Going Dutch: We have bikes!


stroopwafelscoffeecapsWondering what those yummy things are?

They are stroopwafels, a typical Dutch sweet snack. Think two thin waffles, filled with a syrup that’s a little like honey. In the street they make and sell them warm – the best way to try them in our opinion. But you can also buy them in every supermarket.

They’re divine dipped into a cup of tea. It can’t be a coincidence that they’re just the right size to fit over a mug!

[column width=”50%” padding=”0″]Oh yeah, baby! After 2 weeks in the country – that’s 14 long days without bikes – we finally picked up some trusty steeds from the local second hand shop. It was the first time we’d seen any bikes under €150 so finding all kinds to choose from was a revelation.DSC_0662
Andrew is driving Rustbucket (an old Giant model that’s showing some wear) and Friedel has Clicky, a GT Legacy with a bit of a ticking sound coming from the pedals. They’re not quite up to the standard of our old bikes but we can’t stop smiling now that we have wheels again. We feel so Dutch!
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[column width=”45%” padding=”0″]Great tour planners…Today we found Fietsrouteplanner – a way for cyclists to plan trips around Europe. For every route you get 3 possibilities: the shortest, the most logical and the one that doesn’t require buying many bike guides. It’s not very detailed (you don’t see a street level view) but it is a great tool for generating ideas on how to get from A to B.

Now, if you think that’s great, have a look at Radweit. It’s only in German but persevere and soon you’ll find amazing maps that show you all the back roads. The first time you look at a route, it’s better to print the page so you can get your head around the puzzle-like layout but it gets easier to do on-screen with practice. If you’re going on a tour that involves Germany, you have to check it out. The detail in it is better than some bike guide books we’ve seen.

Have you seen anything better around? Get in touch if you have.[/column]



  1. James
    30th October 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Hi. I’m enjoying the new direction.

    In June I did the ride from roughly where you are down to Lille in France. The North Sea Route along the Delta Dams was a great day. Here’s a Dutch route planner that I haven’t quite worked out, but looks promising:


    Here’s a really good Belgian one: http://www.fietsnet.be/routeplanner/default.aspx

    You click on the start and end points, and it tells you the numbers to follow. Made the navigation pretty easy, although I still needed to buy a compass along the way to ensure I was heading in the right direction.

  2. Carrie
    30th October 2009 at 6:09 pm #

    OMG I loooooooooooooooooooooooove Stroopwafels.

    Kiwidutch sent me a huge box of them a while back and I have one pack left which I dread eating – though I did find them finally at a local store in the US!

    You are living my dream taking up in the NL – I hope to do that myself someday. Good luck!


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