A Travellerspoint blog

Netherlands

Maastricht

Tot ziens to the Netherlands

semi-overcast 11 °C
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Maastricht

Maastricht, sitting on the banks of the Maas River, is the Netherland’s oldest city. It is located in the south of the country on a thin finger of land which juts down between Germany and Belgium. The West Bank of the Maas is the city’s main hub with a lovely old town containing 1667 national heritage buildings. It developed from a Roman settlement, the remnants of which can be seen in the city walls, the first being built in 1229. It’s cobblestoned, pedestrianised streets are lined with lovely shops and cafes, which along with a few nice squares give it an air of bourgeoise. On Sunday we did a walking tour and got a real insight into the long history of the city and its medieval buildings.

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The Town Hall

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Maastricht’s second basilica Onze Lieve Vrouwebasillek, Basilica of Our Lady, one of the oldest churches in the Netherlands built before 1000AD

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The oldest city gate in the Netherlands.

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Part of the city wall and the red shuttered building dating from 1647 that was previously a nunnery

The (normally) most beautiful and famous of the squares is the cobblestoned, tree and cafe lined Vrijthof Square in the centre of the old town. This is where Andre Rieu conducts his annual concerts. However, a big Andre fan I was devastated to arrive there to find a carnival being set up in right in the middle of it and blocking what should have been a beautiful view to the Basilica of St Servatius and St Johns Church with its 80 metre tall red tower and the 38 heritage buildings lining the other sides of the square.

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Shame!

Today I walked 3.4km from our bnb to Andre Rieu’s home. It is actually a castle and sits on a small hill overlooking the Maas, with a church behind it with a large steeple. I imagine in its day it would have been situated in a little village on the outskirts of town, but although it sits within a lovely garden with a mass planting of rhododendrons in bloom and a long sweeping stairway, unfortunately suburbia has encroached on it and spoiled the effect somewhat. However, it was exciting to see where Andre lived, but alas no sightings!

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Andre’s Primary school

While I was off doing my explorations, Keith went off to explore some of the defences that were built by the Dutch to defend the city. Because Maastricht is strategically located on the Maas River and is a gateway between north and south Europe it was attacked many times over 2000 years with control changing many times. It started with Romans in early AD who established the first fort in the middle of the town. They were followed by the Gauls, Vikings, Spanish and French over the next 1500 years.

King Willem was determined to keep Maastricht in Dutch hands and built many major defensive structures. Keith first visited Fort St Pitier on a 100m hill which overlooks the town and provided cannon and musket cover to defend the south of the town. To the west 14 km of tunnels (known as casements) were dug into the limestone hills in a zig-zag pattern. The tunnels had openings through which they could deliver a withering cross fire at the approaching troops. In later years these casements were used as bomb shelters in WW2 and shelters against nuclear attack in the Cold War.

We are staying on the east bank in an area called the Wyck, a lovely area with 17th century houses and quieter than the West Bank.

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The Wyck from the West Bank

Not only has this charming, historical city been a nice place to relax after a couple of busy weeks, it has been a fitting bookmark to our journey through the Netherlands from our starting place in another wonderful Dutch city, Amsterdam.

Tomorrow we train back to Amsterdam then catch an evening flight to Stockholm.

Tot ziens Netherlands! We’ve enjoyed getting acquainted.

Posted by themaggiej 15:23 Archived in Netherlands Comments (10)

Den Bosch - Nuenen - Thorn - Maastricht

Southern Netherlands in a Nutshell

overcast 11 °C
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Utrecht to Den Bosch

After a sunstantial breakfast of fruit, yoghurt, muesli, omelette, breads, cheese and ham (again with enough left over to make sandwiches for our lunch) we set off at 9.00am as we had a big, 76km day ahead. Although a cold morning, it was fine and we found our way easily from our B&B back to the LF7 markers.

After about an hour, we came across a stunning 15th century city gate (remnant of a former castle) as we approached the little town of Vianen.

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As we entered we discovered a lovely town square lined with cafes and outdoor seating
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And beyond that, the weekly market
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We thought we were back in France, as this is so typical of many town centres we’ve been through.

However, as there was a stall selling stroopwaffels
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And another selling tulips, which at €5 for 3 bunches meant we had to be in the Netherlands, and definitely not in Australia where they are considerably more for just ONE bunch!
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This lovely building was also in this delightful town square
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Leaving Vianen behind, we were once again back to our much liked canalside riding, where the banks are lined with pollarded willows, where cattle, sheep and horses graze in lush green paddocks and yes, J&P, there are sometimes swans.

