The Netherlands                    July 7 to 10








This is a nice feature, but it does get a bit obsessive.
Mileage —  kilometerage — whatever, signs at 0.1km intervals.

This tells you that you are 19.6km from the next town. There'll be another one at 19.5 km.
Be sure you don't miss it!








    and The Weather Synopsis  
    Constant light rain for the whole four days  
      ..except for the torrential downpours. Here I am, holed up in a bus shelter for twenty minutes til the light rain comes back.




  July 8    
Day two in The Netherlands: A beautifully thatched farmhouse near Zutphen.
The red and white patterned shutters seem to be a regional style — I saw them on several other houses in the area.










  Animals!     Lots of them! I noticed immediately as I entered The Netherlands that there were animals everywhere along the roadside, on the road sometimes.    
This fellow gets tied up in the grass every morning on a roadside near
Delden, chews away til late afternoon, then starts tomorrow a few
meters down the road.
  The Commonwealth Airborne War Cemetry at Arnhem    
    Near Wageningen, 15 km west of Arnhem, I meet the Cornelissens.  









On the way to Utrecht, morning of my third day in Holland I came across this in a little village. A Nova Scotia flag on a pole in the village green. No plaque and nobody around to ask.















    Bikes in Holland tend to be more utilitarian than speedy. This one, for instance, is perfect for making deliveries or for carrying a couple of kids. Note the kick-stand. I saw some of these for rent in Geneva in 2007.  

A note about kids & bikes:

It's enough to make a North American cyclist cringe, seeing infants, riding along, helmetless (like everyone else) , on Mom's handlebars. It's a very common sight.









  Utrecht.           My third night in the Netherlands was in Utrecht. Still raining.









  Like the Germans, the Dutch are serious about renewable energy...

and have been for centuries.


















  Canalside in Gouda    










Drawbridge near Gouda.

Road traffic and canal traffic are about 50/50 hereabouts. The bridge goes up for about twenty minutes at a time, then down for twenty.
A chance to play on the teeter-totter or meet some fellow travellers
I chatted and compared notes with a couple of young guys heading à vélo from Hamburg to the Mediterranean.












    Gouda to Hoek van Holland












   A day on the docks at Hoek. The ferry didn't depart til 5:00PM so I had some time to kill.
This is the Pilotage Dock. There are about a dozen really heavy duty boats of various sizes, but all looking very seaworthy.
They meet all ships entering the river from the North Sea, in any sort of sea conditions, and I am told that the North Sea has some of the worlds stormiest weather.














A view of part of the huge 'Europort', Rotterdam's new superport, across the river from the sleepy little town of Hoek van Holland.

Rotterdam was the world's largest port until it was surpassed in 2006 by Shanghai.

This is an ideal location for windmills. The wind is strong and steady. I counted about thirty of them











I took a walk out on the two-km-long breakwater that protects the mouth of the river.

The sign warns walkers that they may be washed off by the waves from the wakes of passing ships.


"dangerous waves due to shipping
enter pier on own risk"





  Five hours to England    
  In the late afternoon I boarded the ferry for Harwich, five hours away. Goodbye Europe.    

bwilsonduncan never gets seasick, except sometimes on the North Sea.

I was doing just fine for about an hour. There was a staedy wind from the west, and the waves were almost imperceptible, but very long.

I went up to the cafeteria and got myself some supper, then sat down and just stared at it for two hours solid.

  Here are the Van-Eyks, trying to cheer me up. Their name is dutch, but their home is Ipswich. Yvonne, Johannes, Michele — Michele's from Colchester — and Ian. Ian is signing my book.

Actually they told me later that they were just as queezy as I was.

Arrived in Harwich just as darkness fell. I stayed at a hotel right close to the ferry dock.


Next:     England