I spent today working on my fitness and enjoying the countryside of the Netherlands! I left the guesthouse at 9:10 and started riding. 6 hours and 20 mins later (including time for sightseeing) I returned to the guest house, having covered about 90km. I took roughly this route.
My first stop was the town of Steenwijk. It’s a good sized town and seems very nicely laid out. Near the central church is a sizeable pedestrian zone. As it was Saturday, there was a large public market going on. I stopped into a photo store and replenished my stock of black and white film, as I’ve already shot 3 rolls in the last few weeks. The shopkeeper commented that he hadn’t sold any film in a while but I was the second person that day to buy film!
I continued on towards the town of Giethoorn, the “Venice of the North”. This small town is known for the canals on which most of the houses are located. There is only a single foot/bike path through town. The rest of the transportation is done using the canals. Visitors can rent boats to travel along, or walk down the foot path. There are lots of cafes and hotels there. I am looking forward to returning at some point and renting a boat to explore the canals.
After a quick stop for lunch, I continued on to St Jansklooster, a nicelittle town which seems to be dominated by the presence of a water management plant for the region. I believe it is also the former site of a Cloister (hence the name).
I started riding towards Zwartsluis and was delighted to see quite a few groups of people cycling around in the countryside on this beautiful Saturday. The groups ranged from parents with children through the elderly. It’s always nice to see people on bicycles. As I rode through Zwartsluis, I came across a sign promoting the “South Sea Route”, a 400km bicycle touring route in the area through which I was riding. Even though it’s quite flat, it would be fun to do as part of a larger bike touring trip!
After riding through Zwartsluis, I turned north and started heading home. I rode through Meppel, which seems to be a fairly large city, although I haven’t properly explored it yet. Just north of Meppel, I saw an old wooden lock for a new defunct canal. It has clearly been there for quite some time and was quite neat to see.
Then, after almost 5 and a half hours of riding (almost 6 and a half hours since I left), I arrived home to the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory.
To see more pictures from the ride: Cycling in Zwartewaterland on Flickr