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The Netherlands

This seems to be some kind of topiary farm. I assume these are being grown for sale. I didn't know y... I would guess that somebody has just had a baby! The stork at the top was whirling round and round p... It's hard to see but this is a whole load of kites being flown from a field. I didn't get any closer... I wonder if they got these from that topiary farm. I saw a lot of neat frees like this along this ro... Just a horse. My first food stop in the Netherlands. Here, my road runs alongside the motorway and the railway. A large number of motorcyclists. It seems that the motorcyclists went to the party in this village, where almost every house had ball... Crossing one branch of the Rhine estuary. This picture was taken from the road bridge and shows two ... I don't know why the railway bridge on the right rises to such a height when the one on the left doe... To cross another branch of the estuary, I had to go up these steps. I was glad they were steps. For ... The view from the steps. That's the lifting section of the railway bridge. Colourful flats. I've been here before. And look! It's the same bike! I've managed to keep one for over a year! The l... I bought this bottle in that shop last year. The Coke didn't come with it. Rotterdam. The image made from little green lights was animated to show the Earth rotating. Rotterdam. Rotterdam, in the last of the sunshine. Rotterdam, in the last of the sunshine. Rotterdam, in the last of the sunshine. Watching these barges calmed me down after my frantic ride to reach Rotterdam before sunset, which w... Rotterdam. Rotterdam. Outside my hotel in Rotterdam. The view from my hotel. My hair seems to have been moulded into the shape of a helmet. Rotterdam. Rotterdam. I think these two red signs might be advertising different branches of the same restaurant chain. Yo... Rotterdam. Rotterdam. I didn't go to the Burger King. Instead, I went to one of the six McDonalds which are within 350 met... When I first walked through this square, I saw the wet ground around these lights and thought they w... During the night, all of the bikes, including mine, have received flyers for some kind of nightclub. Rotterdam. This is a picture which I was trying to take last night in the dark. It shows one McDonalds in the f... Cheese! A market in Rotterdam. Rotterdam. Rotterdam. Rotterdam. Three people with ice cream cones. A leisure park on the way out of Rotterdam. These two buildings and the next one were clearly designed as a set. The same leisure park. Houses with boat moorings included. Swans with babies. This road is mainly used by cyclists. Brown sheep. Goats. There were five boats going along here with their masts up but not actually using sails. They were f... A lifting bridge. A lifted bridge. They look like touring cyclists. Very pink! Waterfront restaurants. I came along there. A queue for a different lifting bridge. I think this is saying that the road layout has changed so satellite navigation systems may not get ... Rowers, each with their own coach. A few of these houses had wooden toy-like ornaments. There is a lorry just by where the drainage cha... The golf courses are the only hilly land around here. I don't think the undulations are natural. Because there is a drainage clannel alongside almost every road, all of the houses have driveways wh... There's a church for sale here. I'm getting close to Schiphol Airport. That looks like a very relaxed way to ride a horse. There was a fair in De Kwakel. The crane here is lifting people up to a great height so that they ca... People using the crane. The De Kwakel fair. This man has a live parrot on the handlebars of his bike. A singer. The De Kwakel fair. The fire brigade have brought this event where you have to spray water from a hose into the pipes on... A Canta car. This is a Dutch design. This road is just for buses. This road doesn't look like it's open yet. This road seems unnecessarily well lit, given that it's mostly going past farms, fields and huge gre... A windmill. Amsterdam. Bikes at Amsterdam South station. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Ah, this is where most of my hotel reservations go, is it? Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. It was tricky finding somewhere to park the bike outside this one. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Tourists. