Zaandam - Haarlem - Zandvoort - Noortwijk
Today we have a 45km bike ride, which we broke up in three sections. The first part took us 18km from Zaandam to Haarlem. The second part was a short 10km ride from Haarlem to Zandvoort, which took us to the coast. The last part along the coast from Zandvoort to Noordwijk was another 17km.
There was rain in the forecast for the afternoon, which was supposed to start around 3:30pm, so we aimed to be in Noordwijk by then. An early rise, well early for a 15-year old, had us have breakfast by 9am (ha!) and off we went to Haarlem, through fields and little towns, past mansions, estates and beautiful houses. We had stayed in Haarlem during our year long trip in 2012 and Lief still remembered the 'Grote Markt' (Big Market square) with the Saint Bavo cathedral, 'Vleeshal' (meat market) and town hall.
After a short coffee and smoothie break we continued our way to Zandvoort. We wanted to beat the rain and had wanted to have a quick lunch. Unfortunately it took forever for lunch to arrive. But looking at the special Dutch rain weather app we still had an hour before the rain would start, which would be enough to get to Noordwijk if we pushed hard. As we stood at the beach we saw the clouds coming from the south... wondering if we would make it in time.
Pretty quick we had to put our rain coats on. We started to push our bikes harder. Yet we could not beat the quickly approaching rain. This wasn't just your average rain, this came down like buckets of hail, the wind picked up and thunder started. Head down we quickly became soaking wet head to toe, literally.
In the middle of nowhere a collection of stores showed up, with a little shed right at the path. Thankfully the doors were open and we huddled inside for shelter while thunder and rain raged on. Huge puddles accumulated quickly. The rain would not let up, we were getting cold, so we decided to push on. We arrived at our hotel dripping wet; I left quite the puddle of water at the reception desk in Noordwijk...
After showering and some dry clothes, the weather changed miraculously. To our surprise the clouds disappeared completely and the sun came out. All of a sudden we went from a cold and stormy Autumn afternoon to a warm Summer evening...
We strolled along the boulevard to find a place to eat. After checking the many menus along the path, we decided on Nomade Beach House. It turned to be a great choice with delicious fresh food and chill music. My cool dude partner made sure our Cadillac was waiting for us after dinner.
Lief brought his Polaroid camera on the trip. The deserted beach called for some contemplative posing.
Grateful for the unexpected turn in weather, we did get to experience Noordwijk at its very best!