John’s Birthday adventure

John has everything he could possibly need, if you exclude our unreasonably small garage from his wish list. He has chosen a trip to The Netherlands for his birthday.

Last night, the Beetle was packed with the Bromptons and we set off for the overnight sailing from Harwich.

We docked at 8am and set off for our first stop, Afsluitdijk Dam. It is a 20 mile dam, constructed between 1927 and 1932, that connects the North Holland Province to Friesland Province.

It dams the North Sea inlet and has created a fresh water lake. It has two claims to fame. The first is that it was the initial demonstration site for the 130kph speed limit in The Netherlands. The second is that, in May 1940,it was the site of the Battle of the Afsliutsdijk. This was one of the few successful defences of the Western Front and was held until Dutch forced surrendered later that month.

Our route back to Haarlem, where we’re staying, took us on a round trip across the Houtribdijk and into Edam for a late lunch. Edam is a maze of little streets and canals. Kim is rather taken with it and will be checking out property prices later. John has noted that none of the houses Kim likes have garages….

We stopped off at a cheese shop and a quick lesson in the difference between local, farm produced Edam and that made in a factory for export.

Guess which one tastes the best? Later in the week we’re planning on cycling from Amsterdam to Edam so that we can sample the local beer at 8.4%.

We’ve covered about 200 miles today so we’re aiming for a quiet evening in Haarlem which might be a challenge. Our hotel is right by a very large church, which might be a cathedral, which plays a tune every 15 minuted….

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