These pollarded tree trunks are typical along canals through the Netherlands. Nina told us that they are willows that are traditionally pollarded to promote growth and are then harvested for their thin, strong branches used in the old times to help construct dykes but today more for fodder or for wood.

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These have regrown and waiting for their next ‘haircut’
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J&P, this one’s for you!
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Love riding through this countryside on these lovely bike tracks
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All the houses in this dear little town were displaying national pride with their King’s Day decorations still in place. The heart on the ground in front of the tulip panorama is made of clogs.
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Lunch stop

When we passed this at 1.28pm, we realised why we’d been feeling so cold
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and why, despite pedalling hard, I was still wearing a parka and three merino underlayers
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Another part of our day’s journey took us through a very nice village built on the polder below the dyke on which we were riding.

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This house also built below the dyke and the house in the background against the dyke. The espaliered ‘hedge’ is very typical of houses in the Netherlands. I believe they are often linden trees.
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Unfortunately the landscape gradually changed and we seemed to leave the watery canal landscape behind as we cycled towards our evening destination of S- Hertogenbosch, or Den Bosch as it is commonly called. This was the first Dutch town to be declared a city in 1184, and was the heartland of Catholicism. The city’s most famous building, the Sint Jeans Cathedral, dating from 1220 is its crown jewel. Big and imposing, it was impossible to capture it all in a photo, but it is a highly decorative and impressive building, despite currently undergoing restoration and swathed in scaffolding.

The town boasts lots of historical buildings, a centuries old canal system and an impressive fountain Drakenfontein which stands in front of a row of lovely mansions from early 20th century.

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Part of the Den Bosch skyline showing the spires of the Town Hall and the Sint Jeans Cathedral
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The Town Hall
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We had another lovely B&B for the night, not far from the Centrum, with a very hospitable hostess, who along with her daughter and grandson who were visiting from Amsterdam, made us feel very welcome.

Den Bosch to Nuenen

A more leisurely day today as we only had 61km to ride.

We have been very pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of the breakfasts we have been provided with and today was no exception. On opening the door at 8 o'clock we were greeted by three generations, mother, daughter and grandson, each carrying a tray of goodies. They were delightful people and so hospitable. The photo speaks for itself.

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Our hostess had set the table beautifully while we were out the previous evening, just as our mothers and grandmothers would have done with butter knives and lovely fine china cups and saucers. Look at all the lovely cutlery and the egg warmers!
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This was to be one of the few highlights of the day as for most of the ride we pedalled a twisty, turny, route through farmland, semi- built up areas and the busy uninteresting city of Endhoven.

This was one of the few nice scenes I took today
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It seemed like a different country to the Netherlands we have got used to this last ten days with no pretty canola lined canal paths. The only redeeming feature of the day was a long tree lined canal after Endhoven which reminded me very much of some of the canals of France we have ridden along, so I thoroughly enjoyed this section and the pretty reflections on the water.

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To make things worse the weather turned cold after Endhoven and we rode in light drizzle for the last hour into Nuenen. Once again we were lucky that the heavy rain started once we were safely inside.

Again the accommodation is excellent with a lovely room and separate lounge and dining room for the guests with bar. This is the twilight view across fields from our B& B. Very calming!

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Nuenen was the home of Van Gogh from 1883 to 1885 and the community has capitalised on this connection by establishing a Van Gogh Museum and a Van Gogh riding route.

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His parents house where he resided while in Nuenen is just across the road from the museum and next door is the home of Margot a lady with whom he had another failed relationship leading to her taking rat poison - she survived but the relationship did not. Throughout the village there are many talking posts where you press the button and hear something of interest about Van Gogh and his time in Nuenen.

Nuenen to Thorn

This was to be our longest day, so we were on the road by 9am, fortified by a great breakfast to put us in good stead for those 81km. The forecast was for mainly fine weather with a top of 12 degrees, but with no sun and a bit of wind chill it felt cooler than that.

The ride had few highlights as in the main we went through farmland and small towns. The Dutch are a very neat lot, and while we have enjoyed riding by their neatly tended gardens and homes, it is just not the same without canals, windmills and tulip fields.

