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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Spaarnwoude breakdown




When I can't decide where to go, I may head for a town that takes no longer than an hour to get to by train from Amsterdam -- Utrecht, Haarlem, Den Haag, Alkmaar, Den Bosch, Hilversum, etc. From there I just strike off in whatever direction seems most interesting and ride for as long as I feel like it. Since every town in the Netherlands is surrounded by pretty countryside laced with bicycle paths, all connected by well-signed fietspad routes, this strategy is entirely viable. If I don't feel like paying the €6 fee to put my bike on the train I can just rent an OV-Fiets at the station of each town.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

North Sea coast -> Amsterdam

LF-1 south of Castricum
Carefree couples stroll the beach. A speckled brown gull hopes for a scrap of my sandwich, warding off other beggars, occasionally letting out a screech. Today it's cool, breezy. A distinct change of seasons mood. This is Wijk aan Zee.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Twente 3.4: Winterswijk West



Now a restful moment on the way to kp 48. This route, west of Aalten, skirts the Boven Slinge for quite a ways, almost to the outskirts of Doetinchem. The Boven Slinge is a narrow canal with green banks, flanked by trees with a sand & pebble sliver of a trail alongside. Quite still and peaceful, just a distant barking. I'm glad that it goes on like this for miles, practically no people on this pristine path on a Tuesday afternoon. I've got nowhere to be this evening so may take my time. Anyway, I'm likely to arrive in Doetinchem in de spits (during rush hour), so won't be able to put my bike on the train.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Twente 3.3: Enschede


Enschede


Change of plans: an extra day in Enschede. Good move as it's raining and Enschede is an interesting place: the capital of the republic of Twente. People are noticeably friendlier here. They seem to enjoy themselves.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Twente 3.2



Breakfast included at least three varieties of hagelslag (yes, grown-up Dutch people eat chocolate sprinkles to start the day) plus locally picked tiny raspberries. The day is "good for cycling," as Jan Knol described it: a slight breeze pushing the cool cloud cover which periodically parts to allow the passage of the sun's bright rays. There may be a bit of rain.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Twente 3.1


Let's go ... back to Almelo.

This fietstocht picks up where the last one left off--cut short due to storms. I would like to see more of the fabled Twente region, which comprises central eastern Netherlands bordering Germany. Today I'll travel to Denekamp, in northeastern Twente, right by the German town of Nordhorn, mostly via the Almelo-Nordhorn canal. Built in the 19th century it turned out unfortunately to be a 'mistake,' since by the time they were done (1904), the freighters were too big to use it. They gave up on it in 1960. I know I traversed this canal on a previous journey, thinking it would be fun to follow it. Now I'll do that.

From Denekamp I'll head south to Twente's main city, Enschede, a university town. This should give me a good overview of the area that Martin, my vriend op de fiets in Nijmegen last year, enthusiastically described as a "great garden." Today, Thursday, is overcast but it is due to clear up and warm up over the weekend. I have nothing else to do. It is mid-summer in Holland and I have a bicycle.