Monday, May 11, 2015

Shipluiden > Maassluis > Hoek de Holland > Den Haag

35 miles today.  Not much by bicycle racer standards, but plenty for me on a bike with little wheels, schlepping bags, navigating an unfamiliar route, and half into the wind!  A great day, but my legs are worn out.  Going to sleep well tonight I think.

Will write more over coffee in the morning...

... turned out the lamp and then out like a light!  Think I probably rolled over in the night, but that's about it.  What a great night's sleep.  Day dawned a little cloudy today, little cooler than yesterday (which was hot by local standards), with forecast for nice afternoon.

Yesterday was fun.
Started in the country amid this kind of scene.

Couple hours later was cycling through Maassluis, an industrial / transportation / manufacturing hub between Rotterdam and the Atlantic.  Maassluis reminded me a lot of Marcus Hook, that famous holiday destination near Philly.  Cycling path was great but it was through some heavy duty stuff.  Wasn't as bleak as the photo makes it look, but it was industrial.

Saw the vehicle that may win the "Strangest Thing on Wheels" award for this trip.  Family boarding a roll-on / roll-off ferry boat near Maassluis in what looks like a motorized blue bathtub on wheels.  Mom, Dad, three Kids and a Dog.  (Update:  I looked closer... there are at least 5 kids on board!  No wonder the dog can't fit inside.) Wonder how the ferry guy figures up the fare on this group?

On to Hoek de Holland!  It's the pointy bit of Netherlands that kind of sticks out a bit towards England.  Couldn't resist cycling there, I've always thought it looked cool on the map.  Well, it is pretty cool in the real world: you can stand right there and look west and wonder whether you can see England or maybe even New York.  Fulfilled that childhood dream even if I was probably just seeing low haze a couple miles offshore.  Got pretty lost at one point, thanks to somebody who thought it was a fun project to remove all the bike signs at a busy confusing roundabout.  Eventually got found again after a conversation with an older Dutch woman on a bike.  She spoke very little English.  But once she understood my basic confusion ("... how do I get to the bike path along the ocean to get to Den Haag?") she made it pretty simple.  Pointed west, then tried a bunch of variations on "dunes?" ( "... duins?  doones? duunen? duinen?") until she saw the light come on in my head.  Once I got that concept, she pointed North to Den Haag.  I thanked her sincerely.  Marco Polo probably had similar problems finding China, and Columbus finding America.  ("Chris?  Head west until you bump into a new continent.  Got it?")  Even better she was heading in the same direction so I rode along with her for a few minutes until we could see the sea.  Thanked her and said goodbye.  Don't know her thoughts as I rode away, but they could have been along the lines of "... nice enough guy and certainly polite, but I can't believe they let him out on his own."

Then north along the coast towards Den Haag

No comments:

Post a Comment