Thursday, 3 November 2016

Dutch Suburban Living - Bike along the Dike

Sorry for this belated post! It actually happened several weeks ago but we've been busy finding a new place in Amsterdam. Yes, we have our own little place and will be moving in soon. To top it off, I fell off my new bike and scraped my hands pretty badly, so I'm pretty incompetent right now... Nothing broken, just superficial but inconvenient injuries... :'(

Anyway, as you can tell from the title. Graham, Tristan and I had a very pleasant biking tour along the section of the IJmeer Dike in Almere. I didn't have a bike then, so I was riding on the back of Graham's bike, like a kid. It was fun but tough on my poor butt.

To show you our biking route, I have meticulously prepared a map displaying the landmarks we went past that were somewhat worth a mention. It'll also help to relate the chronological order of the photos with the locations on the map, I hope. :) I am very proud of my map! ^^

So to explain, we started from 'Home where the cats live' and rode along the train line (blue) to Almere Poort. We went through the development areas of this town, indicated by the 'Pile of Sand' (literally and figuratively), to get onto the bridge that connects us back to the mainland towards Amsterdam. Basically, Almere is a giant island reclaimed from the lake in the 60's - 70's.

Anyway, the bridge is the A6 Highway that EVERYTHING goes on (Motorway, I don't know what they call these things here). We only rode halfway to the middle of the bridge to take some photos. Then we rode back along the 'Doggie Beach' (its actual name is Muiderzand) where every man/woman and his/her dog within the 10 km radius come to bond!

We were already riding along the dike, this country is made out of dikes ffs, but the official IJmeerdijk starts just past the 'Marina'. It felt like we were riding forever, and it doesn't help that this freaking dike literally goes on for MILES. Well, it runs the whole circumference of this 'island'...
We decided to call it a day when we reached the 'Wind Turbines' and went back towards home through some farm lands and a 'Forest'. Seriously, I couldn't wait to get home by the end of it, my poor butt!

I think we did about almost 20 km of riding, Graham did all the hard work while I kept stopping to take photos along the way. :P The dike is very pretty and I definitely recommend some sort of bike riding experience along one if you have time, and a nice cruising bike, and nice cushioned seats, etc.

Now the photos!
The road that suppose to connect to the beach/dike ended up in a construction site, and we had to go over a pile of sand to get to the bike tracks again! 
The beach also looked like a construction site... If you'd even call this a beach in Australian standards. :P
Finally got on the bridge, only occupying 2 of the 6 bike lanes! Actually, it is a car lane but cars don't usually use these lanes. 
Trying to take a photo from the divider, but all I can get is this tiny island in the middle of the lake.
Back at the beach, and this time around, everyone is walking their dogs! Hence, 'Dogie Beach'.
The Dike officially starts right here! Skipped the Marina, because who wants photos of a million boats?!
Last stretch of 'beach', and Amsterdam is on the other side, where those tall buildings are (might need to zoom in).
Onwards to the wind turbines! Apparently there's a '1 bird per stick' policy!
At this point, it's just water everywhere you look, except for where we're standing of course. Oh, and Netherland's other specialty - Clouds! 
Passed this strange building, still don't know what it is... Anyone?
OMG, we're finally here! Just dump your bikes on the side of the road!
And for size comparisons, they are actually huge!
Fastly, some farm lands (so exciting, not!). Not sure what they're growing, but kale and endives are traditional Dutch... 

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