fietsen

Fietsen naar Loosdrecht (Cycling to Loosdrecht)

We didn’t manage to cycle at the weekend as the Dutchie only picked up his bike on Sunday evening (after it had been lovingly stored by a friend for the past 3 years) but we went on our first bike ride together yesterday. The Loosedrechtse Plassen didn’t disappoint and I’m so glad to have them on our doorstep! (In Dutch terms, 30 mins by bike is “on your doorstep” :))

Bike ride to Loosdrecht

Bike ride to Loosdrecht

I was quite proud of myself for getting there without doing something embarrassing like crashing or falling off my bike… you see, I’m not a natural born cyclist. The Dutchie on the other hand was born with a bike between his legs it seems. He was happily speeding along, beer in one hand, phone in the other taking photos!  (He’s one of those annoying people who are good at everything: cycling, snooker, darts, ping pong, even football. You name it, he’ll do it well.) But we eventually reached a happy medium once I’d gained a bit of confidence and speed!

Taken by the Dutchie of me lagging behind!

The Dutchie took this pic of me lagging behind!

We arrived at the lakes at the perfect time, just as the sun was beginning to set, which made for some spectacular views!

Sun setting in Loosdrecht

Sun setting in Loosdrecht

Loosdrecht ride2

Loosdrecht ride9

Loosdrecht ride3

We also saw some people water-skiing which looked like fun, but far too dangerous for a scaredy cat like me!!

Water skiing in Loosdrecht

Water-skiing in Loosdrecht

After we had soaked up the views and taken some pictures, it was clearly borreltijd so we went off in search of beer and bitterballen! Whilst we passed at least 5 cafes en route, it was hard to find one which was actually open at 9pm on a Monday evening. We wanted to stop at “The Quiet Piss” (De Stille Plas – it actually means The Silent Lake, but plassen also means to pee, so I prefer my translation!) but unfortunately it was gesloten (closed.) Sad face.

De Stille Plas, Loosdrecht

De Stille Plas, Loosdrecht

Instead we found Het Praethuys (Old Dutch, it means the Talking House) which was an excellent choice. The lady behind the bar was extremely friendly, nothing was too much trouble and the other patrons were really friendly too – greeting us when we arrived and when we left. It’s located on a caravan/ holiday park (one of many in the area) so maybe that’s just what the community is like there 🙂 Gezellig! 

Eetcafe Het Praethuys

Eetcafe Het Praethuys

We had some lekker bitterballen and kippen vleugels (chicken wings). If I’m Bitterballen Bruid, the Dutchie should be re-named Kippenvleugelman! He’s obsessed!

Loosdrecht bitterballen

Bitterballen at Het Praethus, Loosdrecht

I have to be a bit critical and give the bitterballen a 7/10. They were quite small, a bit too much colour on them for my liking and the coating was quite thin. I’ve had better… although they were perfectly edible and served with a tangy mustard (it tasted home made) so props for that!

Loosdrecht bitterballen, bijna op!

Loosdrecht bitterballen, bijna op!

I don’t think I’ve had a BAD bitterbal yet to be fair!

Loosdrecht pub

View from the cafe

A lovely evening in Loosdrecht! I’m sure we’ll visit again very soon! My best friend is coming to visit in 2 weeks, so I’m definitely adding this to our to-do list!

Where’s your favourite place to cycle?

Hayley x

 

Being Dutch – Part 7: Fietsen

So, having had my first bike stolen (luckily… before I’d actually purchased it) I found another on Marktplaats (the Dutch version of Ebay) and I am now proud owner of one of the 18 million bikes currently in the Netherlands! A fully fledged member of the cycling community!

Mijn fiets (my bike)

Mijn fiets (my bike)

Isn’t she a beauty!? Of course, being a girl, next on the list was to make her look pretty… so off to the market we went! It was very wet and windy on Saturday but that certainly didn’t dampen my spirits!! We managed to buy a very beautiful, yet reasonably priced, fietsmandje (literally: bike basket) and some bloemen (flowers) to boot!

Pimp my ride!!

Pimp my ride!!

I haven’t ridden a bike for at least 2 years, so it was a wobbily start… but it’s true: you never forget how to ride a bike!! With a bit of practice, I’m already gaining confidence. It feels a bit like my struggle with speaking the Dutch language… you just need practice and confidence and you’re already halfway there! Now let’s hope I don’t fall off! (That 2 years ago was on a very wet day in England and I was waaaaay too confident!! Misjudged a curb and went straight over the handlebars!! Ooops!!)

In addition to the extensive network of cycling paths along the main roads here in Hilversum, we’re also very lucky to be on the doorstep of Loosdrechtsebos (bos = forest) which has excellent fietspaden (cycling paths.)

Fietspad

Fietspad

I think the Dutchie and I are going to spend A LOT of time exploring our local area by bike! It’s absolutely stunning!

Fantastic views right on our doorstep!

Fantastic views right on our doorstep!

Plan for the weekend: ride to Loosdrecht to explore the famous lakes, “the Loosdrechtse Plassen”… which makes me giggle because plassen means to pee! 

Yep, I’m a child! 😉

Hayley x