Hook of Holland to Utrecht, 103 km.
I write this at a Thai restaurant, on the banks of the Oudegracht San De Were in Utrecht.
The canal that runs through the centre of Utrecht is less than two meters away. Water, it turns out, is in abundance in The Netherlands. As I cycled from The Hook of Holland through Den Haag to Utrecht, the majority of the roads and paths were flanked on both sides by water. Only half of The Netherlands is above 1m above sea level, and the engineering employed to manage this is very impressive.
Unfortunately whilst cycling today I was also flanked by water from above. After a bright start, when I reached Den Haag it started drizzling, then most of the day was spent cycling through moderate rain, which then turned into the kind of rain where if I had them, I would set my windscreen wipers to ‘furious’. Thunder added to the drama. I set my destination to Utrecht and found a discounted hotel room near the city centre on bookings.com. I’ve dispersed all items to dry in my hotel room and even washed my undies in the sink (too much info?). The coffee and tea sachets look like they might come in handy too.
The cycle lanes here are amazing. I’ve done over 100km today and over 99% has been on cycle lanes. Lots of the cycle lanes were segregated too.
One other important thing I learnt today is that except for the city centres this place seems pretty much closed on Sundays. This meant my water and food rations (a banana) had to stretch a long way. Around 3pm I found a place that was open. I had been looking for anywhere that sold food since 12pm, admittedly my national cycle route didn’t take me through many towns.
But despite the rain, all in all a very nice country and a pretty good day.