posted by Totte Frank on July 20, 2009

Holland 2.

Holland were our toughest experience so far on our trip.  The day we'd decided to conquer the 30 kilometer long wall against the North Sea (Afsluit Dijk) we got up very early just to find that the winds against us was between 12 to 15 meters per second. Might have been a stupid decision but as we longed to reach Amsterdam we decided to go for it. With a speed of 7-8 kilometers an hour we would just as well have walked the distance but we finally made it and with the wind slowing down in the afternoon we felt we could do it to Amsterdam. Then came the final blow. Winds increasing again in a way that stirred up the soil from the fields around us. We never been into a Saharan sandstorm yet but this must have been a forewarning. And then the wind dropped again and there it was:
"The mother of all rainshowers".  Anyway, this particular weatherfront passed quickly and an hour later we were sitting in a cosy corner of an inn drinking coffee and considering we did survive even this time. Amsterdam was a real nice place to visit and we were lucky with the weather for the first time in Holland.
We spent hours looking for the "Red light district" but we never found it. Could have been that the staff didn't work on sundays.
Leaving Amsterdam, passing Schipol, the small islands and the many river outlets in southern Holland it was time to see Belgium.


Belgiums coast is not more than 90-100 kilometers long and consists mostly of long stretches of big apartment hotels. It feels almost as all those big buildings create a wall between the country and the seashores. Populated almost entirely of elderly retired people like myself staggering around trying to keep upright it reminds me of what we in Sweden call "Ã¥lderdomshem", a place were old people is locked in, nursed and taken care of before leaving this planet for good.
We spent one night camping in Belgium and this camping site was the the only one so far where you were supposed to pay 20 cents to shit?????. Paper were not included.
Our last kilometers in Belgium became a little adventurous as we were following the shore and as the bicycle lane, probably some remains from World war 2,
faded out and went into just sand we started to drag our bikes hoping that we would see some improvement. We did not and there were still at least 4-5 kilometers to the French border and the next village. Sitting down for some time considering what to do, Alexander dragged his bike down to the waters edge
and, as the tide was at it's lowest point, the sand bottom was hard enough to carry the weight of our bikes. Lucky ones again!!!!!
And as we reached this next village and saw that flags were French we realised we had crossed another borderline.

Hope you have a hard life till next time
wishes you

2 comments to "Holland and Belgium"

Jacomijn Steen says:
August 7, 2009 at 06:14 am

Hallo, I'm the lady (47 years old) that offered you to stay in our garden in the Village Buitenpost. You wanted to go on to Leeuwarden. We love to bike too, we always take our tent and bikes in summerholidays. We also know a man who bikes everywhere on the world and he writes books about his experiences and that is his way of living. Pitty, his books are only in dutch. I enjoyed your story about Holland. We had the same experience on "de afsluitdijk" . I whish you both good luck, I'm loking forward to more news in english from you. warm greetings from Jacomijn

Torsten Frank says:
November 12, 2009 at 06:42 pm

Thank you Jacomijn for your offer which we turned down. Afterwards we regretted it and decided to never again say no to any invitation like yours. Greetings

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