An amazing engineering achievement

Trip Start Apr 28, 2010
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48
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Trip End Jul 08, 2010


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Where I stayed
You can't sleep there. We did stop for lunch at the monument.

Flag of Netherlands  , North Holland,
Monday, June 21, 2010

We traveled from Wezup to Amsterdam via this fantastic piece of engineering, at Dries & Paula's suggestion. We went through Frysland with a very small amount of motorway and although we literally went to Amsterdam via the coast, we had an excellent ride and a most relaxing day and still hit the city by 5 pm. And we got to experience some brilliant Dutch countryside.

We found out that Dutch people call their country Holland. Everyone else calls it the Netherlands, or Nederland. Their license plates have NL as country of origin and that's the country's title, but anyway, from now on it's Holland to us too. Anyway Holland is beautiful - green, watery, kind of flat. Excellent roads. A relaxed road culture. That's my expert opinion after 5 minutes in the place.

After our joy at seeing Paula and Dries ambulating around in wooden shoes, we were also stoked at coming across dykes, canals, windmills, everything you'd expect to find from your childhood picture books. Most people speak excellent English. The Dutch language sounds very similar to English. The rhythms of the sentences are instantly recognisable. Doesn't mean we can understand anything anyone's saying of course.

Anyway here's a link to a brief article on this most brilliant construction. 32 kilometres that we think are an absolute must to experience when you're over this way. Apparently they started thinking about it in 1667, and the technology caught up with the dream in 1891. In 1918 the parliament passed the bill enabling construction. The Dutch spend a lot of time arguing with the sea over who get to occupy their patch. In this case the people have won the argument.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afsluitdijk

We folllowed the slow coast road from there to Amsterdam. We saw some gorgeous villages and countryside. We've put some pictures on this page of stuff we saw on the way. A lovely day on the bikes and off them.

Mind, until about 1.00 pm, we thought we were going to be in the news - 2 Aussie motorcyclists found frozen solid in a ditch - but then the cloud cleared, the brilliant blue skie re-appeared, and it turned into a beautiful day for traveling. That still left 9.5 hours of daylight to enjoy - very long days at this time of the year.
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Comments

broniahenty
broniahenty on

I loved the countryside but wasn't a big fan of Amsterdam as there were too many weird sights that I found unsettling, especially in the red light district!! You guys should find it funny though and I was a lot younger then. BTW Julia Gillard is our new PM

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