Posted by: dolan | June 3, 2003

Two Wheeled Tour of the Tulips

We’re slowly recovering from our 80+ degree, sun-drenched tour of southern Holland. Yes, you read correctly. The Dutch weather went on a bizarre heat rampage, perhaps inspired by the two visiting Californians. What it did not realize is that we, from SF, aren’t exactly the poster children for warm and sunny. It made for sweaty riding, but I guess that’s a fair bit better than pouring freezing rain.

The trip itself was fantastic. I’d highly recommend bicycle to anyone even partially thinking of visiting Holland. You see about 100x as much as you would by car or train, is far more practical than walking, and if you catch a sunny spell like we did, you get a nice tan to boot.

Our trip took us from Amsterdam (which we departed as quickly as possible), to Haarlem, along the coast skirting the sand dunes down to Leiden, followed a major canal to Delft, then over to Gouda. From Gouda we made a round trip to some of the smaller towns in the area, and then came on home to Dordrecht yesterday afternoon. We rode about 50km (35mi) a day, on our 50+lb rental bikes, which wasn’t too bad at all considering the entire country is as flat as a pancake and pretty well signposted, with a nearly endless supply of more or less car free bikepaths.

Today we took the train to Amsterdam to return the bikes and pay a visit to Cisco Amsterdam, and meet with a colleague. The campus is really nice, with lots of windows and flashy looking lights. The food was excellent and insanely cheap — San Jose take note! I left feeling a bit jealous, but then again, Europeans are supposed to do things in style. If it was uglier and more boring than the SJ campus, some potential client might be disoriented.

Many pictures will follow soon after we return on the 8th. It would cost more than our flight (and take about as long) to upload them on my mom’s 56k modem, so you’ll all just have to wait a little bit. Until then, tot ziens from the Netherlands.


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