Chapter 4: Back to Amsterdam!

Hey guys!

Last chapter of the Netherlands tour! 

Day 4


Utrecht.. We Love You!

Utrecht: time to leave. Why is life so cruel? 😀
Could someone give us his/her house for free? 🙂 Or just host us for a period that goes from now to eternity? 😀

We left Utrecht but not until we had had two breakfasts. The first at the Hotel and the second one in a cozy franchise bakery named Stach. You can find it in every city of The Netherlands.
Have you ever been there and tried their lemon cake? You will dream about it at night, I’m telling you.

Goodbye Utrecht, you will always be in our heart! ❤


Road to Amsterdam: Hilversum & Naarden

To reach Amsterdam we decided to follow the same route we did in October: a little stop in Hilversum and lunch in Naarden.
The route from Utrecht to Hilversum is surrounded by nature. Green fields and blue sky, weird pigs and cows everywhere. A special mention to the last stretch of the way fully immersed in a kind of wood that hides some of the best houses we’ve ever seen.

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Once we arrived in Hilversum we noticed that something was changed in the General Market square where we stopped to eat a weird but tasty sandwich with fried shrimps in October. A little bit shocked we asked to a local if something has changed in the last six month and he confirmed that the square was been renewed. We don’t know why but this thing shocked us.
It was a quick stop, so perfectly on time we started pedalling toward Naarden to eat in a local restaurant named Het hert.

Yummy hamburgers there! 😀


Naarden

There’s a lot to say about this town. Naarden is a little beautiful city famous for its star shape and because is one of the most preserved fortified city in Europe.
According to Wikipedia “is an example of a star fort, complete with fortified walls and a moat.”

Indeed, one of the attraction is the Vestingmuseum located on one of the six bastions that gives to the city its distinctive star shape. If you want to discover the story of this fortress and the economic importance that this city had till the recent past you should not miss it! You will find a brochure in Dutch and English. Don’t make our same mistake: Arthur asked for the english part when the entire page was in English. LOL

 

Dutch Kindness
The first time we went there we could taste the renowned Dutch Kindness.
We were two runaways adventuring with bikes in a land that is not Italy, where people do not speak our language and we don’t speak their, just few words in the same shitty english that we’re using to write here 😛
Anyways, we were in trouble to find a hotel for the night when we decided to ask to the girl at the reception of the museum for help. We couldn’t imagine that she was going to make a quarter of hour phone call just for us and showed us the way to reach the hotel! Amazing.
Another memories was a group of guys. “. We asked for something to do in the City and they literally started to run to bring us to “the best brewery in Naarden. Wow!

After lunch we were a little bit sad, our journey was going to end but at the same time we were really happy because of what we did: we were thinking to all the people we met along the way and the support that they gave us, to all the smiles.
Biking is freedom for us, it enables you to feel life as the way you feel it when you are child. It allows you to keep the contact with the people, to watch the world from another point of view, to feel every kilometre you ride.

With these feelings and thoughts we were leaving Naarden when a fabulous storm came to remember us that feelings are for weak and if you don’t want to drown under the rain you should pedal and shut up 😀

Sooo under the heavy rain we started to sing loud and out of tunes italian songs and pedal to reach Amsterdam.

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Have we already talked about green field and blue sky? Cows and sheep? Green fields and Blue Sky? 😀

Just outside Naarden, after riding along a part of Ijmeer, a lake that we thought it was the Sea, a twenty kilometres path in the pure nature extends to Diemen, a town 6 km before Amsterdam.

 

What is happened along this road it’s unbelivable! And we have a video to demonstrate it.
We were resting  along the way: you have to imagine three young guys, talking and walking when a man that was walking behind us farted passing us. Birds singing, green trees, blue river and a farting man. We laughed for two weeks about this..


We are back, Amsterdam!

Last stop: Amsterdam.
Once we arrived we went to the hotel to finally have a shower and then we passed all the time wandering around the city. After those km by bike we weren’t tired so we decided to eat something in the city center and then explore the surrounding of the HarleemmerPoort.
The day after we did the same of the night before, we returned the bikes and had a little walk in the city to buy some souvenirs for our families.

