Walker's Travels in Scandinavia 2017 and others
Fine, warm and sunny, 19-26deg, 40km, av. 13.3km/hr, tot. 1822km. Up early for another wander around this beautiful city, which feels more like a village. Took our time over a nice brekky and one final look at Leiden as we rode north. We didn't follow the numbers today preferring to just follow well-signed cycle paths between each village. This resulted in us riding through a series of fairly modern and pleasant villages. We also passed through one of the main tulip growing areas in Holland, however unfortunately the season is over so all we saw was the farmers mechanically collecting the bulbs for sale or storage for next years crop. Saw some other cut flowers growing which was quite pretty. Also called into a castle near Lisse, the Keukenhof. Although it was closed we snuck in on our bikes through an unattended gate for a quick look at the grounds. Also did some canal path cycling here and there, which is a given on any day you ride in Holland. Today we cycled to our final destination for this trip, Haarlem, a satellite city of Amsterdam, 20km towards the coast. Last time we were in Amsterdam we found it very interesting but a bit busy/touristy and the hotel rooms there are minuscule. So this time we elected to stay out-of-town. We have four nights in Haarlem. After a rather short ride we arrived at the hotel, near the Central Station, at 1:30pm. This city dates back to pre-medieval times. It was extremely prosperous until Amsterdam became more prominent and 'stole' a large percentage of its shipping business and trade. However the lack of development has helped Haarlem retain its old-world charm and buildings. It's a very pleasant place to wander around; not many cars although you do have to keep a look out for the thousands of bicycles that wiz around the extensive bike path system. Step onto a bike path without looking and you're in trouble with the locals who seem like they are always on a mission. We look forward to exploring the city and surrounds in the next few days. Pasta and beer for dinner at a new place across the road called Pippa's. Very nice, the food wasn't too bad either.