When I travel by train to my work I always pass an area between the city of Haarlem and the city of Amsterdam that always caught my attention. It looked very nice there. Good looking nature with lots of water. One thing always made me curious, this very long bridge for walkers and cyclists.
As the weather was nice today we decided to go there for a walk. But looking on a map we noticed that the area was rather big and that bicycles would be a better idea. Luckily we could borrow a bicycle for Marion (soon she will have her own bicycle here, much more handy).
So by train we travelled to the station “Haarlem Spaarnwoude” and from there we continue on our bicycles. A small ride took us directly to the bridge I was so curious about.
The bridge was indeed very long… and rather narrow, which gave a scary moment when some folks on mountains bikes coming from the opposite direction who wanted to pass us without taking back speed. So I placed my bicycle on the middle of the bridge forcing them to take back speed. They were angry, but better them angry then that they would cause an accident with their irresponsible behaviour. Just take a look at the bridge… even on normal speed one have to be careful when passing other people on the bridge.
After the bridge we found a very nice small town called “Haarlemmerliede”, which was basically one long road with houses to both sides of the roads and of course… a church! In front of the church there was a bulletin board. Look at the years mentioned on the bulletin board. This one was created in the year 1976, but it finds it origin many years before that (1454).
I really like small towns like this.
While riding on all kind of small roads through large meadows I noticed something that I already noticed back in Twente also. The number of cows is a lot less as it used to be and this not only because big farms keep them inside all day. But there are much more horses and sheep nowadays.
And not only that, the traditional Dutch cow-breeds that were bred for milk-production are replaced often by the more (not Dutch) meat breeds…
After some time we did find a very nice looking church called “De Stompe Toren” (“The Blunt Tower” ???).
It seems that already 2500 years before Christ there were already people living here. In 1065 the first chapel was built on this location. Around 1360 the church as it is now was built.
Nowadays the church is used for concerts and expositions.
After leaving the town of Spaarnwoude (where “De Stompe Toren” resides) we passed for a rather long time all kind of small roads. Saw some very nice sights.
On a sudden moment we noticed a signpost direction towards an area called “Houtrak”. The name sounded familiar to me. Not that I had been there before, but I read somewhere about it. So we decided to head that direction.
“De Houtrak” turns out to be a very large park-alike recreation area. Lots of ponds and forest-alike spots. Rather beautiful I have to say. It was a joy to ride through it.
After leaving “De Houtrak” we started to feel our legs and behinds. I think that we had done around 40 kilometres and we still needed to get to a rail road station to travel back to Heemskerk. After 30 minutes we reached a station and made our way back home.
I really enjoyed this bicycle trip. The weather was good. I saw beautiful sights and places I never had seen before. The company was more then perfect. So very well spend time.
By now Marion must be halfway to her home again. It was a very nice weekend…. and soon we will go on our holiday to France. I am looking forward to that.
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