The land of the tulip, dyke and bike! This is a stand out city, in my opinion. It has a lot to teach us about making a city eco-friendly and lycra free. Apparently, there are 4 bikes for every person in this canal decorated city. Yet…….take note……………..I have not seen one rider clad in form-fitting, (budgie smuggling) wanna be tour de France, over priced, cycling attire. YAY!!!!!!!! There are cycling lanes on all streets and although I am still having difficulty sharing the footpath and looking for cyclers from the wrong direction, I applaud the normality of the riding attire. When I am travelling around |Melbourne, particularly on Sunday mornings, weaving around the Ivanhoe boulevard, I often have an urge to open my car door as I overtake eight or so, lycra sprayed, cyclers, (clearly out of the bike lane) and to take them all down. I feel a little sheepish about this admission, as I realise some cycling friends, (that 99% of the time wear normal clothes and walk single file) will be reading this.
Ok, off topic now…………………We also spent two days in Doesburg, a medieval town in the Netherlands, with Robb’s aunt, uncle, cousins and Diva, the Saint Bernard dog. Oliver turned 12 and was presented with a giant cake, banners and a local town festival to assist with the celebrations. The real gift was to spend time with such warm, interesting people. It was difficult to leave and in this instance we curse the tyranny of distance.
Tom Tom is still recovering from the Disney experience. He rates such things, as out trip to that Catacombes in Paris and Anne Franks house as ‘great rides.” Oliver and Henry were very moved by their trip to Anne Frank’s house. The idea of living with blacked out windows, in silence and fear for a few years, coupled with Anne’s death just one month prior to liberation, left much for them to ponder.
The boys have also loved the croquette vending machines. For 1 euro, they open a little compartment and remove a piping hot crumbed roll, filled with a variety of gooey, savoury fillings. Frittes and mayonnaise have also been another favourite, along with chocolate sprinkles on bread each morning. I’m not sure if this fare fits with the recommended healthy eating plan!!!!
It is off to Italy tomorrow and I can hardly wait. I’ll keep this brief as I have a fair bit of packing and organising to do. How to reduce the size and weight of the suitcases, to fit the allowance I have on the budget airline that we are flying with.