However, after 20km, we did have a surprise when we suddenly went from forest into a large parkland of dry sandy grasslands. Our initial reaction is that this may have been the original edge of the sea before they started to reclaim the land, as the ground was very sandy and undulating like sand dunes. Our subsequent research has revealed that it was 1500 hectares of natural heathland called Strabrechtse Heide.

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Oh, what a change of scenery!

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Galloway cattle and sheep grazing in the Strabrechtse Heide

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Then just as quickly as we entered it we were once again out and back into the forest which surrounds the 1500 hectare heathland.

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Much of our cycling has been on quite country roads and as shown in the following photo these roads often have bike lanes on either side with just one lane for cars in the middle. Bikes have priority on the rare occasions that traffic comes from both directions - the cars have to give way. Just imagine how that would work at home!

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Elevenses - a chance to check the map and enjoy koffee mit appeltarte

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Then, finally a nice canal to ride beside

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And a nice spot for lunch before back to the forest again

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Once again as we approached our destination light rain began to fall, so we were very happy when we arrived at the cobblestoned streets of Thorn and easily located our B&B. It was about 4pm by then and, although it was freezing outside, (and raining by the time we checked in and changed), we were anxious to get out and have a little wander around this small, attractive village known as the white village for its white washed brick houses in the centre of town.

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Arriving at our B&B. Our hostess is a collector! This collection of blue and white porcelain features pieces not only from Delft, but from many other countries such as Portugal, Poland and Asia. Two of the walls are covered in an amazing variety of pieces.

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The item on top shelf, 3rd item from left, is actually a 3D shell type map of the Netherlands. The place we are heading to, Maastricht, is at the bottom of the ‘tonsil’ on bottom RHS. It is surrounded by Belgium on one side, and Germany on the other. Our route tomorrow will take us into and out of Belgium a couple of times.
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She even had a wonderful collection of blue and white tea towels!
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And the main square of Thorn

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Thorn to Maastricht

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After a pleasant night in a comfy B&B, we set out from Thorn on another bitter morning, but as you can see from photo below the sun WAS trying to shine on us.

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Along the way we rode along dykes surrounded by farmland and cattle grazing in green, green pastures, past fields of asparagus, through towns and along river banks and canals. As you can see from the photos, there were some threatening clouds which, despite us pedalling hard and not stopping for elevenses, eventually caught us. Fortunately we were able to shelter under a bridge from the sleet and bitter winds which passed quickly and we didn’t get too wet. Sounds like fun?

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But ...... we made it to Maastricht in reasonable condition despite those big black clouds and later found out that it had actually snowed today in Maastricht and that temperatures are 10 degrees cooler than average for this time of year.

Our ride this week has been a great extension to our barge trip and of furthering our exploration of the Netherlands, but we are pleased to be in Maastricht and are looking forward to a couple of days of R&R. Hope you enjoyed our journey.

Hello Maastricht. Goodbye bikes!
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Below is some data from the GPS of our 460 km travelled between Haarlem and Maastricht.
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Posted by themaggiej 13:11 Archived in Netherlands Comments (7)

Alkmaar - Landsmeer - Utrecht

Our Netherlands journey continues

semi-overcast 12 °C
View Travels by barge, bike & boat on themaggiej's travel map.

Haarlem to Alkmaar

On Sunday morning we had an early start as we needed to catch the 8.30am train to Haarlem to meet our bike tour operator and pick up bikes for part 2 of our Netherlands adventure. This will be the real adventure, as we have decanted our basic necessities for the week into panniers, leaving our remaining luggage with Holland Bike Tours in Haarlem before setting off for 7 days of independent cycling.

We caught our train ok but almost couldn't get off at Haarlem as a very officious ticket inspector, who arrived in the carriage moments before the train came into Haarlem, hauled us over the coals for not printing out our e-tickets in accordance with the fine print terms and conditions. I insisted we were getting off, so he alighted with us and held up the train for 5 minutes giving us a lecture on the platform. Not a good start to the day!

However, our nice tour operator Emiel from Holland Bike Tours was there to meet us at the station. He took us to his bike shop and spent an hour getting us prepared for the ride, including making sure our bikes were set up correctly and running through the pre-programmed GPS, maps and other equipment he provided.

We eventually commenced our 70km ride to Alkmaar in drizzling rain at about 1030. We had only gone about 1km before Keith and the GPS had a disagreement about which way to go. After several false starts we got the hang of reading the GPS and we were on our way. The outskirts of Haarlem was just as interesting and scenic as the inner old town. Lovely houses set in beautiful tree lined streets and gardens. After Haarlem we rode for about 15km through green parkland forests and small towns before catching a ferry across a river to the coast behind this sand dunes.

