Summer is over and I'm off on a cycling trip: Zeeland.
I haven't done nearly enough cycling this summer--kept getting bogged down in writing and translation projects. So I determined to make at least one major journey before the cold sets in. The forecast calls for sunshine and warm weather. Most of the summer has been dreary. Even today, as I ride the train to Schiphol to make my connection, the skies are overcast, though the horizon is blue.
|Zeeuwse strand en landroute, Day 1|
5:22, Thursday afternoon: just west of Koudekerk, a village west of Middelburg. Bit of a bitch to get through--roadwork, traffic, large farm vehicles--but now, heading toward pt 80, the path deviates through farm fields on the way out to the coast. The day is picture perfect--bright sun, cloudless sky, bit of a breeze, lots of folks out for a ride or walk.
|t' Vroon beach|
I reach the dunes at pt 80, turn north to pt 44. Here I am riding through a strip of woods along the base of the dunes, periodic paths up over to the beach. I took the second one, up stone steps. Cresting the dunes, I find a plank staircase down to the beach. The coast is calm, ships in the distance. The broad beach, Zouteland, sweeps northward. There is a great cafe here with a terrace. I'm tempted to stick around but it's 6 pm and I must make it up the coast to Westkapelle.
After the beach I went up the road toward Westkapelle, then realized I was following the highway. So I turned around, toward point 40, and got back on the woods-at-the-base-of-the-dunes trail. Quite cool temperatures riding through the woods.
|Edge of Westkapelle, west coast of Walcheren, Zeeland|
|Mevrouw Reijnhoudt (right) and daughter Hanna|
Westkapelle, the town where I'm staying this evening, is on the westernmost point of this land mass and thus has a major lighthouse (vuurtoren). It is a tall and solid structure, with gothic doorways carved into the sides. I was just looking at it. The town seems like an excellent stopover for my first night in Zeeland, a fairly short jaunt from Middelburg. I've learned by now that it's best to take the first day easy since I inevitably get a late start. So I am taking the first day suggested by the guide in two days, leaving plenty of time to explore the coast tomorrow.
It appears I am sharing the cottage with some Turks, who are loudly preparing a meal in the next room and listening to music. Rather rude of them at 11:40 pm.