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. Amsterdam. The bridge leads to a new piece of Amsterdam, built on land reclaimed from the water. Here, the railway dives into a tunnel under the water. I arrived at a fairly major bridge just as the traffic was starting to flow again after the bridge h... Navigation for the last part of today's ride was a bit tricky. I kept finding roads which I wasn't a... I think I can see my next meal coming. I know it's only been about an hour since the last one but th... In this restaurant, if you order from one of the machines, your order number comes up on the screen ... Zaandam. Zaandam. Zaandam. My hotel in Zaandam. Odd, isn't it? The view from below. For some reason, nobody could check in for a few minutes when I arrived. I took this picture of the ... These buildings are also based on Dutch town houses, although they look like giant ones rather than ... This hotel room has an unusual passageway leading from the door into the body of the room. It also h... All night, I could hear what sounded like people banging on railings. It turns out that they were wa... Bike parking opposite Zaandam station. The landing of the hotel. It's because these doors are so close together that there needs to be a pa... I don't know what the "Kiss & Ride" is. This department store sells bikes. Flats. They caught my attention because two women were talking on one of the top floor balconies. Th... This may look like just a Turkish restaurant but it's actually the site of Europe's very first McDon... This end of the Turkish restaurant does take-aways, when it's open. I don't know if mr. makkie ever opens but apparently it's a tribute to the original McDonald's which... One of two modern McDonalds restaurants in Zaandam, the 42nd restaurant of my trip. Zaandam, like Vittoria-Gasteiz in Spain, has big blocks of flats with a lot of green space between t... People near Zaandam. Sorry this picture is a bit blurred. I took it while trying, and ultimately failing, to push my bike... This road has ditches on both sides. Flat scenery. Scenery. Almost the only thing on this road which wasn't a bike or a moped. It took me a few visits to the Netherlands to work out how these signs worked. The important bit of ... Another user of the cycle path. Purmerend. A lifting bridge in Purmerend. Purmerend. The upstairs door on that barn is being propped open by a large set of speakers, which was blaring o... A team of cyclists. I think this may be a control room for the drainage system. Waterfront houses. A horse and cart. The roof can slide up and down the poles and rests on top of the hay. The red signs are for cyclists. I don't know what's so special about Leeuwarden that it gets signed ... This little cycle lane goes round the back of the garden centre, through some trees and under the mo... Apparently, the Beatles gave their only concerts in the Netherlands in this little village. Today's lunch stop, with a train. This boat takes visitors to the Zuiderzee museum. The water here is Lake IJssel, which occupies part... There weren't meant to be two of these pictures. Wind turbines. Here, the road goes under the aqueduct connecting Lake IJssel to Lake Merker. Some of the masts were... The view along the Houtribdijk, one of the huge dykes which form the Zuiderzee works. They divided t... Still in the dyke. Sluices. A last view of the dike, and somebody falling off a skateboard. Odd sculpture. Another bridge open for tall-masted boats to pass through. One of the tall boats. An old tea clipper. The building in the background is part of a retail outlet complex. I could have eaten in there but d... Lelystad is a new town. It has to be because it's built on new land. It has a network of cycle lanes... One of Lelystad's roads, which bikes can't use. I was impressed that this housing estate had a sign showing the way out. This is marked as a path for horses. More turbines. Thes have the shaded green colouring which I have seen in Germany on previous trips. All this land used to be the sea bed. I could have eaten here too but didn't. I thought this restaurant looked more like a car showroom. I liked the twirly fire escape, and the fact that the bridges joining he towers have been painted to... Kampen. A violin and cello shop. Kampen, seen from a bridge. Moke hay storage with sliding roofs. "Shut Two-wheelers"? That would be an appropriate name for a bike shop. Actually, I'll for... These drive-by bins are common in the Netherlands. On the way into Zwolle. It's also common to see people riding on the back of each other's bikes, like this. The fair is in town! There are bits of artwork all the way alog this pavement. Wow, this hotel has a range of exotic sugar. It's a shame my rules don't let me try it. It's a trap! Actually, the stairs in last night's hotel did seem to be a trap. I used them to get up... Zwolle by night. Zwolle. That must be where the fair is. The fair in the main square in Zwolle. I forgot that as it's Sunday, the restaurant might not stay open very late. By the time I walked ove... The view from my hotel in the morning, including my bike. A helpful sign. It's a misty morning. More mist. Dew on cobwebs. The mist has evaporated now and some people are setting up for a picnic by their boat. Unusual contraptions. I didn't expect to see a wallaby. These deer were in the same garden as the wallaby. The wallaby and deer seemed to belong to this house. I'm quite hungry after not getting any dinner last night so this is already my second food stop of t... This fruit looks good. These cakes look pretty good as well but nobody really seemed interested in them. Gramsbergen. Gramsbergen. Gramsbergen. I rode through this large industrial area of freight terminals, silos and tanker parks. I never knew there were so many different types of pumpkin.