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Leaving Haarlem through beautiful forested bike path

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This large group of ducks just waddled across the road to the lake as cars waited for them to pass.

We then rode another 15k along excellent bike paths through the dunes about 500m from the sea. About 10k south of Alkmaar the sand dunes were replaced with ideal soil for tulips and other flowers so as we rode we would pass through these explosions of colour.

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Galloway cattle beside the track in the dunes

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Lunch stop during stop in rain

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A couple of the beautiful tulip fields we passed along the Tulip Route

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Lush countryside - what lucky cows

Our original plan was to go past Alkmaar by about 10k to the start of the bike path known as LF 7 Riverbank Route.. which we will follow for 385km south to Maastricht, near the Belgian border.

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However, near Alkmaar the weather started to turn for the worse so we cut the corner straight to our B&B near the centre of Alkmaar arriving at 1630 and just beating the rain. 53km km cycled today.Our host Willem was there to meet us and show us to our very well appointed suite in his rear garden. A quick change and we set out to explore the very historic town of Alkmaar before dinner at a restaurant recommended by our host.

Alkmaar is known worldwide a the cheese city for its Friday cheese market, but for us, visiting on a Sunday, it not only represented yet another lovely Dutch town of character with its canals and a lovely old town centre, but it also was where we enjoyed our first taste of Dutch B&B hospitality.

This beatutiful building is the Weighing House. It dates back to 1390 when it originally had a religious purpose but later as the cheese industry grew it became the place wher cheese was weighed.

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Alkmaar to Landsmeer

After constant rain overnight we woke to a cloudy but fine day. Our host provided an excellent breakfast with enough leftovers for lunch which was really helpful, particularly as many food outlets close on Monday. Our tour guide notes indicated the ride from Alkmaar to Landsmeer, just north of Amsterdam, would be 51km and total up downs would be 20m ie very flat. Also the wind was forecast to be light north easterly which would be mainly behind us. A good day for riding.

The bike paths as usual were excellent and well marked with the LF7a signs which is the north/south bike path. The track took us through lovely forests, very lush green fields and often followed a lakeside, river or canal. It seemed that wherever you look in Holland there is water and lush green fields or forests.

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Leaving Alkmaar beside a lovely canal and a beautiful forested track

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Along the way

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Along the way

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Lunch stop by river watching cargo boats and tugs

The only major tourist attraction on the way south was the row of working mills at Zaanse Shans which we had visited this during our stay in Amsterdam. It was still enjoyable to see the giant colourful sails (they had acquired some orange sails since we last saw them, no doubt their nod to King’s Day) turning gracefully in the wind as we approached from the opposite direction this time.

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I couldn't resist snapping pictures of the animals along the way so here are a few. One shot I missed was a farmer leading a small flock of sheep and lambs along the road - he was holding a pail which I presumed held feed to keep them following.

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We see a lot of ducks and birds along the way enjoying the wetlands.

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The final run into Landsmeer was through lovely wetlands only 3km out of Amsterdam.

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We arrived at Collette's B&B at about 4.30 after 53km of cycling. Our host was a young Finnish guy married to a Thai lady and they had recently come from Vietnam where he was studying at a college run by RMIT. As it happened his parents were visiting from Finland and his sister from Portugal was passing through. All part of the passing parade of nationalities you encounter when travelling which adds so much to the experience.

Landsmeer to Utrecht

With a 67k day ahead we decided we had better make an early start particularly as we had to go through the middle,of Amsterdam.
Our lovely host Vili arrived right on time at 8 o'clock with our breakfast accompanied by his visiting father who was carrying a tray as well. After a great breakfast with enough leftovers of bread, cheese and ham to make sandwiches for lunch, we hit the road at 9. Our fears of riding through Amsterdam were unfounded.

The bike track into Amsterdam Central first meandered through lovely wetlands then joined a well marked and easy to follow bike path right into the middle of town where we caught a free ferry to the back of the train station. From there we followed the LF7a markers through the busy city till the Amstel river hung a left and then we were on our way out of town on a quiet road beside parkland and leafy neighbourhoods - about 10k in 45 minutes.

