Friday, January 17, 2020

Haavikerwaard route, Gelderland


This route strikes northeast of Arnhem along the IJssel river (which continues on to Zutphen) and crosses a lake, the Giesplas, via two ferries and several splendidly remote peninsulas. It continues to skirt the river as far as the storybook village of Doesburg, then follows a beautifully serene curve of the river to the town of Dieren via yet another ferry. This puts you at the edge of the Veluwezoom national park, but instead of climbing into the vast forest, I skirted the railroad west back to Arnhem in time to catch a massive celebration on the anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem. 

  • Route: Arnhem-Velp-Giesbeek-Doesburg-Dieren(along LF-3)-Rheden-Velp-Arnhem
  • Distance: 48 km
  • Train access: Arnhem, Velp, Rheden, Dieren

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Nieuw Landroute

Natuurpark Lelystad

Late summer tour. Pretty day with giant clouds drifting through blue skies. I took the train to Lelystad, which is the town on the other (east) side of the Oostvaardersplassen, less than an hour from Muiderpoort.

I headed south, then west (to kp 92), a long, straight, flat, featureless road, to the Hollandse Hout. But the woods were a disappointment. Disobeying the signs ('verboden uitgezond werkverkeer'), I headed south toward kp 91. This looped around along an unsurfaced path where sand mining operations were going on, and the principal features were big piles of sand. I encountered one worker who seemed surprised, though not perturbed, to see me. I came out on a paved road--no knooppunt marker.

I went back through the sand hills, only to find that I needed to take the same paved road to kp 20. This turned out to be a stretch of blacktop between the patches of forest. But things picked up from there and it turned out to be a genuinely scintillating tour.

Lage Vuurscheroute

Nice late summer day. Took the train to Baarn, southeast of Hilversum.

kp 64 - 65 - 67 - 71 - 70 - 84 - 60 -59
The first part of the tour—the eastern flank—has been underwhelming with lots of traffic. Now on my way to kp 59, I finally enter the forest, a nice packed sand trail, and here I am at a little desert, a sandy bowl dotted with heather and edged by hillocks with stubby pines, the ground littered with cones. The sun is still bright at around 5 pm. This is openbos, that is, not thick but sparse forest. I am at the edge of Amersfoort, and the traffic drone is now distant.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Staverden Route

Today is Monday and I'm taking one more ride. Significantly cooler, around 14 degrees C, and cloudy. But it's the last day of decent weather. So I'm taking my keuzedag (day of free travel on NS rail) and traveling all the way to Nunspeet (between Amersfoort and Zwolle) for a tour of the Veluwe forest.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Maastricht - Nijmegen - Arnhem (pt 7)

In Maastricht. The day is picture perfect with a taste of autumn. Hanging by the Maas at the Bonnefanten Museum's missile tower, observing the fietsers as they zip by. After marveling at the Maas and basking in the sunshine, I got to work editing a translation (on the recent Mexico quake), first inside and outside the Bonnefanten café, then at the Bibliotheek Ceramique.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

East Vlaanderen to Limburg (pt 6)

Sint-Truiden markt
The street market in Sint-Truiden was a real eye-opener. All the abundance of Europe on display … the supermarket pales in comparison. There was even a tobacco stall! And a giant seafood vendor with beautiful girls in aprons doling out mussels from stacks to wizened women. I got a pickled herring and a chicken cutlet, plus some of the land's famous apples.