Thanks again to all the people that helped us during these trips, the one in october and the one in may.

Just few words to end this post, just a promise to us: next time we will stay in this country for more time because it really deserve it.

See you in next posts guys!
Enjoy your rides and keeep pedaling! 🙂

Arthur and Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

 

 

 

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Chapter 3: Here we are Utrecht!

Heeeey guys,

Welcome to the third chapter of our tour! 🙂

Day 3


 Goodbye Rotterdam!

Breakfast time, crying time. I don’t know why but we never get used to English breakfast. We’re grown up with Cappuccino and Brioche or Latte/Tea and Biscuits and the very idea to eat an egg or some beans at 7.00 am kills us. But it’s okay, to travel is to discover new thing, new people, new culture: okay we’re jocking, we found bread and marmelade 😀
Before to leave Rotterdam we wandered around and again, the first thing you can notice is multi-culturalism.
We have a lot to learn from Rotterdam: about one third of its inhabitants is of foreign origin and the mayor is from Marocco. We can say that Rotterdam is one of the most multicultural city or maybe the first of holland and this is due to his port, one of the most important in the world.

We saw a lot of Feyenoord’s flag in the city and we remembered that the society has here.

For a casuality we watched a video on facebook that speak about the winner of the Eredivisie title: The Feyenoord! Wow, that was the day before we reached the town! After 18 years they won the title! Is it because we were going there?! 😀

We left Rotterdam with the promise to come back and dedicate more time to the city.

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Road to Utrecht: Gouda

On our way to Utrecht, we decided to stop and visit Gouda, a small city famous for its craftworks and of course cheese and stroopwafels.
We really suggest you a day trip to this city. A lot of old buildings and pretty canals. Plus the city is totally cyclable with the exception of Kleiweg and there is a lots of parking for the bikes.


So, after a very tasty hambugerandGoudacheese-based lunch and a quick stop at the AlbertHeijn to buy some biscuits ( biscuits with cinnamon = life), we left Gouda to reach one of our favourite city of holland: Utrecht.
We don’t know who we have to thanks (really??) but from Rotterdam to Gouda the rain has stopped and an incredible heat killed us 😀

We have a funny video where we stretch out the sweat from our t-shirt 😀 A must see!

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Utrecht

Before this trip we did another one a little bit smaller in October: Amsterdam-Utrecht via Breukelen and Maarssen and Utrecht-Amsterdam via Hilversum and Naarden.
The first time we have been in Utrecht we stayed at the Stayokay hostel in the centre of the city. This hostel have a privileged view on the medieval centre and is perfect for who is traveling on a budget.

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Why we love Utrecht so much , one of the most unsung city according to Lonely Planet?
We don’t really know, maybe for its central canal, the oudegracht, the Dom tower wich is the tallest of The Netherlands, or its houses. It’s a weird feeling, in italian we use to say that this city is a “bomboniera”, a bombonnière, for the charm. You can walk and get lost in its cozy shops, small streets or in its unparallel “movida” in the city centrek.
As we were saying, we arrived in Utrecht around 6.00 pm, but this time we booked a room at the 13th floor of Nh Utrecht Hotel. The view was amazing, we could see Utrecht from the top at one km of distance.

 

Time to sleep now,
see you next week guys, stay tuned for the last chapter of our trip: Back to Am via The lovely Naarden!
Wish you good trips and nice rides! 🙂

Byee,
Arthur and Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2: Storm is coming!

Click here for the italian version!

Hey!

This is the second chapter of our bike trip in The Netherlands.

DAY 2


Lefting Leiden

So, where were we?

Morning, Rotterdam to reach, bikes and a lot of rain.

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What’s better?! 😀


Scheveningen

Our goal was to reach Rotterdam via Scheveningen, one of the most famous holland shore and Den Haag.

After a quick breakfast and a look around, we started pedaling toward Scheveningen under the rain .

It isn’t too far from Leiden, around 20km. We passed through Meijendepark, the largest dune area in South Holland.

