|Brielse Meer dive platform|
|Crossing the Nieuwe Maas|
(original date of this entry: July 16, 2014)
I took the Sprinter from Muiderpoort station in Amsterdam to Rotterdam, changed for another to Maassluis. There I took the ferry across the Nieuwe Maas to Rozenburg and got disoriented in the suburban tangle of houses, soccer fields and schools. Finally I pulled up at the massive drawbridge, traversed it and two more bridges (to kp 30) over the maze of shipping lanes. The bike path holds its own amidst highways, railroad tracks and waterways--you thread through the industrial sprawl effortlessly and a sign informs you that you've arrived in Voorne-Putten (two islands that have somehow been sutured together).
|Rozenburg - Voorne Peninsula|
Stopped in Brielle and had a look around. An ancient gated town. Had an ice cream at a place called Tw'ice; looked at the massive fortress-like church built from thousands of bricks. Outside of Brielle, my bike started making an awful screeching creaking noise. Took off the panniers and rearranged them and the noise stopped. I realized I have no tools whatsoever. Then I was going by an endless summer community, Kruiningergors, and the path was crammed with oldsters on bikes. then crossed a road (to kp 51) and was up on a peaceful dike along the Oostvoornse Meer ("favored by divers for its depth (40m), visibility and shipwrecks at bottom, such as the Archimedes from 1839"). Took a bench facing the industry of Europoort across the lake. Smokestacks, cranes, eolic windmills. Soon the trail will meet the LF-1, then it's down through the dunes to Rockanje.
|Voorne island, Zuid-Holland|
As soon as I got on the LF-1 the development ended and I was riding through beautiful, peaceful dune forest. It did not take long to reach Rockanje and I just headed straight for the beach.
|Start of Voorne coastal dunes trail|
|Rockanje refreshment stand (closed)|
Else, my vriend op de fiets in Rockanje, laid down a number of laws right quick, including a complicated explanation of how to flush the toilet and dry off the shower, which made me reluctant to use them. Though she seemed somewhat exasperated, I like that she spoke to me in Dutch (though she offered to speak English).
Else's exasperation seemed to vanish after she'd had a couple of glasses of wine. I sat in her backyard while she watched a movie. The she came out to join me. She said I would've been better off, coming from Maassluis, to go through Maasvlakte, which is the recently completed industrial zone added to Europoort. It is, she said, a model of environmentally friendly industry, with nature reserves interspersed among the factories. Also a beach, only just recently created. I toyed with the idea of going back home that way via Hoek van Holland but then decided to stick with my original plan.