First 2013 weekend cycle – Eindhoven – Den Helder. 320 km

Posted: April 16, 2013 in Cycling, Netherlands
Tags: , , , ,

The spring is here and my new bike needs to be put to the test before setting out for the North Cape in June. What better way than to return to familiar territory, visit some friends, and pass through what should be tulip territory. Last weekend I cycled 320 km from Eindhoven to Den Helder via Den Haag (The Hague).

In the early and fresh (i.e. cold) Saturday morning hours, I passed through fields, along canals and through forests, almost entirely on cycle paths far away from cars and other disturbances. The birds were chirping – something I have missed in the long colder winter that is now ending. Leaving with the conviction of warm weather (which was predicted for Sunday), it took time before I decided that, yes, may hands really were freezing off, and I really should wear my toasty warm gloves that I had bought for the North Cape. The fields were ploughed, the trees still bare, and waiting in great expectation for the burst of green.

Ploughed field

Ploughed field

Bare trees waiting

Bare trees waiting

As the day continued, the sun started to break through the clouds, but the (head) wind did not drop. I passed wide polders, along dikes, and lots of typical dutch houses and windmills.

Dutch polder and house

Dutch polder and house

IMG_5417

I avoided Rotterdam by passing to the south of it, along a thin peninsula of land, with a view to the industrial area to the north. The wind was causing me to burn extra calories, but the sun was well and truly out.

And then I passed through Delft, the town where I lived when I first came to Holland exactly 20 years ago!

Oude Kerk, Delft

Oude Kerk, Delft

Nieuwe Kerk, Delft

Nieuwe Kerk, Delft

After a lovely evening catching up with my friends in Den Haag, I continued my trip turning northwards, this time with a strong tail wind. Up through the dunes following the coast. There is nothing better than hurtling through the dunes at 40 km/h with the wind at your back.

Unfortunately, the tulips were not out – only the first of the daffodils. It has been too cold for the flowers to dare rise from the soil.

Cafe in the dunes

Cafe in the dunes

The first of the daffodils

The first of the daffodils

Watch out for wild roosters

Watch out for wild roosters

Company in the dunes

Company in the dunes

Cycling through the dunes

Cycling through the dunes

Daffodils from the dike

Daffodils from the dike

Arrival in Den Helder

Arrival in Den Helder

By the end of the trip it was quite warm – about 20C. A real summer feeling as I rode back in the train. Lovely to see all the bikes packed into the train. Back at home where cycling is loved, and there is amazing infrastructure for it!

Comments
  1. Dina says:

    Nice to see you again, Matthew – as always with very nice photos. Enjoy your weekend!:-)
    Dina

    • Hey Dina. Thanks!
      Greetings from Huy in Belgium. A beautiful sunny weekend for… cycling. 🙂
      Hope you have a great weekend too!

      • Dina says:

        Yes, although I have a cold. We went to Felbrigg on Saturday and to Blickling on Sunday, the weather is really nice in Norfolk, finally.
        Sunny greetings to you from Klausbernd and Dina

  2. Lily Mugford says:

    Thanks for posting these photos of a country I visited for just a few hours on a stopover… I hope to visit again for longer next time.

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