A mix of excitement and regret filled me yesterday morning right before my journey was set to begin. For over a week, I’d been planning this grand cycle trip from Kampen to Amsterdam; a journey of over a 100 kilometres. Since I live in The Netherlands, the country famous for its bikes, I cycle almost every day to basically everywhere I need to go. I’ve never cycled such a distance before though, so this was kind of a radical plan but I was determined to give it a go. I can say one thing: it was such a wonderful experience! Travelling by bike, I discovered Dutch beauty I never thought I would. It is a thoroughly different way of travelling and I absolutely love it.
The evening before, I made sure I was prepared for the day to come. I made sure to cool 2 bottles of water in the refrigerator, to get some air in my tires and to put the saddle at the right height. The most important preparation, however, was going to bed early so I would be rested for my adventure.
When I woke up I ate some yoghurt, made myself a few sandwiches for on the way and did some meditation. This was just to make sure I would be relaxed and not stressed as soon as I got on my bike. When I had done everything I could do, I got on my bike and that’s where it started.
Leg 1: Kampen to Dronten
This is the most boring part of the journey for sure. I realise that doesn’t sound very positive but it’s just the truth. Yes, there are beautiful fields with all kinds of crops along the road, but the views mostly consist of grass and cars, not too charming right? Luckily, this was just the beginning of the trip so my motivation was still there. I didn’t visit the city of Dronten since I’ve been there a lot of times already and I wasn’t in the mood for a break just yet. Maybe I’ll do a post on that city another time.
Leg 2: Dronten to Lelystad
This part still consists mostly of not too charming views, but it has a different feel to it. Don’t give up on me just yet because things are about to get exciting.
Leg 3: Lelystad to Almere
So this is where the real shit starts. After I stopped at a supermarket to get some soda and a croissant, I couldn’t believe my eyes! The trip started in a forest called ‘Hollandse hout’ which translates to ‘Dutch wood’. Instead of long, straight paths, this part of the journey consists of a winding path with hills and bridges. I saw small babbling brooks, beautiful birds, and an endless amount of trees bustling with life. The temperature was exactly right, the pace was exactly right and the views were more than I could’ve hoped for. Just when I thought this couldn’t get any better, I entered the Oostvaardersplassen. Fields with yellow flowers stretched out along the bike path through this famous Dutch nature reserve.
Leg 4: Almere to Naarden
In Almere, I took a long break and walked around the city for a bit. I ate my croissant and filled up my bike bottles before getting back on my bike. I cycled over a huge bridge and then I passed the Naarderbos (forest of Naarden). This forest is located right next to the Gooimeer (Gooilake). I chilled on the beach and enjoyed a walk in the refreshing water. Naarden is an amazing place! I was absolutely stunned since I haven’t seen anything like it in The Netherlands before. It impressed me so much that I’ll do a different post on this later this week.
Leg 5: Naarden to Muiden
Throughout the entire trip so far, the sun had shone very brightly. However, that changed here. Clouds gathered out of nowhere and filled the sky above me. I actually kind of liked this because it allowed me to cool down a bit on this oh so hot day. Once in Muiden, I visited the Muiderslot, a very beautiful castle on the edge of town. I actually met a famous Dutch singer here: Roel van Velzen. The city of Muiden is very picturesque and lovely. I couldn’t stay for long since I had only one leg of my trip to go and I couldn’t wait to arrive in Amsterdam!
Leg 6: Muiden to Amsterdam
I have to admit, this part of the trip was the heaviest. I was very tired and I had to stop for a second every 5 kilometres or so. It was a breathtaking part of the journey though since a large part was on the IJdijk (IJ dyke). Beautiful views are guaranteed. I also saw a pheasant, a snake and lots of rabbits.
I made it! I cycled all the way to Amsterdam! I got to Dam Square and took a few photos. I ordered some fries and cycled to the train station to get back home. It was an awesome experience!