The rest of the ride to Utrecht was just as easy along a very picturesque path that always had water on our left or our right. With light winds and a very flat bike path we were able to comfortably sit on 20k per hour. At elevenses as we stood on a corner checking which way to go, we met a very kind gentleman who suggested a bakery on the canal for coffee and apple tart. What a wonderful suggestion it was! While there we watched a canal employee manually wind the adjacent bridge up and down to allow a boat to go through. Most bridges can be electronically activated when boats want to pass through but in some villages the old traditions have been maintained.

About 20k from Utrecht our route took us along a most beautiful leafy area beside a canal with lovely villages and km after km of magnificent chateau like houses built in the Dutch form of architecture. It was a very pleasant run into Utrecht.

We made very good time (for us), to arrive in Utrecht at 3.30 but it then took us 30minutes to find our B&B. The bike path took us right through the middle of the old town which was very busy with tourists and locals despite the temperature being about 10 degrees. We found our street ok but then it disappeared at the same time as the canal disappeared under the city square. Eventually we found that the canal and our street popped up about 100m further on. From there it was easy to find our home for the night next to the canal. Vincent our host was waiting for us and showed us to our room which was, of course, in the loft with three flights of spiralling, very steep, staircases (as the Dutch do!). But it was a very nice, spacious and comfortable room with views over the canal.

A quick change and we went out to explore the historic old town centre. Vincent had recommended several places to eat which we couldn't find, but we stumbled across a very warm and cosy French restaurant near our digs which served very traditional French food and wines at good prices. After French onion soup Keith had a delicious beef bourguignon. Then back to our loft to plan tomorrow's ride.

Utrecht is the Netherland’s 4th largest city and centuries old university town. Once it’s religious heart, it boasts the country’s tallest church tower, the Dom, which dominates the medieval core of the city. It is ringed by a loop of attractive tree lined canals lined with cafes and terraces, providing much atmosphere. After our very enjoyable ride to get there, we enjoyed our short stay in equal measure. A very nice small city.

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Operating the punt on the way

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Lunch stop by a canal

Then there were the beautiful houses lining it

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Not sure what this large building was but very impressive

Arriving Utrecht
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The Dom from viewed from a canal. Shame about the scaffolding!

Posted by themaggiej 13:02 Archived in Netherlands Comments (6)

King’s Day in Amsterdam

An unforgettable day!


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Our final day of cycling from Haarlem to Amsterdam happened to fall on King’s Day when the Dutch let down their hair with National fervour throughout the country from the tiniest village to the large towns.

The day boded poorly with rain, strong winds and a temperature of just 13 forecast. The only saving grace was the wind was to be a tail wind or a cross wind. Only 8 of our intrepid riders, (which included us!) took to their steeds for this final ride of the tour. The forecast was accurate although the rain held off until Amsterdam and was only heavy for the last 5 minutes before rejoining the barge.

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Setting off from the Elodie for our final ride. I was the sweep that day, hence the green vest.,

All the small towns we rode through on our 30km route were busy preparing for the celebrations with stalls for food and beer. Part of the tradition is to set up sidewalk stalls for families and children to sell pre loved goods. The day/night before they mark out their territory with tape or chalk. Just before Amsterdam the local community had taken over the bike path for their stalls and it was impossible to get through. Our guide Nina used local knowledge to find our way around. About 1230 we arrived on the outskirts of the city to find the party was well underway with crowds of people adorned in some form orange, the national colour, jamming the roads and waterways. Heineken appeared to be the preferred drink with beer stalls and loud music everywhere. The canal boats were overflowing with revellers drinking and singing and the canals were overflowing with boats. Boat jams were occurring at every tunnel under the numerous bridges. The street where we stayed on arrival in Amsterdam had turned into one long party street, with food stalls and people selling all sorts of orange items to wear.

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Anyone for an oyster?

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Or perhaps an orange wig?

Although it was bitterly cold with intermittent showers, we were anxious to get out and experience this special day in the Netherlands that we had heard so much about, especially as we were at its epicentre in Amsterdam. So, about 4 o'clock, 7 of us braved the elements to go out and experience King’s Day as only the Dutch in Amsterdam could celebrate it. I think the pictures tell the story. In some locations around the canal bridges it was almost impossible to get through the throngs. However, at one particularly heavy partying area, we just held onto each other’s coats and were carried along by the crowd. Everyone was in a jovial mood, but it was pleasing to see was how well behaved and friendly the people were. It was such a fun filled atmosphere, if not a little crazy. Despite the weather, the crowds and the alcohol, everybody was just out there to have a good time.

