Monday, October 20, 2008

2008: Week 42

A much quieter week, the highlight (and only substantial outing) being a bike ride to Marken, about 20km away. Marken was an island until 1957 when it was linked to the mainland via a causeway. Now it is a bit of a tourist trap, luring busloads of people with it's quaint wooden houses and pretty harbour. We avoided the rather expensive cafes clustered around the waterfront and ate chips with sate sauce for lunch.

The route we took passed along a series of canals running through beautiful farmland. There were plenty of cows and sheep, lots of ducks, and the occasional heron patiently watching the canal in search of food. Of course we crossed many bridges, but at one canal we had to catch a "ferry" - for 25c each we made the ~10m crossing on a barge which winched itself across the water using a tow rope.

Best of the week
- Buying fresh flowers at the market and feeling like a local.
- Making it back from Marken (the longest bike ride of my life I think).
- Visiting our local pub, Dopey's Elixer. It's the kind of place you could sit for hours on a rainy afternoon.

Worst of the week
- The pain in my legs after the bike ride - fortunately some stretching and a hot bath brought relief.
- Hail. This was quite a surprise; we were about to take the bikes out when it started raining. Luckily we decided to postpone our outing as the rain was followed by hail falling very fast !

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