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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Haarlem, Netherlands

May 12, 2015 - Bunnick-Amsterdam 80km?

A not so warm day with overcast skies and wind. Took us at least an hour to navigate our way out of Utrecht again due to out of date route list. But we did it and again I enjoyed the experience of cycling with the locals. I noticed women in Muslim headdress, something I had not seen elsewhere and I also noticed a modern looking mosque. We traveled through more farms and I saw hut like sheds with single doors that is for those poor little calves to become veal. The calf spends its short life, isolated in a little pen. I keep forgetting to...

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May 11, 2015 - Gorinchen-Bunnik 56 km

The warmest day so far and NO WIND! I had to be cautious about getting a sunburn. What a nice change. It was a day of contrasts cycling through dairy farms, orchards, villages to the grid lock bike traffic and noise of Utrecht. That was fun but tricky as these people ride. Best tactic is to stay right and watch out. I enjoyed the experience of riding with the locals. Navigating was much easier today as we did not encounter closed routes. I keep seeing remarkable wisteria, growing practically in concrete in just a wee bit of soil and the...

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May 10, 2015 - Dordrecht-Gorinchen 55km

A warm sunny day and NO WIND!!! But we still had challenges. We headed into Dordrecht town Center in the morning;cool with a blue sky, and since it was Sunday, no roar of traffic. As we entered the city Center church bells sounded. Dordrecht sure is old, quaint and interesting. We headed out onto the trail and connected with the GPS and route numbers just fine. However after 1 1/2 hrs of cycling through countryside,we encountered a trail that was closed. So, there we are in the middle of no where farms and fields as far as the eye can see....

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May 9, 2015 - Winds and Windmills 54 km

What a challenging day! All day we were blown around by gale force winds. I am getting so tired of the wind. Not only does it make for hard cycling but it also moves you around, not necessarily where you want to go. I did not get out of first gear all day. We rode from Gouda to Dordrecht, Hollands oldest town. We biked through villages and industrial areas. Near Rotterdam we saw coming up an ominous looking bridge. But hey, this is Holland so bikes and pedestrians are wonderfully accommodated. I took a photo of the entrance to the bridge....

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May 8, 2015 - Amsterdam to Gouda 95+

A battle with the bugs day. We cycled through a lot of swamp land and the bugs found us. Most annoying flying into your face, up the nose. It was the greatest hazard we faced. Saw more stately homes and pristine gardens as well as large commercial green houses. It looked to me the greenhouses were growing flowers not vegetables. Residents in this area seem to favor statues in their yards; cows, pigs, birds. I've included one photo of a garden that was over the top. At one point we were cycling in the farmers fields just an arms length from...

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May 8, 2015 - Faces to remember along the way

We encountered many different faces on our journey. Some real flesh, some in stone, bronze or even gold. Some are animals some are machines. All are interesting sights one sees on the way to a memorable adventure. They all do not fit a category for a journal, but we wanted to show you anyway. As we get more time to think about the journal and see it is a memory of our trip not just a chronological listing of the things we did along the way.

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May 7, 2015 - More fun in Amsterdam

Another fun day in Amsterdam. We started at Koninklijk Paleis, the Palace. Always wanted to see this but it has been closed on previous trips. It was as I expected it to be, over the top, grand and filled with history. Initially it was Amsterdam city hall until Napolian took a liking to it and decided it would be his residence. An individual audio tour was offered and I learned all kinds of things. Did you know Rembrant went bankrupt? His case was heard at the palace and all his assets were seized. Blessed with sun today although it still...

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May 7, 2015 - Rainy days and a ride to Haarlem

We had a rain out our first day in Hoogland. Glad we had a car. It was fun driving around just checking out the area. We got some hail on our ride to the Arnhem Outdoor Museum. Our host later commented on the ice rain and how rare it is in early May. The Outdoor Museum was a complete washout. They did not even charge for parking it rained so hard. We had to park for a while and wait it out. We saw some reminders of WWII and took photos in the rain. But the ride was the highlight. I also want to comment on the roads in Europe. Wow, the...

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May 6, 2015 - Amsterdam

After a good nights rest and a slow start,we took the bus to Central Station. First stop, Dam Square. According to my guide book Dam Square is the divine spot where Amsterdam was founded,1270. The monument was built in 1956 to honour WW II fallen. Are those wreaths and flowers not incredible? Also took in another sight Begijnhof. It is a courtyard of tiny houses and neat gardens built in the 14th century for a lay catholic sisterhood. Apparently all single women continue to live there. We walked around the Center of the city and...

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May 5, 2015 - Back in Amsterdam - 80km?

What a challenging day!!! The day started with warm sunshine on our backs as we cycled through farmland, greenhouses and cozy villages. We stopped lots to take photos of windmills. Encountered numerous road cyclists complete with road bikes and spandex. We stopped for lunch at 1pm just as ugly grey clouds came in. Within minutes of us sitting down to lunch,the skies opened and it poured bringing wind and lightening with it. It stormed for a good 40 minutes. It was still gloomy when we headed out again but not raining. Well that changed the...

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May 4, 2015 - Keukenhof-Lisse -45 km

What a day!!! Keukenhof is out of this world! Seven million tulips,dafs,hyacinths on 32 hectares of land. And it is surrounded by tulip fields of local growers as well. We had a brilliant sunny day to enjoy this remarkable place. It has been brought to my attention that the map I thought I had set up is not showing so I have changed the titles of my journal entries to include the towns we cycled to and the distance. We chose a different route to get to the garden from Leiden, which was not quite as long. On the way there I saw a cyclist...

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May 3, 2015 - Tulips abound, Leiden-41 km

The photo of the free secure bike parking says it all about accommodations made for bikes. I noticed a vending machine there too but instead of selling snacks, it was full of packages of front and rear turtle lights made for bikes. Got a later start due to bike problems. Ed arranged to switch to a bike that fit him better and John and Brenda got their handlebars fixed. This company is a bit lacking in service and we arranged for help at a local bike rental business. He told us he had rented over 400 bikes the day before, all for people...

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