It only takes a month (and a bit of luck with the weather) to fall in love with the Netherlands, visiting each region and immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the place. What fascinated us the most and seemed incredible was the extension and efficiency of the bike network: you can really go anywhere, in the city center, in the suburbs, in the countryside, without ever abandoning the bike track!
Watch the video of our trip and read the diary to find out all the details!
What we learned
- The state of the Netherlands should never be called ‘Holland’; Holland (Southern or Northern) is only the territory further west, which includes the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague;
- Mopeds travel on bike lanes;
- There are practically no drinking water fountains (on our way we met only 5!);
- Dutch people love to bathe in canals and dives from bridges;
- In the south, cars disrespect cyclists little (but is already better than in Italy…);
- If you need anything for camping, have a look at Bever (it’s in all major cities) and you’ll find it! Try asking for a spork…
- Shop at Jumbo: it’s the best supermarket for value for money, there are many everywhere and they are well stocked;
- All roads (even motorways) are flanked by bike lanes, often distinct for the two directions;
- Here the regions are called “provinces” and are 12 in total, while the provinces are rather of the geographical regions.
Click on the images to view them in full size.
Tuesday, 4 August 2020
- 17 km
- Schiphol Airport➡Amsterdam city center
At 2:30 in the morning our new adventure begins! The bikes are ready, disassembled, packed and closed in huge boxes. We load everything on the truck and head to Milan-Malpensa airport, to catch the flight that in less than 2 hours will take us to Amsterdam. Despite the slight complication of carrying our oversized luggage at the airport, everything goes smoothly and just recovered everything, we find a quiet place to re-assemble our bikes. We are in the province of Northern Holland. Just outside Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport, we find the bike path, which in a few minutes takes us to the outskirts of the capital. We stop at the beautiful Vondelpark city park for a quick lunch with hot dogs… Amsterdam is very alive and young and makes a great impression on us. We are also surprised, however long the days are compared to northern Italy, with light until late, due to the lower latitude we are. We admire the main attractions (Rembrandtplein, Oudekerk and the Jordaan district with the house of Anne Frank), we taste typical food and enjoy the unique atmosphere going zonzo among the concentric canals Heritage of UNESCO in the capital of the most bike-friendly country in the world.
Where we sleep: Hans Brinker Hostel (our stay rating: 9/10)
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
- 45 km
- Amsterdam city center➡Edam
The alarm didn’t sound too early this morning, so, nice rested and fed from a good breakfast, we pick up the bikes and head to the center of Amsterdam. The roads are closed to cars and everyone rides a bicycle. We probably look like two fish out of water, baffled by such a cyclist traffic. In addition, the Dutch are so used to moving like this, they go like rockets in narrow streets, make daring overtaking and never use the bell! Outside the capital, you can still move very well on bicycles and in a short time we arrive