This summer husband and I spent two weeks cycling through the Netherlands and Germany.
We cycled along parts of the Rhine Cycle Route (Eurovelo 15), from Arnhem to Neuss, where we spent some time with my family to celebrate my mum’s 80th birthday.
Then we returned to the Netherlands by train to follow the North Sea Cycle Path (Eurovelo 12). This is the longest cycle path in Europe, covering the East Coast of Scotland and England, then crossing the Channel into Belgium and moving north along the coast of Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
I love cycling anyway but I highly recommend cycling in the Netherlands and Germany. Whereas as a cyclist in Britain you are easily viewed as either a lycra-clad sports fanatic or just a bit old-fashioned, in the Netherlands in particular cycling is just a way of life. People carry children, shopping, animals; people go to work in their office clothes; people cycle for leisure and exercise. There are bikes everywhere!
Cycling in the Netherlands really is a very different experience. Not only are there well signposted cycle paths alongside virtually all roads, they are also in great condition. The stretch of Eurovelo12 through the dunes by Zandfoort was like a motorway for bicycles – smooth surface and wide enough to ride two abreast in both directions.
The only time we had difficulties finding our way was when there were roadworks and and the signs had been removed.
Cyclists and pedestrians are given much more consideration as equal road/traffic users. Indeed they very often have right of way. That means you can gather speed and use your momentum, rather than having to stop at every junction.
So if you ever fancy a cycling holiday, try the Netherlands. An added bonus is the flat countryside. But beware of the westerly wind. And rain is not unheard of. 🙂
Now, I can’t finish this blog without an obligatory picture of a windmill.