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Cycling trip through Delft and The Hague,
along the beach and dunes at
Scheveningen, plus Rotterdam and Dordrecht

31 Aug - 2 Sep 2018

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On Friday, 31st August, we left around 2 p.m. Traffic was a bit heavier than usual on a Friday afternoon so we arrived at our hotel near Delft after 3 (instead of 2.5) hours. We had booked the Hotel Buitengoed De Uylenburg in Delfgauw for 98 euros per night including breakfast. The rooms are a bit old-fashioned but we had a free parking space in front of the house which was good because we had the bikes with us. This would have been more difficult in a city hotel where parking usually costs extra if available and breakfast is 10-15 euros per person extra. The location was very idyllic and to the historic centre of Delft it was only a 2 km bike ride.
Next door is a popular restaurant, Café du Midi, and we were lucky to be able to eat outside as it was fully booked inside for the next evenings! We found a table in the sun and after dinner we jumped on our bikes to cycle 6 km to a windmill out of town. The evening light was wonderful. After 45 minutes we were back at the hotel and spent the rest of the evening in bed with a good book.

Breakfast was available from 8 a.m. and was served in the big old kitchen. They had freshly brewed coffee or cappuccino, fresh bread, croissants, boiled eggs, cheese, ham, jam, muesli with yoghurt. Around 9:15 a.m. we left for Delft on our bikes. It was Saturday and along the canals many market stalls were set up. We circled around the town centre and finally arrived at the windmill Molen de Roos. From there we continued another 30 minutes on excellent bike paths to the Dutch capital city The Hague.
In The Hague the historic sights weren't as close together but on the bikes you can quickly get from one to the other. We saw the Binnenhof, the seat of the Dutch parliament, with its Ridderzaal and the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis), the seat of the International Court of Justice. From there it wasn't far to the historic Kurhaus and the Pier in Scheveningen. We had lunch at one of the beach restaurants, the Fat Mermaid.

From Scheveningen we followed a cycling path through the dunes. In Westduinpark we encountered a small herd of free roaming Scottish Highland cattle.
At 20 °C on the bike the air was a bit fresh and it was good to carry a jacket but sitting or walking in the sun it was still nice in a t-shirt. Finally we arrived at a village with the unique name Monster and its windmill De Vier Winden. Opposite of the windmill there was an ice cream parlour with fantastic ice cream.
Cycling along greenhouses and various canals we made another stop at the Eetcafe de Bonte Haas for a drink. I ordered a koffie verkeerd (wrong coffee) with a little coffee and a lot of milk. Then we arrived back at the centre of Delft where we enjoyed the sun on the market square and finally had dinner at the Eetcafe Oranje Boven on the corner with Fish & Chips and Kibbeling. A little later we returned to our hotel. It was 6:45 when we got there, after a total of 65 km.
This was approximately our itinerary without the final leg from the centre of Delft back to the hotel.

While Saturday still had a few clouds, Sunday was forcasted to be sunny at 22 °C. After breakfast and checking out we drove to Rotterdam. It was only 16 kms to the new Market Hall, and on Sunday there wasn't much traffic. In 2014 we had visited Rotterdam by bike but the market hall opened only a few months later. We used the underground parking below the market hall for 1.50 euros for 30 minutes. The market hall does not open before 12 p.m. on Sundays so we were only able to get a glance of the colourfully painted ceiling through the iron bars at the entrance. Back in 2014 we didn't know about Rotterdam's cube houses which are just next door to the new market hall. So we strolled over there and exited on the other side to the Oudehaven to get a view of the unique architecture from the harbour.
From Rotterdam it's just 20 minutes by car to Dordrecht. We parked outside of the centre and visted the historic Binnenstad by bike. After about an hour we stopped for lunch (tosti met Parmaham en boerenkaas and tosti met geitenkaas, walnoten, vijgen en honing) at Finn’s Dordrecht. They also had a menu in English which made things easier. Dutch is not really that much different from German but still not always straightforward to understand.
After another 2 hour's drive we arrived back at home. It was 3 p.m.


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