Day 3 – Middelburg to Rotterdam

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After a good night’s rest we got down to the serious business of breakfast. Having spent a long time eating breakfast the previous day we aimed to keep breakfast brief, but when it arrived we had to do it justice.

Hotel breakfast

As we were leaving the hotel, our hosts were asking us about our route. They suggested a route change – going along the coast meant we would see more impressive dams. The wind had dropped considerably, and I was able to re-route using Google maps to something of a similar distance to the original route.

We got on our way and headed off in search of a supermarket for cycling snacks as we’d now eaten pretty much everything we’d brought with us. After a short while I felt we were close to where the hotel owner had mentioned there was a supermarket. I asked someone for directions and he explained he had just returned home from the supermarket, but was happy to get back on his bike and guide us there – brilliant!

A five-minute pedal later and we arrived at the supermarket. It was impressive to see everyone doing their shopping by bike.. loading up their shopping into their pannier bags.

Not long after we’d left the supermarket we came across a huge fire truck. The man explained it was used for fighting fires at military airports. They were showing it to the children at the local school.

Fire engine Brompton

It wasn’t long before the rain stopped. This was a bit of a turning point in our adventure – the weather continued to get better and better for the rest of the trip.

We reached the dams and they were impressive!

Netherland dams

We had our lunch stop at a place that had some outside tables. As we left I noticed the front of the bike felt heavy – this was to be the only puncture on the trip. It was quickly remedied – the culprit was some glass which was removed from the front tyre with some tweezers.

Graham windmill

There was lots of pleasant cycling. We cycled through varied scenery. After the dams we cycled past farms, by water, through villages and towns. We saw lots of wildlife in suburban areas.

As we approached Rotterdam, the scenery turned industrial. We cycled past several miles of train tracks and freight cargo which was interesting in its own way.

Just on the outside of Rotterdam we made a short detour to an area Graham had heard about where the fictional bridges that appear on each of the Euro banknotes had been recreated. So if anyone asks us where one of the bridges is on a Euro note, now you know 🙂

Euronote bridge

Our route took us in the opposing direction of a sponsored walk that was going on so we made a short diversion for quieter streets.

The River Maas at Rotterdam is very wide. There are several bridges over it, but we took a bike tunnel underneath. After trying carefully not to fall down the old escalater whilst carrying our bikes (it transpired a lift was available), there is a tunnel dedicated for cycling. Pretty neat.

We arrived at the hotel quite late. It was here that we met with Daniel and Khoi and we had a plentiful and good-value Chinese dinner at the hotel.

Middelburg to Rotterdam, 106.3 km (66.1 miles) – Strava

Tour diary and videos

3 thoughts on “Day 3 – Middelburg to Rotterdam”

  1. I love that wooden box and child seat at 00:10, the Dutch really do know how to dress and pimp their bikes with élan, then again at 02:40. Delia too 🙂

  2. Looks like a great trip, your videos and photos make me want to cycle more through my own country 🙂
    One small comment: that magnificent tunnel under the river (not canal) Maas, with the wooden escalator that is indeed a bit daunting the first time, is one of the oldest in its kind.

    • Thanks very much for the info, text is now updated. The locals made it look easy, but taking a bike onto an escalator is definitely an art. It was such a nice day and it is great to have the video and pics to look back on. I’ll have to visit again soon, cycling is so effortlessly enjoyable in The Netherlands.


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