After the fresh dive into the new year, we decided to go for a bikeride to Noordwijk.
Total distance is around 50km and the ETA for the roundtrip would be 2h45.
Initially the weather looked really good, blue skies, sun, not so much wind, few clouds.
We cycled past the War Monument Waalsdorpervlakte, where a Bell (Bourdonklok) and crosses are placed to remember the 250 people of the Resistance that were shot during the 2nd World War. Every year, at the 4th of May, during the “Remembrance of the Dead” is sounded and a 2 minute silence is held. In the years after the war it was such a remarkable moment of the day cars stopped on the Autobahn. Being a kid of parents who lived during the 2nd World War, I’ve gained much insight in the way people lived and the respect shown to the people who could be part of the resistance (and survive). Even while living in Germany, I tend to use this day as a day to overthink where the world is going these days… Which, every time we cycle by this huge Bell, makes me thank those people and let me pray it’s a moment of thought for the people these days. The freedom they have now didn’t come for free.
The bell reads the (Dutch) text “I sound to fame and persecution of those gave their lives for prevention of injustice, to recovery of liberty and waring and upliftment of all Holland’s spiritual good.”
From the Monument we cycled past the curvy trees, of which one contained a gap filled with water in the past. I used to let my “babysit” dogs drink from it, as it was just the right height. These days it was fully closed and no water could be found. And Jr wasn’t thirsty, but hungry. So time to visit Pannenkoekenboerderij Meijendel.
Ofcourse we took the warm Chocomel met slagroom, and the dutch famous treat Pannenkoeken. My favorite is the one with warm apples, currants and raisins, Jr loves his chocolate version.
The best part of this Pannenkoekenboerderij is the open fire pit in the center. Being “very German”, we tend to reserve our seats when we see a place free, then order what we want (it’s a takeway).
Filled up with warm sweet stuff we continued our trip. One of the other typical Dutch things which was very remarkable to Jr was the constant wind which did tend to come from the direction we wanted to go to. Either west or north, we had to really push down the pedals to go on, despite the road being almost flat.
After a while Jr complained his saddle wasn’t very comfortable so we stopped when we saw some people with racing bikes and a bag containing some gear to fix their bikes. The English couple were heading south and helped us with adjusting the angle of the saddles. They were wondering where we got our orange hats from, she had seen so many, so we explained it’s from diving into the North Sea on New Years Day.
Uncertain if that explanation left them even more convinced the Dutch were mad, we thanked them for their help and headed further north.
Not much further we saw a family cycling our way and they were looking really, really grumpy. I pointed back and said “look behind you, it’s a beautiful rainbow’. Within minutes we knew why they looked so grumpy. We were stuck in a hailshower and forced to peddle on. No stops with a cover, no trees, no nothing where we were cycling. I heard a lot of squeaks behind me when Jr was hit by the (little) hailstones. (He survived).
Just before the Hotel Duinoord the area changed from sandy dunes with grass and shrubs into a green forest with pines and a few lakes. It was a beautiful change in the landscape. After the Hotel the road goes up to Katwijk which we crossed over the Boulevard. Noordwijk was already in sight, only 7km away.
Unfortunately, when we entered the main street I saw that the Huize van Wely was closed :( We cycled further to a local bikehop, “‘t Fietsmannetje” who was so kind to indefinitely fix Jrs bike, for free! Thank you!
We then returned to the Hoofdstraat of Noordwijk to enter the “Snackbar A&P” for a so called “vette bek”: one Broodje Kroket and one “Frikandel Speciaal“. We also dried our clothes there, as we were soaking wet after the hailstorm.
When we were filled and warmed up, we didn’t have much time left to get home. ETA was one hour and a bit, just after sunset, so we were bound to a strict schedule.
We then continued our trip as it wasn’t getting warmer.
Another beautiful panorama shot while cycling down south. Despite the far distance of the shower, it was approaching fast. We were lucky as this one turned out to empty over The Hague before we were close.
The last part of our trip led through a “tunnel” of trees. We arrived home knackered and cold, but at least we made it!