A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Posts: 21
Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 5:09pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Northumberlander » 11 Oct 2018, 8:12pm

Having received so much helpful advice here, I felt I should come back to say what a really great week I had. Everything you hear - about the brilliant infrastructure, the easy route-planning, the friendly people - is true. Oh, and the bit about the wind too... :shock:

I had a lovely tour, did not encounter a single drop of rain for a week, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It is so convenient, from here in Northumberland, to ride to the boat in Newcastle and arrive next morning ready to tour, that we will be doing it again - and perhaps regularly.

My main (only?) significant route-planning 'mistake' was that on leaving the ferry terminal I set out to locate the nearest numbered waypoint, to begin my navigation northwards. 93, or 96 I think. This led me into town - and got me lost, within minutes of beginning. Quite discouraging! At the end of my tour, back at the ferry with time to spare, I rehearsed it again and found that (to head north, which was my plan) one should turn hard left on exiting the terminal, and simply follow the south bank of the canal to the ferry across to Velsen Nord. Easy! I know for next time.

I rode each day with a simple list of numbered node points, and rarely consulted the map except in the evenings, when planning the next day's route.

I had joined the Vrienden op de Fiets, but this did not work for me. Maybe I was unlucky. I made three calls from home, in advance of my trip, and always began by explaining that I was a member calling from England and asked if they could speak English please. Three times I was met with a brusque 'No' and the phone went down! Maybe I just sounded dodgy... My fourth call did yield a booking for my first night, but as I left the boat that morning I picked up a message from the host saying "You cannot stay tonight. I wish you good luck for another stay." Not great. I reverted to B&Bs, and won't be trying the Vrienden again. Which is a shame, because I liked the idea...

Anyway - my week was a delight, and I thank those who gave advice and encouragement here in the forum.

Posts: 67
Joined: 12 May 2016, 2:52pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby skelo » 14 Oct 2018, 12:15pm

Louise Clines wrote:
skelo wrote:i hadn't thought about Newcastle so i am now thinking we could cheat a bit and get dropped off in Newcastle, or somewhere close, get the ferry and start in Amsterdam and go south towards either Europoort or Zeebrugge?

I would do it the other way round, so you have the prevailing wind behind you.

willem jongman wrote:Arriving in Europoort means arriving in one of the world's largest harbour areas with many refineries etc. The Newcastle ferry gets you to IJmuiden and within minutes you would be riding south on nature trails through forest and sand dunes.

This is true, but if you cycle the 8km from the P&O ferry to Pistoolhaven and get the RET fast ferry to Hoek Van Holland, you are out of the industrial bit reasonably quickly.

last year we went Hull- Europoort, I may be odd but I found the Industry and engineering interesting!

willem jongman
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Joined: 7 Jan 2008, 4:16pm

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby willem jongman » 14 Oct 2018, 12:59pm

I agree that seeing the huge port and refinery complexes is fascinating. As for bikes on the trains, there seems to be some misunderstanding. It is true that bikes are not allowed during rush hours on weekdays (mid summer excepted). However, this does not apply if you have a cross border international ticket, even though not all conductors seem to know about this.
For train tickets, I always turn to the Treinreiswinkel, a travel agent who specialise in international train tickets and know everything about bikes on trains: https://www.treinreiswinkel.nl/

Cyril Haearn
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Location: Leafy suburbia

Re: A Holland-touring newbie seeks wisdom...

Postby Cyril Haearn » 14 Oct 2018, 3:10pm

Plus One for overnight ferries

The Hull - Rotterdam ferries have two cinemas, but will they still run every night after Black Friday?
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