We are well and truly established at the beach, with three bikes and suitcases exploding across the floor of our apartment. We have ridden to Monster, our neighboring town with giant kite surfing bats circling along the coastline. Yes MONSTER. They leap out of the water and lift to great heights. Around Hoek van Holland harbour with giant ships and Windmills generating power. Not to mention Nazi bunkers with underground tunnels, offshore military bases and beach UFO sightings.
Monday we rode to the Hague for a day and down to the sea at Sheveningen. Amazing to see these beaches. I never really imagined Dutch beaches, but there you go. white sand, long stretches, strong winds, brown and blond giants lounging in the sun. Beach bars and surf schools and fried herring and double fried chips with mayonnaise. We had thought it'd all be sectioned off into sun-baking areas, but it's not nearly as busy as that, thankfully. We have a view onto the woods that butt up on the sand dunes, so it's real quiet like, with bird watching in the evenings as they swoop home to roost in the trees. Huge gulls and sea eagles... We have woods to walk in, and sand dunes, and blackberries to pick for pancakes, though we have also had brushes with poison Ivy which seem to grow hand in hand with the berries, the stingy bastards.
We plan to ride to Delft later this week if its not raining like it is today and back to the Hague. Had a day trip to Maasluis, eating pecan broodjes on a boat in a canal, riding makes you very hungry. I love the bike paths, little highways through farms and small towns and glass houses. Plenty of small horses and goats and sheep eating the grass along the canals everywhere. Windmills galore, and flowers blooming in hothouses.
We had the day in Amsterdam yesterday hanging about the canals in the Jordaan, a picnic on a canal in Brouwersgracht, including some cheese tasting, some wine drinking, and boat watching. We had a visit to the Museum in Rotterdam last week. Saw some amazing paintings, Van Eyck brothers and Ruebens and Hieronmyous Bosch, amongst others. I'm saving some museum legs up for Paris. Its wearing me out just thinking about it. I might need to have a nap.