Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hot cycling in the Hanseatic cities

Another great day of cycling.  Short day in number of miles -- about 20 -- but conditions were perfect:  hot (by Netherlands standards), flat, slight breeze mostly from behind, strong sun but with high clouds to screen it some.  Easy day to dehydrate, so we bought a couple liters of water and kept topping up our bike bottles.

Short ride Brummen to Zutphen, so we reached Zutphen late morning.
A great town!  "The City of Towers".  Economic heyday back in Hanseatic times (1500/1600s?).  Now a quiet, well preserved town with lots of street life... cafes, walkers, small stores.

Beautiful church, we spend an hour or so there, picnic outside, tour inside, listened to organist practice on a huge organ in cavernous space. Katie investigated church initially while I did my pagan thing outside... stretched out on bench and examined the leaves above.  Later found out this tree was planted on Queen's Day 1991.  Very peaceful to rest for a bit.

Went into church on Katie's recommendation.  Organist was latest in a chain going back about 400 years, and he knew his stuff.  Even hearing him practicing scales was a treat, and when he launched into some unknown classical ecclesiastical piece... wow.  Naturally I was hoping he would play at least a few bars of Whiter Shade of Pale so I could hum along, but Procol Harum wasn't on for that afternoon.

Then rode on to Deventer along the LF3 route.  LF3 rocks.  Beautiful countryside, great cycle paths, very little traffic other than occasional fellow cyclists.

Deventer may be even nicer than Zutphen.  Staying in B&B that used to be a coffee warehouse.  Town is like Zutphen, but scaled up a bit... another prosperous Hanseatic trading city become a nice mid-size city with apparently very high quality of life.  Had a little rain shower early evening, then went out for walk through town.  Loved it.  Like many mid-size towns in Netherlands, current economy seems to be based on cafes, then retail mix of phone / shoe / underwear shops, with a few modern and antique bookstores.  Hoping to go out in town this morning by bike, take some more photos, visit the historical museum.

No comments:

Post a Comment