odyssey Dinner Show”. The show was at Hope College and I’ve included some pictures. It is hard to describe what a GREAT dinner we had and a very entertaining show. I hate to admit that I can’t remember the group name of the 3 musician performers – but, they were from Chicago and were great. During their show, they asked a front-row attendee for something and asked his name. It was “Chuck” and they thanked him by chanting “Chuck, Chuck, Chuck”. Our bus driver was also named Chuck and after he was able to drive us in many places that were tight, busy, or otherwise difficult, the group would thank him for his work by chanting “Chuck, Chuck, Chuck”.
We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Holland for two nights. We also enjoyed the breakfasts at the hotel.