Dutch life

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Our life in Holland.  Other people’s lives.  Sometimes, the crossroads of our lives and theirs.

At or below sea level, water plays an important role in much of the country.  Shipping, agriculture, and land reclamation are essential to Dutch life.  So is rain.

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Dijks separate water,

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from land.

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What can’t be grown outside, is grown inside.  Naturally, a bike path bisects fields of greenhouses.

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In Amsterdam, a canal bisects the city and a sea of bicycles.  There are hundreds of bicycles parked within view.  There are hundreds of canals in the city.

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Rails run down the center, buses and small cars use the lanes, bicycles fill the brick-colored bike lanes, and parked cars separate pedestrians from it all.  This is prudent and humane city planning.  People and things are transported efficiently.

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Real people walk and rides bikes.  Most people walk and ride bikes.

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This small rural street is one lane wide, with two bicycle lanes, one on either side for each direction of travel.  More bicycles than cars use this route.

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A teenager riding with a euphonium is completely normal.  His mother congratulated his performance, kissed him on the cheek, and sent him cycling towards home.  Parents attended the outdoor concert by bike, despite 30kph headwinds/tailwinds.  Aerobars on upright bikes are not uncommon.

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Wind, weather and age are not excuses to stay home, or to drive.

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This food-truck festival was widely attended, mostly by cyclists and pedestrians.

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Other industries are present along the county’s waterways.

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A rich history is everpresent.

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Alongside modern life.

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Best of all, natural settings are not lost amidst centuries of civilization.  Open spaces exist in Europe, and we’re still clambering along the shores of the North Sea– hills and forests lie ahead.

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11 thoughts on “Dutch life

  1. Hi Nicholas, I’m in need of info about packing my bike for air travel, what the best way & safest?
    Do I really need a hard case? I see that you feel safe with cardboard. My air line has a check bag limit for oversize bags, how do you ship? As much info as you can spare will be much appreciated.

    • Tim, Cardboard is best, especially if you plan to fly out of another airport (or if storing a hard case is a challenge, or the expense is too great to purchase one). I have never used a hard case. Since you will most likely pay an oversize fee for the bike (check with the airline, sometimes only $50 but sometimes in excess of $200), select a cardboard box which is large enough to fit the bike with the rear wheel installed. You will need to remove the front wheel and pedals, and most likely also the handlebars and seat post. If you have a front rack and a fender, these will be removed as well. If you have not yet bought your ticket, consider the price of the bike in addition to the ticket price. In the US, Frontier and Southwest offer inexpensive bike fees (free, but the cost of a bag), while I have found AerLingus and IcelandAir offer good rates to fly to Europe with a bike ($45-55 for the bike).

      The cardboard box should be free or about $5 from a local bike shop. It is best to ask a week in advance, or more if they do not sell a lot of bikes. As for a bike for a cruiser, 29’er mtg, or a touring bike. A box for a small road bike may to a challenge if you are packing a touring bike with racks and gear. Also, you may consider packing the bike with some clothing, or ask the shop to save some packing material as well. Best of luck!

  2. Hey,
    Welcome to Europe, I follow you long time ago, really thanks for writing the blog.
    I wish to you the best travel and happyness !!!

  3. Nic, sorry had to steal that photo of the elderly woman on the bike. What a great capture, hope it’s ok that I posted it on my facebook, I gave credit to you for the shot. It’s a very powerful shot, sir. Looks like your two, like always, are making every moment count

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