Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reeuwijkse Land

67-90-33-94 (Woerden-Bodegraven)

Last day of July, another hot muggy cloudy day, not unlike DC, and I'm out rolling along the Oude Rijn which, though pretty, feels rather dull and suburban. The river is wide here with parts of it almost entirely covered with green vegetable matter like a pale green carpet. Along the other side runs a road with fairly constant traffic. I've gone along the river since leaving Woerden. Most of the way the trail skirts the river and all along it is lined with old houses with riverside terraces. This is the way to Bodegraven, my first destination. Haven't been this way before so I thought I'd have a look ... Woerden is just half an hour by train from Amsterdam Muiderpoort. It's already 5ish; the route is a relatively light 35 km. It is the "Reeuwijkse Plassen" route, named for the lakes northeast of Gouda. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Zomer in Zeeland 4

Now on the beach of Neeltje Jans. The heat is intense though intermittently not too bad under cloud cover. Seems it could go either way--south half of the sky is clouded over, north side is clear. But in terms of weather and landscape, this could not be bettered.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Zomer in Zeeland 3

Not yet 9 am and I am supposed to vacate the premises but it is pleasant to sit here on a cool morning of a forecasted hot day (30°), hearing dogs barking in the distance. Over a hedge of large shiny green leaves is a broad lawn with a patch of hollyhocks and gladioli in the middle.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Zomer in Zeeland 2

From Rockanje I rode south alongside farms, then went up on the Haringvliet Sluizen, the northern section of the massive Delta Works dam, to reach Goeree, a finger-like peninsula that looks like part of Zeeland but is actually Zuid-Holland. From the east end I took the coast trail. It is as beautiful as the last time I took it in the reverse direction, a packed white sand path rolling through the dunes, fringed with shrubs and some raspberries, glimpses of the deserted beach and open sea between gaps.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Zomer in Zeeland 1

Brielse Meer dive platform
So I'm off on my grand summer fiets tour of Zeeland. It's hot and I'm at the south bank of the Brielse Meer, a little west of the bridge to Rozenburg-Maassluis. In other words, going the opposite direction from my last trip to Zeeland. Another difference is that then it was overcast and chilly, today it is hot and sunny. The back of my neck is sweating. I sit at a picnic table alongside a canal where some pleasure craft are moored, 60ish couples with shirtless, paunchy guys skippering the boats, same sort who'd be RV'ing it in America. A bunch of boys claiming the bridge foundation as their diving platform. I'm a few miles from Brielle. I'll skirt the beachy perimeter of Voorne island and head for the evening's destination, Rockanje.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Rondje Zijpe

The Sand: Callantsoog beach
A week later I'm trying another ride from the "rivers, lakes and coast" guide: Rondje Zijpe, named for the reclaimed farmlands north of Alkmaar. The route goes through these polder-lands, devoted primarily to flower production, then jogs west to the low-key coastal resort of Callantsoog, continues south through the coastal dunes to the village of Petten and finally loops back through some old farmsteads dotted with windmills.