Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Head North To The Netherlands (1)


An earlier trip to the Netherlands 2006 - Somewhere close to Volendam, north of Amsterdam.

Someone once said that "We are not here for a long time, so we might as well have a good time" - I quite like that saying - So having recently retired (and to also prove my maxim 'Carpe Diem' is not just a whole lot of hot air), I will this Friday the 11th of September begin a series of aeroplane flights that take me to The Netherlands. I will be away for 6 weeks on a cycle ride through The Netherlands and Belgium.

This trip is something that I have been quietly planning for some time. Lately the pace has quickened and I have completed an overnight camp, purchased some more cycling gear to pack into my panniers, pored over some maps with a magnifying glass (don't laugh, at 58 a magnifying glass is a serious piece of equipment), read a couple of guide books and completed much internet searching. So on Friday I shall place my destinations, expectations and resolutions in my shirt pocket, clamber aboard a big steel bird and head northwards.

The Netherlands and Northern Belgium (Flanders) have amongst other attractions, two that are important for cyclists - both these areas are as flat as a pancake and both are cyclist friendly places with dedicated cycle tracks alongside the roads and special cycle only routes. When you combine this with the huge cultural and historical interest of both countries taken at a leisurely cycling pace (I am praying for a Northern Hemisphere Indian summer here) you have the potential for an interesting and attractive holiday - I shall keep you posted.
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8 comments:

Delwyn said...

Bon Voyage my bestest old friend...

may you have a tail wind,
a comfy bike seat,
and a soft bed...


Happy days

Alden Smith said...

Thankyou Delwyn - you may well remember as I do the headwinds of Canterbury. When I rode to High School in the morning it was always a head wind, and when I rode home in the afternoon there was a wind off the sea - another head wind!
Yes I will make very sure that I have a comfy bike seat, in fact if its a choice between brakes and a good seat, the seat wins.
A soft bed is problematic, but after 6 weeks of tenting I will probably be able to lie on a bed of nails like one of those Indian Gurus - although I may purchase a hammock and tie it between a couple of trees (or lamp posts) -now wouldn't that be so very hunky dory nautical yachty ship shape.

Dan Gurney said...

Alden, that sounds like a fantastic adventure. I would love to do the same sort of trip someday, so do check in with progress reports that inspire others to follow your lead.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Dan, and sorry I haven't been visiting your blog or anyone elses for that matter - I have been too busy making arrangements and getting my fitness level up. I only hope the Northern summer holds up otherwise I will be forced to stay in snug Dutch lodgings somewhere and drink quantities of Heineken beer - tough marlarkey either way, but someone has to do it.

VenDr said...

Travel well, my friend. I'll hold you in my prayers. May your trip be all you hope it to be

Alden Smith said...

Well my old friend I have been here 4 days and it has been all that I thought it would and more. I shall try and keep you posted about my travels around what is a fascinating and extremely interesting country.

VenDr said...

The trouble with travel to wonderful places is the dilemma of not wanting to leave when the guy in the white coat yells out come in number 4 your time is up. I am truly delighted it's all going well well. As we have discussed in the past,that trip is one I would like to take myself one day

Kathryn said...

Happy travelling Alden. It sounds like great fun.
I too, remember those head winds both to and from school in Christchurch. It just never seemed quite fair to me!
Have a wonderful time :-)