Biking way more than necessary

This weekend was entirely free — no lectures, no transferring to different hotels, no suggested day trips, etc. — so I spent a couple of days exploring the area surrounding Rotterdam. Since I traveled mostly by train yesterday, today was a day for biking. The late summer weather was lovely, so it was a perfect day for it.

Poppy bought a bike in Hoenderloo (near Hoge Veluwe) and rode it back to Rotterdam last weekend, so she had the wheels to join Molly, Jonathan and me on an easy ride to Den Haag by way of Delft. We got to Den Haag pretty quickly, so we decided to go to the Mauritshuis Museum, known for housing Vermeer’s Girl with a pearl earring. We saw a long line of people and assumed they were waiting to get into the museum, so we took our place in line to go through a metal detector and have our bags x-rayed. Ummm, we were wrong (not for the first or last time of the day). Apparently, we happened to be in Den Haag on the day that many of the national monuments and museums are open to the public for free. We waited in line for 30 minutes to tour some legislative chamber, or something of the sort. After our 5-minute tour of some unknown place, we decided to ask someone where Mauritshuis was so we could see what we came for.

After an hour or so of contemplating art, we went to the beach near Scheveningen. Jonathan thought the North Sea looked inviting, so he stripped down to his boxers and jumped in. Poppy, Molly and I passed on doing that. We wandered along the beach for awhile, ate ice cream, and ran into Greta purely by chance. Greta had come to the beach by train, so we made plans to meet up in Rotterdam and go out to dinner. We thought it would take us a little more than an hour to get back. Not so.

The network of bicycle paths in the Netherlands is fantastic. You can bike all over the country, mostly on paths reserved for bicycles and scooters. Here’s the big but: The signs are really confusing. We followed the signs pointing to Rotterdam and thought we were getting close when we saw a sign that said it was only 19 kilometers away. We rode for quite awhile in the direction of Rotterdam and then saw another sign — that said it was 19 km away. I suspect the signs may just direct unsuspecting cyclists in huge circles. We took a few more wrong turns that took us through some beautiful countryside and eventually got back to Rotterdam, but I think we probably rode quite a few more kilometers than 19.

2 Responses to “Biking way more than necessary”

  • I’m retarded for some reason I thought that you wouldn’t blog while you were out of the country. It sure looks fun. I did enjoy the bike pictures you sent me. Too bad I wasn’t riding one of those bad boys on the bike paths with you.

  • Maren, I just read your adventures in Netherlands and loved it. How fun to get to enjoy such diversity and culture. Thinking of you!

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