Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fietsen naar Naarden (and Camels!)

Monday morning dawned another gorgeous, clear sky day in Amsterdam.  After reassuring myself that the wind was only ever-so-perceptibly rippling the leaves of the trees out the front window, I prepared to tackle the fietspad to Naarden!  Rain and wind thwarted our attempt to bike that direction two Saturdays ago, and I wanted to see what we'd missed and stretch my legs.

As with my ride to Utrecht, I prepared by copying the fietsknooppunt list from the Vrij Vogel website and reviewing the map:

Then I added some air to my tires and hit the road!

In ten minutes, I was out of the city.  The route led across the longest pedestrian-and-bicyclist bridge in all the Netherlands, and onto a fast stretch of asphalt through a "nature park."

Nesciobrug, longest pedestrian/bike bridge in the NL.

Wearing my helmet doesn't mean I should take pictures like this.

Smooth like butta'.  And no puddles this time.

After exiting Diemerpark, the path ran past this old military bunker and museum:

And through a herd of sheep.  Sheep herd pies were all over the trail.

I was now in unexplored territory.  When Ed and I biked out here two Saturdays ago, our soggy socks and gloves forced us back at this point.  The trail became decidedly less rustic for a mile or two, facing traffic on a busy freeway and passing a Burger King and an electric plant.  In no time, though, I was in Muiden...

Muiderslot, from the non-paying tourist's perspective
...and out of Muiden.

Squint hard, and you can see Muiderslot.
After leaving Muiden, the trail turned into a shoulder on a none-too-busy road leading into Naarden.  I admired this nice plank siding along the way.  

Oooo... aaaahh...

I reached Naarden exactly one hour from leaving our apartment, including stops, which confirms it as a pleasantly quick ride for a morning or afternoon when the wind isn't blowing at gale force.  Naarden is a point of interest mainly for its well-preserved 15th century Grote Kerk and because it was built as a star fort.  There is a bike/walking path around the outer moat, and I definitely want to check out this "wallenloop" race in the spring.  As it was, my feet were getting cold in my poorly-chosen cotton socks, so I snapped a couple of pictures at the outer moat and headed for home and a warm foot bath.

Grote Kerk.  Grote Lamppost in foreground.

...What's that you say?  What about the Dutch camels?

There they are, just outside Naarden!

Well.  It's all Bactrians under the bridge now.

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