Open dunes, lakes, forest: a MUST for who loves the nature.

Finally we saw the sea!

Magically, once we arrived in Scheveningen, the rain has stopped and this boosted our spirits: we decided to get off the bike and run into the sea. Dressed 😀

North Sea is cold, really cold and we rested for a while there to enjoy the peace of the ocean.

We were so excited that Bruno forgot his action cam on the bicycle bar! (glad to have found it on the bike after 1 hour)


Den Haag

After just 5km we reached Den Haag.

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What a pity we just had lunch and a little walk around, because this city deserves more then a day to be visited. It’s simply WONDERFUL!

You know, this happen very rarely to fall in love so fast, but you can breath a really positive air, a cosmopolitan air!

 

As a metter of fact the International Court of Justice is based here.

If you are planning to visit Den Haag we really reccommend you the shopping district and the museums: from Rembrandt to Escher, from the royal palace to the Gemeentemuseum where you can find the unique collection of Piet Mondrian’s artwork.


Rotterdam

Badly, we couldn’t stay here forever, Rotterdam was waiting us aaand guess who’s knocking at the door? Clouds, very big grey clouds and a killer wind asking for our blood.

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On our way to Rotterdam we passed through Delft, a pretty city famous for his blue porcelain known as Delftware and because Vermeer was born her.
You can find his “Girl with a pearl ear-ring” in Maurithuis in Den Haag.
Ahh clouds, clouds clouds and rain, it had rained so much that we arrived in Rotterdam soaked to the skin but we were so happy and satisfyed that wasn’t a problem for us, and hope so for the kind girl at the reception of our hostel 😀
We don’t use to watch the city on google view when we plan our trips so, Rotterdam was a good surprise for us: after being destructed during the second war it has been reconstructed unleashing the fantasy of the various architechts.

What we won’t forget? One of the stunning sunset ever 🙂

 

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Ehmmmm…we won’t tell you what we eated. We’re italian.. again 😀 But it wasn’t our fault, we were too hungry and all the restaurants were closed.
Time to sleep, we went back to the hostel to rest for the next step of our journey: Utrecht via Gouda.
Stay tuned  for the third chapter 🙂
Have a nice day and safe ride to everyone.
Byeeee
 
Arthur And Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1: Trembling Leiden!

Click here for the italian version!


Hi guys!

We are going to talk about our bike trip in The Netherlands.
We stayed there 5 days and we’ll divide it in 5 posts, one for each day that we traveled and the last one that summerise our tour:


Amsterdam

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Early, early in the morning, but we mean very early in the morning, we woke up and took a plane to reach Amsterdam.
Once we arrived in the city of freedom we rented 3 bikes and started to have a look around.
We’ve been many times in Amsterdam, but if you don’t have many days to dedicate to the city, you must visit the following main places:

Museumplein: Here you can find the Rijksmuseum,in which you will see a lot of artworks of the Flemish art, the Stedelijk Museum, based on modern art and the Van Gogh Museum, in which you can admire the life of Vincent, from the start to the end;
Dam: A beautiful square composed by “Nationaal Monument“,the obelisk in memory of the fallen soldier of the second world war, the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum,the Royal palace and the Nieuwe Kerk( new church);
Canal System: yeah. It’s great, beautiful and long more than 100km!

We’re not going to tell you that you could visit the city by bike, oh no, you  MUST do it! 😀
You will feel like a real citizen.

According to one of the last census, the 850.000 inhabitants owns 847000 bikes and every year around 15000 bikes are fished up from the canals. THINK ABOUT IT! 🙂

The greatness of the bicycle infrastructure  in The Netherlands is unbelievable, they have more than 32000 km of cycle path, so you can go everywhere you want as we did.


Road to Leiden

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IT’S PEDALING TIME! Once we moved out from Amsterdam passing through the green VondelPark and the Amsterdamse Bos, two of the biggest and suggestive parks of the city, we headed to Leiden, crossing Westeinderplassen, a complex of lakes belonging to the territory of Alsmeer, a city that hosts the largest flowers and plants trade centers in the world.

