Day trips and detours

With rain threatening we decided to spend the weekend in Rotterdam, rather than risk damp days of cycling towards our eventual destination of Bruges. From Rotterdam my husband visited ‘Vermeer Central’ (Delft), whilst my son and I spent a rainy afternoon in the brilliant Klieder cafe playing pirates and catching up on caffeine. The following day we pedalled out to Kinderdijk, a Unesco World Heritage Site, to explore the beautiful windmills and unique landscape. image Also lovely was seeing this little girl, peddling her cargo bike in her pink party dress. image The Waterbus back to Rotterdam was a revelation in cycle transportation – no hassle, no peculiar storage compartments, no weird booking systems or emotionally draining conversations – we just rolled on and parked up. Glorious. image Our journey to Bruges provided us with an opportunity to practice our trailer folding and multiple bicycle handling skills. Trailers are not allowed on trains, but our folded trailer didn’t cause a stir and both legs of the journey (Rotterdam to Antwerp, then Antwerp to Bruges) went smoothly with the application of ‘naughty treats’ (crips and chocolate, the top of the treat tree). image Our one day trip from Bruges was an evening to Damme – a lovely ride out on the canal; if you want to eat there you’ll have better luck during the day as the whole of Damme seemed to be keen to head home at 6pm. image image The return journey from Bruges to Amsterdam started to become epic when we circumnavigated the entire city before reaching the train station (a 10 minute ride through town for normal families). A full train, a cancelled train, some Belgian bureaucracy, poor bike storage and a huge pile of naughty treats later we got back to Amsterdam. image The following morning it transpired, about 30 mins after we left our hotel, that Mr Elephant had decided to seek asylum in the Netherlands and had hid under the bed. This caused some chaos and a less than leisurely ride to the ferry terminal after he was recaptured.image Despite again following the red (direct) route paths we could ride together as a family, entertaining the herons along the way.. image image

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