Saturday, September 27, 2008

To the North Sea or Bust!

And bust we almost did.

Armed with bikes, the camera, a blanket, and a Fiets map that proudly proclaims "Miles of bike paths with easy to follow signs," we headed off to the North Sea. Anticipating a short seven mile ride, we hoped to stop off at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague and be on the beach by lunch time. Somewhere along the way we missed the sign for Route 44 - most likely because a group of rowdy teenagers spray painted over it and any other surface nearby.

Unfortunately, by the time we realized the lack of signage, we were happily biking through Leidshendam and a few miles north of The Hague. Turn around. Pedal. Pedal. Pedal.

Rijswijk? What? Isn't that city south of the Hague? Turn around. Pedal. Pedal. Pedal.

Ahhh! Those buildings with the colorful local nicknames...Finally The Hague!

After a trip through the Gemeentemuseum - which was quick mostly due to the fact that our stomachs were eating themselves by around 2pm - we continued on to Scheveningen. The name "Scheveningen" was used as a password by the Dutch resistance during WWII because even though the Germans could learn Dutch, their native accents prevented them from correctly pronouncing the name of this seaside town. (We just called it "the beach town".)

We quickly dropped the bikes off and headed to a seaside cafe to enjoy lunch and a beer. The cafes were full of groups playing board games, couples lunching, and old people laying out. I think we saw more people in their swimsuits in the cafes than on the beach.

After lunch, we laid out our blanket on the beach and relaxed while watching kite flyers, surfers, and little kids playing in the surf. Since the water is in the 60s year around, we skipped a dip in the ocean.

In a hurry to get back to Delft for the tragic Clemson game, we followed road signs back and were making great time. Until a sign directed us to go left directly into a building.


Our 14 mile ride that somehow ballooned to 28 miles.

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