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Boat jam on the canal

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People jam in the streets

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We managed to all stay together despite the crowds, and after wandering through some of the streets and canalsides, we sought refuge for a drink and pizza before making our way back through the crowed streets for some peace at the Elodie.

However the night was not yet over as we had an unexpected visitor about 9pm. A highly intoxicated young man rolled on board adamant that this was his boat and he had a cabin for the night. Nothing we could do would persuade him otherwise and he was getting quite belligerent. Fortunately the river police were passing by and they came to our aid. However, after they thought they’d dealt with him and got him off our boat, the intruder proceeded to board an adjoining barge, before we managed to get the retreating police back again. This time they determined that he had cabin number 410 on a cruise liner about 1km away and eventually steered him in the right direction.

Not long after, Chango arrived back from his expedition to the town with one of the guests and, after explaining why all the doors were locked and why he couldn’t get in, he had an even better story to tell as he had rescued a young lady who fell into the canal while having a pee. She protested he couldn't help her out as her knickers were down around her ankles, but this did not deter him from his chivalry.

What an unforgettable day and what better way to end our wonderful barge and bike tour! We’ve had such a fun week with a really great group of people.

Tomorrow the next adventure begins.

Posted by themaggiej 10:34 Archived in Netherlands Comments (5)

Aalsmeer & Keukenhof

Not a tough day at all!

semi-overcast 15 °C
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Nina said in our briefing last night that if we didn’t like flowers this would be a tough day! Well, the toughest part of the day was leaving the Elodie at sunrise (6.20am) to cycle 6km to to the Aalsmeer Flower Market. After that, it was all uphill - the day that is!

The Aalsmeer Flower Market is the largest flower auction in the world. It began almost one hundred years ago in a cafe in nearby Aalsmeer and is now the basis for an international business.

Some facts about the Aalsmeer Flower Market
- Every day about 6000 growers from around the world provide flowers to be auctioned
- Over 1000 exporters and wholesalers ensure that flowers and plants find their way to customers all over the world.
- Every day, 20 million cut flowers and 2 million plants pass through this auction
- Of the flowers and plants that pass through these auctions, about 85% are exported the same day
- Most remain within a radius of 1500 km and go to Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia or Eastern Europe.
- Principal import countries include Israel, Kenya, Uganda, and also European countries such as France and Denmark.
- Trades over 12 billion flowers and plants annually

Visitors walk on a raised platform that runs for about one kilometre up and back through the middle of a giant warehouse. From there you have a birds eye view of what is going on in the warehouse below - containers of flowers being delivered and moved to different parts of the warehouse as they are sold and you also see into the auction rooms to see the bidding in action. It was an absolutely fascinating process to observe. You can get an idea of it from the videos and pictures below.

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The auction room. Bidding is done by the clock and runs very quickly.

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Following our visit to the flower market we cycled back to the barge, where we had breakfast while the barge motored for 21/2 hours to Lisse for our next floral feast of the day, Keukenhof.

Keukenhof is one of the world's largest flower gardens, where approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in an area which covers 79 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. The gardens were established in 1949 and are open from mid-March to mid-May, containing many types of bulbs and other plants and shrubs, however, it is the tulips which steal the show and make it so well known. We enjoyed 3 hours of free time to wander through the gardens on a cold but fine day, and although the warm weather had taken its toll on many of the blooms, there were still some stunning flowers to be seen.

Here are some of them - I loved so many that it was hard just to choose a few to share with you!

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This is one of the many tulip fields that surround Keukenhof that we passed on the way there.

All below are in Keukenhof.

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Following our visit to the Keukenhof, it was back on the bikes and off to Haarlem, passing several more colourful fields of tulips before we would reunite with the Elodie to spend the night in Haarlem, which looked like such a delightful town as we cycled in.

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Team Elodie enroute to Haarlem

After dinner we went out for our evening guided town tour of Haarlem with Nina, (a bit later than usual and too late for photos) and saw that, despite all the revellers in the town squares cafes and bars getting in the mood for King’s Day the next day, you could see it was a really lovely town with some beautiful buildings and a lovely atmosphere

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We returned to the Elodie to find our own little bit of pre Kings Day atmosphere as Chango and Hans had decorated the salon with orange flags and put out some Oranjebitter, a favourite Kings Day orange liqueur due to its orange colour. A nice end to a great day.

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Posted by themaggiej 12:54 Archived in Netherlands Comments (7)

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