We completed our 323km ride from Belgium to the Netherlands on Friday with a hectic ride through Amsterdam. We had been happily cruising around along country bike ways for the past week with occasional small town stops for coffee and speculaas (dutch biscuits). Arriving in the dutch capital, we had been warned to be assertive with our cycling and take extreme care with cars, trams and other cyclists. Unlike in the smaller towns where cars would stop for the fifteen of us to cross, this wasn’t going to happen here. This is a big city, clogged with tourists and canals.
We cycled up to the top of the largest bike park I had ever seen. Apparently there are over 3000 bikes parked here near the train station and that is not including the bikes chained around this park.
We departed the good ship, the Zwaan on Saturday and have spent the weekend living like locals in a forth story loft apartment. We have seen a few of the sights including the Van Gogh Museum; strolled through Vondelpark; taken a canal cruise; consumed a cocktail in The House of Bol; quick stepped through the Red Light District; enjoyed the flower market; admired the view from the Public Library; and wandered the canal-lined streets of this bustling city.
More importantly, we had seven glorious hours with Chloe. It was great seeing her again (mid-tour for her). The day was unseasonably hot at 34 degrees, so we stopped at plenty of places for refreshments- The House of Bols was a favorite. We also spent some time shopping for shoes as she had just broken her sandals on the way to meeting us- such a Chloe thing to do. We finished the day with a great dinner at the local restaurant across from our apartment. Crossing our fingers, we may have another chance of seeing her in Paris just before we fly home.
So we leave mainland Europe tomorrow to cross the ditch to Scotland. From Euro to the Pound we continue our holiday…och aye!