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    • Day 21

      Stoppover Nieuwegein

      June 28, 2020 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Nach einer kurzen Fahrt erreichen wir Nieuwegein. Wir liegen direkt in der Nähe einer riesigen Shoppingmall, die keine Wünsche offen lässt.
      Den Rest des heissen Tages verbringen wir also mit Shoppen und relaxen.Read more

    • Day 8

      Surrounded by Daleks

      September 1, 2016 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Thursday September 1st
      In Which we Get Surrounded by Daleks

      When you talk about Holland, the first thought that comes into most people's minds is a windmill. Up until today today the only windmill I had ever seen was in my children's book "The How and Why Wonder Book of Windmills". It seems the Dutch have been blessed with such a flat and low lying country that they have to spend almost all of their waking hours trying to preserve their fragile little piece of territory from being completely swamped by a massive inrush of water.

      I well remember hearing my grade three teacher telling us about the little boy who saved his nation by sticking his finger in the dike. Of course at the time, I thought it was a true story and I thought that there was a statue somewhere to commemorate his bravery. Now I am shattered to discover that none of it was true.

      Although there was apparently no brave boy with his finger in the dike, the rest of his nation did their bit by inventing wind powered pumping machines to keep lifting the water from the low lying fields and depositing into the higher canals.

      A couple of hundred years ago there were thousands of these incredible engineering works, but now only several hundred remain in use.

      Our day began with a short trip on the waterbus from Dordrecht to Kinderdijk.This is one region where the landscape is still dotted by rotating windmills, even though nowadays their function has largely been replaced by large electric pumps. It certainly makes an interesting sightseeing these towering structures scattered across the paddocks. I could not help but think that they looked a bit like giant Daleks on the rampage. I could almost hear the dreaded cry of "Kill, Destroy, Annihilate" emanating from the nearby monsters.

      We learned that every remaining windmill is actually inhabited by a family - the windmill is their home. The head of the house must be a certified miller in order to legally live there. We were able to examine the insides of a typical windmill and see just how minute the millers must be. After all, the beds are only about 4 foot long. At least each bed was equipped with a compact en suite toilet in the form of a china chamber pot at the foot of each bed. I tried not to think too much about spending the night accompanied by the smell of warm urine, but I suppose it did act like a sort of hot water bottle on the coldest winter evenings.

      It is also worth adding that the name "Kinderdijk" comes from the account that a small baby was found floating in a small basket in the floods at this point. Accompanying the baby was a cat that was carefully making sure that the basket did not tip over.

      As we were about to head off from Kinderdijk, we discovered that our tally of riders was down by one. A check of names revealed that it was Lynda who was missing. Some time later she was discovered doing some gift shopping in the souvenir shop. With all the sheep finally back in the fold we were able to continue our journey.

      It was another perfect day for cycling. The early morning clouds soon disappeared, the sky turned blue and another lovely tail wind blew us along our way to the north. I have to reluctantly take the credit for yet another triumph of impeccable planning.

      Morning tea was at the small settlement of Schoonhaven, although the toilets were not kind to any men with bashful bladders as they had large windows just above waist level which meant that you could maintain eye contact with the large group of people who were standing just a few metres outside the toilet, while you were trying hard to get something to take place a little lower down

      A lot of the day's riding took place along the tops of huge dikes. The narrow bitumen track on the top provides a great bike path, but it also serves as a road for vehicles as well. As we rode along my mind started to hum the well known Monty Python tune "Always look on the bright side of Life". In deference to the local conditions I did alter the words a little-
      "When you're very old and inclined to do things wrong
      Remember as you're pedalling along
      Look straight ahead
      Or you'll likely end up dead
      And - Always Ride on the Right Side of the Road.
      Always ride on the right side of the road, da da da and so on"

      About 10 km further on we left the top of the dike to take another toilet break. Maggie and Douglas did not think they needed to stop so decided to conserve energy by stopping on the top of the dike. Since we could not coax them down we decided to play a cruel trick on them instead.

      Instead of heading back up the road to the top of the dike we rode off in the opposite direction, wondering just how long they would delay before taking off after us. When they finally started to panic and came down to catch up to us, we calmy U turned and rode back to them. Fortunately they saw the humour. It is little moments like this that help to make such long distance rides so much fun.

      As we approached Vianen we passed through a succession of settlements where just about everywhere was crisscrossed with drainage trenches, all filled with stagnant green water. Douglas almost got to test it out as a swimming hole as he suddenly took a sharp turn to avoid a collision and headed directly to the putrid water. It could have been nasty, but somehow disaster was narrowly averted.

      We finally arrived at the familiar waiting boat at around 5 pm. Our pit stop for the evening was the town of Vianen.
      Read more

    • Day 6

      IJsselstein, Utrecht, Netherlands

      November 3, 2021 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

      Today we first went to the cemetery to visit the grave of our mum and dad. Then we went to Nieuwegein to pick up our aunt Mien. Anneke had bought a nice bouquet of flowers for her because she also will have her birthday soon. Then we went off to visit our uncle Wil in IJsselstein. What a pleasant visit. We laughed a lot, talked about old times and Turkey while eating cake and drinking tea, coffee or wine. Then we brought our aunt back to Nieuwegein and again coming home I had mail.Read more

    • Day 20

      Yachthafen Ijsselstein

      June 27, 2020 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Gemächlich geht es die Hollandse IJssel runter.
      Unser Ziel ist der dortige Yachthafen.
      Ein paar Kilometer vorher nehmen wir ein junges Paar mit ihrem Kajak auf, deren Paddel zerbrochen war.

    • Day 1

      Erste Übernachtung in Ijsselstein

      July 4, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Es wurde hier für uns eine spontane Begrüssung organisiert. Hat sich unser Erscheinen doch rumgesprochen .... Sehr sehr nett.

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Nieuwegein, NWG

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