Eind tocht, begin cursus, 18 juli

Ik nam vroeg de trein van Gent naar Rotterdam. Daarna fietste ik naar de Haagse school.

I took an early train from Ghent to Rotterdam. Then I biked to the language school in The Hague.

Dordrecht – Waterbus – Ferry

Dordrecht was one of my favorite rides of the trip. Funny thing too, because it was the only time in Rotterdam I it rained. Though, I’m sure no one from the Netherlands … or Portland … or Vermont would have called it rain. I biked to Dordrecht, then took the waterbus to Alblasserdam. I was shocked how fast the waterbus was once it got up to speed. I then biked to Kinderdijk and took the ferry across the river to Krimpen aan de Lek. A bargain at 75 cents, though I don’t know if I’d think it so cheap if I did it frequently. It’s a very short ride. Still far preferable to swimming. From there a bike ride back to Rotterdam. A great day on the water and bike paths around Rotterdam!

Learning Dutch? Have an iOS device? Here’s my tip for the day Omroep.nl Radio 1 app. Available even in the US App Store!

Stop action video of ride, 6:30.

Gouda, not the cheese

Well maybe the cheese. I didn’t partake, though the Kaas en Ambachten Museum looked like it was open.

After Sunday’s SUP session I took off for a 45 mile ride. It’s true, I really felt like going back to the apartment and having a beer, but there were only so many days to ride. My goal was Gouda, and Sunday afternoon was a lovely time to visit.

[Update 25 Aug 2013: Added photos from the GoPro. You can see all 7,000+ photos in 11.5 minutes on Vimeo. There’s also a 8.5 minute video of Rotterdam on Sunday morning.]

Today’s tip, and this one expires soon: download the 3voor12 app and listen to Eefje de Visser‘s new album “Het Is”. Or listen via your web browser at 3voor12. Zij komt uit Gouda, so it’s appropriate she’s featured on this post.

Around the Neighborhood

A few photos around Rotterdam starting with the beautiful apartment I rented for the week near Het Park. Ik weet het niet why I chose such a white, clean place as a base for cycling adventures. I spent a lot of worry making sure I didn’t leave a tire mark on a wall or chain grease on the white furniture. Other than that everything was perfect with the apartment. The bed was super-comfortable. I drank loads of coffee from the Nespresso machine. The neighborhood was great too. It reminded me of Park Slope….only neater, and nicer smelling, and with much better multimodal traffic flow.

Parked down the street this beautiful Babboe City cargo bike. Do you really store that beautiful bike outside? (Of als u begrijpt me niet. Doet u echt uw mooie, mooie fiets slaan buiten?) I’ve heard that the Dutch have a saying, “Normal is strange enough.”  And maybe the uniformity of the fietsen is a tiny glimpse into the Dutch psyche. After Rotterdam the variety of bikes in London and Bruges was shocking. I have to say, I’ve rarely seen a dance as beautiful as Dutch women moving seamlessly from walking to biking to walking, like well, they’d being biking all their lives.

Heavenly Cupcakes! Both good luck and bad that the vegan cupcake bakery was just around the corner from my apartment. The owners are very friendly. They also sell vegan cheese which tasted like real cheese to me. Of course, I’ve not had real cheese for more than six years. Smaakt lekker!

Nice place to go SUPingLekker weer voor het ook! Actually the whole country is a nice place for SUPing, but the group I paddled with met here on Sunday morning. The instructor was great and spoke perfect English. I didn’t make her go through the entire lesson again in English just for me since I’d SUP’d a few times before. I did pick up some good tips from the Dutch version. I only wish my Dutch had progressed enough to understand more than a few words of what she said, but her demonstrations were very good. After the ocean waves and JetSki wakes the last place I paddled, SUPing here was very fun and relaxing. Unsurprisingly the Dutch are as polite to one another on the water as they are on the roads.

The obligatory molen. For some reason I don’t have photos of the windmills in Kinderdijk. This one is northwest of Rotterdam.

One reason Rotterdam has so much modern architecture is because the city was heavily bombed near the start of WWII. Photos of the Cube House. Possibly controversial. Arguably inefficient. But I have to admit ik vind het leuk.