Hot, hot, hot!

selfie-july-24-compressed

We’re in the final stretch of our time here in the Netherlands; we fly home on July 31st.  The Netherlands is now in its busiest tourist season, where every part of the country is on holiday.  The Dutch have three phases of vacation, based on region – and as of a few days ago, all three areas are on holiday.  There still has been no rain and it’s HOT, unusually hot for the Netherlands, with no relief in sight.  More about that later

villa-augustus---compressed
Villa Augustus in Dordrecht — definitely the most charming place we’ve stayed in. The garden is a mixture of flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables. The main building used to be a water tower.

We had a stressful period earlier in the week that forced us to give up traveling the long-distance routes.  Finding accommodations was crazy making – difficult, expensive and insanely time-consuming.  We ultimately decided to skip the coast entirely and spend a couple days each in Delft and Rotterdam, followed by 3 days in Leiden.  While it’s not our dream itinerary, it was an enormous relief to have it finalized.

Delft-main-square---compressed
The main square in Delft

I’m writing this from Delft, where we have been for the last two days.  For the first time since we arrived in the Netherlands, we are surrounded by tourists, many of whom are Americans.  Since this is Delft, the Delft pottery motifs are everywhere – on napkins, toasters, you name it.  It is also the hometown of Johannes Vermeer, so images of his two most famous paintings, including ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ are plastered on everything.  The service people all seem tired of tourists, and too hot to pretend otherwise.  It’s not for us.  Today we rode to the coast and back on the unloaded tandem; a real busman’s holiday, but we loved it. We walked on the velvety soft sand and stuck our toes in the North Sea.

hotel-napkin---compressed
Napkin in hotel
jeff-on-train---compressed
Our bike on the train from Dordrecht to Delft. It was our first time taking the bike on a train in the Netherlands.
bike-on-elevator---compressed
Amazingly, the train experience was a breeze. They even had an elevator large enough for the tandem.

I have no idea what we’ll do in Rotterdam for two days.  It’s forecast to be nearly 100 F.  The museums will undoubtedly be overrun with tourists shuffling around with their audio tours.  I’ll do some research.  Movies might be fun.  I did manage to reserve a one-bedroom air-conditioned apartment with access to a washing machine!  We didn’t do our laundry tonight in anticipation.

We’re just not good tourists.  We like to be on the road, to be flexible … the journey is what calls to us.  This is the first time we have toured in high season.  It will be our last. We didn’t understand how limiting it would be.

houses-by-canal---compressed
Houses along a canal in Delft

Meanwhile, we read the news … floods, heat waves, and fires in the US … headlines about a global heat wave, fires in Sweden and Greece.  It’s shocking.  Events that used to be unusual are commonplace.  It comes at us so quickly that we become numb to it.  I find myself unable to let it go.  It’s always there, by my side as I ride.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy the flowers and the birds … I do.  But I am always conscious of the fragility of those things I most cherish.

road-with-trees---compressed
A stretch of bike path
chicks-on-road---compressed
Cute road obstacles
selfie-on-bench---compressed
A very silly selfie on a picnic bench

9 thoughts on “Hot, hot, hot!”

  1. As always, Lissa, beautiful photos and interesting commentary. You remind us that we’re not alone in crazy weather patterns. Just sorry you all have to endure the heat which I’m sure you feel even more intensely with the extreme exercise. To say nothing of the crowds! What an adventure! Glad you’re coming back soon. Hope your home bound travels are safe and smooth!

    Like

  2. Thank you for sharing you adventure, photos and life. Another life memory that you will have always. You both look fantastic! Enjoy the journey…

    Like

  3. I am loving my vicarious vacation with you. Stress levels down and inspiration up. I checked out the Vermeer paintings – what they could do in the 1600’s was amazing! Your selfie was the perfect vacation picture.

    Like

  4. Thank you for sharing your amazing experiences with us. It’s probably the only traveling outside the US I will do in my lifetime. God Bless & Safe Travels!

    Like

  5. I see from the pics you are still smiling. Or is that just for show. For example, I never get pics of the grand kids crying.

    Like

  6. Loved following the journey. Despite some of the challenges you both look so relaxed and happy. Looking forward to connected when you are back and settled in AVL. Thought you’d be interested to know of a fellow cyclist who is peddling from Vancouver to Asheville. She is a good friend of our son’s and lost her dad last year and is Peddling for Papa and raising funds for OUtward Bound – pretty amazing story like yours – thought you’d appreciate it – https://www.gofundme.com/panpy-peddling-with-papa. xo

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s