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Cycling around holland is really easy. As we said before, cycle paths cover all the territory. You can follow the LF routes to reach every place or city you want.

The territory is almost flat, full of beautiful houses, green fields, cows and canals. After 45 km of this beauty we reached Leiden.


Leiden

Here we are, Leiden! 😀

Leiden is a beautiful small town full of history: the oldest university in The Netherlands is here (built in 1575), Einstein taught there, and the pilgrims lived here for a while before to get on the Mayflower.

The city centre could be really romantic if you go there with your partner or just relaxing if you are here with your friends.

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Coming from Italy, we thought that here the passion for football was certainly smaller, but when Ajax scored against Monaco in Europa League semifinal, we have doubted it.

The entire floor trembled!

Wow, we laughed of that for about 10 minutes!

Passion is passion, wherever you go.

We were eating pizza (yes, we are italian and we CAN’T survive without  pizza or pasta once a day 😀 ) on the canal and it started to rain cats and dogs: we ran inside as fast as lightning with our lovely food!

So be aware of the climate and don’t forget your meal on the table. Please.

If you don’t have time to visit every single attraction, we recommend you to visit the centre and just get lost in the quiet streets of the city.

We rested in an hotel near the central station and after a good breakfast, we were ready to reach Rotterdam via Scheveningen and Den Haag!
We talk about it there: 2° From Leiden to Rotterdam;


If you have questions about our trip you can contact us! 😀

That’s all for today.

Have safe and great trips!

 

Arthur and Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

Bike Aid Kit

Click here for the italian version!


Hey guys,

this is the first post of a new directory in which we treat about safety traveling!

When we were on our journey in The Netherlands, Arthur had the great idea to fell of the bike and hurt his delicate skin.

So, after this unbelievable injury, we started to think about that and what we could have done in case of a real emergency.

Searching on the web for an emergency kit to put in our bag, we found “SJ Works“, a danish brand that produces aid kit for bikes.


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The particularity of SJ-Works kits is that they’re very light, just around 300g and can easily fit on your bike.

In this way, next time Arthur will be able to heal and not complain for all the trip! 😀

There are different models: we choose one to equip under the saddle and another on the bar of the bicycle.

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They have the same things inside and enough space for other little thing like Keys, with the difference that the one you can put on the bar is designed to host the smartphone.


So, please, think about it.

Safety is too important  to be neglected.

If you want to get more information you can check the website https://sj-works.com/ and their amazon store: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01J9RQMR4

 

That’s all for today!

Have a nice and safe trip!

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy

About Us

Click here for the italian version!


Arthur and Bruno.

Passionate travelers and bicycle lovers.

We know each other since elementary school and our paths crossed many times:
We played together in the same football team and we have also been bitter opponents.

in the last years, for a series of events, we discovered to share the same passion for cycling, that’s why we decided to open this blog in which we promote a healthy and sustainable way of living, traveling and exercising.
Obviously this madness started from a joke!
We were talking about bike culture in The Netherlands and the beauty of their cycle paths so we decided to challenge ourselves to something that we never did before: a short trip from Amsterdam to Utrecht and back via some little towns along the road.
We weren’t really prepared, but 50km a day can be do-able for everyone.
It was a great experience that had a profound effect on us.
Do you know the fabled maxim “Happiness is real only when shared”? If you don’t know it you need to remediate immediately watching  the film “Into The Wild”.
For this reason we decided to share with as many people as possibile our passion and our way to travel.


How we travel

We both work and we do not have a lot of time to spend on the road, so we want to show that is possible to travel in just a few days and that you don’t need to be on the move for a great number of days.
We want to demonstrate that is possible to enjoy freedom even also without quit your job and there is no reason anyone else can’t do it.
For the moment we are exploring Europe.
We like to explore a country at a time without crossing borders to try to understand how locals perceive bikes.
Travel by bike is the best way to enjoy slowness, to live a nation in its uniqueness.


Safe travels to everyone and keep pedaling.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook if you want know more about our adventures.

Arthur & Bruno – BikesPhilosophy