We’re here! in The Netherlands, that is

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Flying to Europe takes a long time! A highlight along the way was a roti canai and teh tarik in KLIA. The downside was a very uncomfortable Ian who suffered from sitting too long and was feeling pretty sore. However, things were soon looking up after a joyful reunion with Wieteke and Kees. On the drive to Driebergen I was convinced I was really in Holland after seeing cows, canals, a windmill and hundreds of people riding cool black bikes everywhere. This is really astonishing to see just how normal and ubiquitous bicycle riding is in Holland.

We decided on a trip to Wijk bij Duurstede, a small town about 10km away, where Ian was to consult a physiotherapist in the hope of getting some relief from pain. Wieteke and I set off on bikes through the beautiful countryside. Everything is green and lush, big farmhouses, thatch rooves, castles here and there, cows, cow smells, white swans, herons, tractors, orchards, neat vegetable gardens, narrow roads. It was an unusually hot day – well over 30 degrees. Ian’s physio had bony fingers and sadly didn’t help much so we had lunch, saw a wedding party, watched the people riding by on bikes and saw lots of orange bunting and decorations that were marking the World Cup game between Holland and Brazil to be held that afternoon. Then we set off for home, riding along the dike  by a branch of the Rhine, called Lek. Holland won the game 2-0. Kees became a human vuvuzela – everyone in the country was very happy!

Wieteke & Kees's house in Driebergen

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