We’re entering ‘Year in Review’ mode, so it’s time to publish photos that didn’t quite fit into any other stories.
Behind the town of Zaandam is the area known as De Gouw, ‘The Shire’. It’s not large and there’s not a lot there. I can see why shires appealed to J.R.R.Tolkien.
Landscape photography suits me well. Unlike friends and relatives, birds and bikes, landscapes stay relatively still while you fiddle with the camera settings. I’m coming to appreciate Dutch scenery more and more. There are no spectacular snow-capped mountains, towering waterfalls or breathtaking desert canyons. Instead everything in little Nederland is on a small and manageable scale.
The English word ‘landscape’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘landschap’. Remember that! Now you can say you learned something by visiting this blog. Continue reading
The flag flies after an Aussie win.
No, not THAT World Cup. We Aussies know our place in the football world. A blow or two punching above our weight would be a satisfactory result.
But in the Hockey World Cup, Australia and Nederland have made it to the finals in both Mens’ and Womens’ tournaments, so it’s worth a trip down to Den Haag to share the fun. Continue reading
Filed under Holland, Sport
Of course there are windmills along the route.
6000 Dutch cyclists, some very expensive road bikes, an awful lot of bananas, boxes of krentenbollen (currant buns), thousands of litres of sports drink, several tonnes of penne bolognaise at the finish and, for us, a little over five hours in the saddle…the 6th annual Classico Boretti ride. Continue reading
Riding with the wind for a change.
This island is 20 kilometres long, 10 kilometres wide and has more than 135 kilometres of cycle paths. It’s not hard to guess which country we’re talking about.
Texel, the most southerly of the Dutch Wadden Islands, is flat. Mostly. Continue reading
I’m an avowed republican in Australia. Nothing personal, your majesty Queen Liz, though you and your family don’t interest me all that much. I just think we should have an Australian as head of state and get rid of that anomalous Union Jack in the corner of our outmoded flag.
I have less problem with the Dutch having a royal family to reign over them. At least they’re Dutch and people rather like them. Okay, they may be one of the richest royal houses of Europe, but they’re not above going for rides on the bike, at least for photo ops. That prejudices them in my favour.
Well reigned, Queen Bea, and good luck and happy riding King Willem-Alexander.
And thanks, Mark Wagenbuur of Bicycle Dutch, for another post on your excellent blog.
Originally posted on BICYCLE DUTCH:
It is a historic day in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate in favour of her son after a 33 year reign. This is in line with Dutch tradition, the Netherlands does not have a tradition that the monarch rules until death. So on April 30th 2013, the Netherlands will have a new head of state: King Willem-Alexander.
Queen Beatrix on a bicycle
It was also announced that Queen’s Day, so far celebrated on April 30th, the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix, will from 2014 on be celebrated on the new King’s actual birthday, April 27th, and from then on be called King’s day. This was very unexpected and that will take some getting used to! No more Queen’s Day Cycling!
The Dutch Royal Family in 2012. Prince, to be King Willem-Alexander, Princess, to be Queen Máxima and their three daughters, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane.
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Filed under Cycling, Holland
Bragging about your luxurious stay in a six-star hotel won’t make people jealous; they’ll think you’re crass, unimaginative and richer than you deserve to be.
Part of Hans Brinker’s advertising campaign.
Brag about your worst hotel experiences and you establish yourself as an intrepid traveller, a courageous citizen of the world.
Amsterdam’s Hans Brinker Budget Hotel is playing up its credentials as the world’s worst accommodation, hoping to attract the brave, the curious and those looking for an impressive traveller’s tale.
Could it really be as bad as the website suggests? Continue reading
The long and windy road, and nothing else between Emmen and Roswinkel.
We arranged a final (for this year) farewell family gathering in a village in Drenthe, and my brother-in-law Hans suggested riding the bikes would be the best way to get there. That suited me fine. Drenthe is a super cycling destination.
Drenthe, in the north of the Netherlands on the German border, does not offer a lot of organised entertainment. They make some fuss about Kabouterland (‘Gnome Land’) though those of us over five find it a bit childish. It’s in the village of Exloo, which English speakers think is an amusing place name, but that’s where the fun ends.
Yet Drenthe is a very popular holiday destination for Dutch people. The main reason is that the cycling is brilliant – thousands of kilometres of quiet, flat, well-surfaced country roads and bike paths, through fields and forests, past thatched farmhouses and pretty villages. Continue reading