Café t' Hoekje, Ferwerd
Coffee and apple pie with whipped cream, mmm. A quaint "brown café" with a hint of its past grunge in the form of rugs for tablecloths, plank floors (now polished), heavy paisley curtains and oompah music on the radio. A kern (county seat, I guess), Ferwerd is about the size of Hallum, a village of maybe 1000 people yet, like other communities around here, it seems dead.
|Pie on a rug|
Sheep are fat, listless creatures.
They might be lying by the side of the road but take no notice of your presence, preferring to munch a clump of grass in front of their noses. Their cry has a human quality.
|"11 Cities Route" - Day 5 (ANWB map)|
Janneke told me there's a ferry from Holwerd (Holwert) to the isle of Ameland, a less popular destination than Terschilling. The attraction of the isles is that their northward side faces the North Sea, much better for swimming than the muddy Waddenzee, so there were no beaches on Friesland's north coast but polders.*
* A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes, that forms an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually-operated devices.
|Dokkum city limits|
Dokkum. A rather arduous trek to get here - already 4:30 - and I'm underwhelmed. The 11th city of the 11-city circuit, which everyone has been telling me is made by ice skaters - freezing temperatures permitting - in a single day. That's 240 kilometers, which has taken me five very long days by bike. I just don't believe it.
I was feeling exhausted in Dokkum, where I finished off my cheese from Harlingen sitting canalside. One noticeable aspect of the historic town is that traffic flows through and seems a constant nuisance (as in San Miguel de Allende) a notable exception in Holland. But the ride from Dokkum to Burdaard thoroughly energized me. Pure open countryside lofting down an asphalt thread of a fietspad, on the left a broad river, the Dokumer Ee, yachts occasionally drifting past, on the right an endless row of undulating reeds tinged pink, growing out of a drainage ditch parallel to the river. Pure bliss, that ride.
|Blissful fietspad to Leeuwarden|
"You're rich," Janneke told me this morning, as if stating a self-evident fact. Why? Because I speak so casually about working? Continued ...