We finally made to Liz's Uncle Derrick and Aunt Lindy in Verhout, The Netherlands. We had started to feel like their home was the Holy Grail and would remain just out of reach forever! People - particularly the Dutch - tell you that Holland is a small country. Well, they have never seen it from the seat of a bicycle! There exists a very sophisticated and extensive system of bicycle paths that go EVERYWHERE and people truly use them. But finding one's way is tough, and there are no straight lines to ANYWHERE!
Here in Holland the cyclist is king, bike paths and routes have priority over automobiles in most places, and the paths often take you through beautiful farmland and deep and dense forests. En route here we got lost - or temporarily disoriented - numerous times, only to be rescued by a cyclist who, after trying to explain the route, said "follow me" and led us to our next waypoint. People often go out of their way to be helpful.
From our last posting in Luneville we rode to Metzervisse in France, then to Betenbourg in Luxembourg, to Wiltz, Rahier and Liege in Belgium, and Maastricht, Thorn, Oishtred(sp?), Breda Den Haag and Verhout. Impressions of Luxembourg are of ...orderliness, and a campground where the host led a rollicking songfest in the bar/restaurant...of Belgium where we encountered hills and WIND and more hills and more WIND, and an elderly couple who escorted us for 25 kms on our route...and of Holland where we rode the bike through designated bicycle tunnels under the waterways.
Tomorrow we will take the train to Amsterdam to see the sites and to run some errands, and return to the hospitality of Derrick and Lindy to plan the next stage of our adventure. Until next time...
Ken & Liz