CENTRAL LONDON CTC

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June Dutch Weekend

Posted on Saturday 15 June 2013 by Sabina Carchesio

Having been cycling with the group almost four years, I thought I should contribute at least once to the blog.  Here’s my story of the weekend just past.
Nine of us made it to Liverpool Station at one of the most busiest times of the week to catch the train to Harwich. It was a harrowing ride just to get there as I chose to ride from home at what I thought was a calm part of the workday. Reminds me why I don’t like riding to work during the week.
Some of us made it in time to grab some grub before the journey which in the main was pretty uneventful. Roy and Lisa saved a place for us in the queue and we all stood shivering from the wind which was howling through the check-in gates. We were so glad to get on the ferry and warm up. I just love this trip because 1) Tom makes it so easy 2) the cabins on the board are so bijoux and 3) Holland is total utopia for cyclists. What more could you ask for?

Helene, Sarah and Sabina

We lucked out this year as opposed to last year when Sarah K, Tom and I took refuge at the Hague museum sopping wet after a miserable morning ride. This particular Saturday was glorious, not too warm; just perfect. We left the ferry at 8-ish and cycled to Delft for elevenses where some of us got to pick up a few trinkets. Janet and Joe picked up novelty bells – why didn’t I? Because I was too busy rummaging around the open flea market admiring this particular kitchen cabinet I thought I needed. A few of us also paid to enter the church which is the royal burial place of important Dutch Kings & Queens.

Novelty bells

Once we filled our boots and stomachs with Dutch apple cake, we strolled to Gouda where I went straight to the supermarket to get my peanut butter. If you haven’t tried it – you should! Jaimie picked some up too – she recognises quality that gal!
We hung out there a bit and Janet managed to visit the church whose stained glass windows she studied at school. It was too early for lunch after our applecake and we carried on to Waddinxveen where we found a cute restaurant with an almost empty terrace by the canal. Lunch was quite tasty while we watched the nearby bridge road be lifted everytime a sail boat or barge came through.

Lunch

Throughout the whole day, we rode past different types of antique cars. We saw a procession of 2CVs, a queue of Burtons waiting at the filling station and a whole series of old cars greated us in the morning at Utrecht. We found out later it was the centenary for the Dutch Automobile club.  For our afternoon tea we stopped at Oudewater. The afternoon sun was just stupendous and we enjoyed soaking up the surrounding architecture. When I pronounced the town’s name, I was corrected by a gentleman at the next table on my pronunciation and who then gave us a history of the town.
Tom led us to our hotel where most of us stayed. He absconded somewhere better I suspect 🙂 but Catherine and I had no complaints. Dinner was at the hotel which was pleasant. The portions were more like American sizes as I had a large salad and large chips which came with my burger. The two Sarah’s and Helena found an Italian nearby which they enjoyed too.

Windmill

We didn’t set off until noon the next day so this gave us time to either have a lie in or visit the city. The weather had turned significantly and we all piled on the layers we had. The day was much more laid back due to our late start. We found another great lunch spot near the Loosdrecht lakes and did a few more turns before heading to the train station to connect to the ferry again.
I’ll miss these trips as they’ve been such a highlight for me.  I look forward to hearing about next year’s visit from the other side of the pond.
Fellow travellers included: Joe Collins, Sarah Kedhouri, Jaimie Watts, Janet Davies, Roy Watson, Lisa Percival, Helene Tschki, Tom James, Sabina Carchesio and Catherine Nalty
This entry was posted on Saturday 15 June 2013 at 12:00 by Sabina Carchesio in Weekends and Tours.
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