Going Back To My Roots

Last June I returned to Netherlands for 3 weeks for family reasons but also to get ‘updated’ about the country itself. Of course I follow a bit of what’s going on on line and through WhatsApp calls with friends and family, but that’s not the same as actually being there. For example going to the local supermarket asking the staff for some product only to be answered in English (Polish staff!) was quite a surprise for me!

This time I was extremely lucky with the weather, lots of sun virtually daily, even a heatwave!

Excellent cycling weather of which I made good use since I was staying in Loosdrecht, classic Dutch countryside; cows, fields, old barns, canals, windmills, storks, churches, etc.

But this area also features some of the more fancy houses / mansions / castles alongside de Vecht river!

Plus around Hilversum there is a fair amount of forest and heather, very pretty indeed.

Almost forgot, Hilversum also has a small airfield with lots of single engine planes and gliders, I always drop by there to watch what's going on.

A more unpleasant surprise was the presence of a toxic processionary caterpillar plague which destroy oaks and whose tiny toxic hairs can trigger allergic reactions and a nasty skin irritation.

I was lucky as I almost stepped on a nest that had fallen from a nearby oak…

And this being in Netherlands, bicycle lanes everywhere, only frustrating part was that I was often overtaken by dudes on mountain bikes and all kinds of people on e-bikes, no matter how fast I cycled…

On the trains and train stations I couldn’t help noticing plenty of passengers with folding bikes, Brompton being the preferred choice!

All in all I had a great time there.

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