After Amsterdam we headed south – finally! We had three amazing bike days with great weather and amazing sights. We hit some pretty large cities on the way which only added to the fun!
Our day from Rotterdam was pretty bad, though. We cycled nearly 100 km and nearly dehydrated! More on that below.
We really love documenting our travels – how do you like these posts? We think it’s an important part of this trip and hope you feel inspired by reading them! :)
DAY 15: AMSTERDAM – ROTTERDAM (88 km)
Amsterdam was totally mind blowing for me. I hadn’t expected to like the city as much as I did. Leaving was hard and I would gladly have stayed there a little longer!
Surprisingly, Rotterdam was fairly close and we covered the distance in one day. The Netherlands are amazing to bike in! It must be one of the best countries for bikes. Wow.
After 5 great days in Amsterdam our legs were so ready for the 88 km and we had no problems at all. We enjoyed driving through The Netherlands and seeing their houses surrounded by water. Also, we had no hills at all – such an easy ride!
When we arrived in Rotterdam we were surprised with the city. It has a “big city” feel and doesn’t seem as old and charming as Amsterdam. We only had one night in Rotterdam and didn’t have time to see more of the city.
DAY 16: ROTTERDAM – ANTWERPEN (97 km)
Normally, we try to plan our routes so that we don’t cycle much more than 80 km. However, we really wanted to reach Antwerpen and see the city – plus we wouldn’t have much more than 50 km to Bruxelles the next day.
It turned out to be a very bad idea since it was a Sunday. Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium are like ghost towns on a Sunday – everything is closed. It used to be the same in Denmark but now we have lots of supermarkets which are open on Sundays.
Combined with the weather that reached way over 35 degrees celcius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and absolutely no clouds it was doomed to go badly.
We always have 2 litres of water with us when we set off in the morning. After that we buy as we go since the water gets hot right away and since it’s a lot of weight to ride around with.
When we reached the Belgian border we had our fingers crossed that they wouldn’t be like Germany and The Netherlands who completely shots down on Sundays.
We weren’t in luck. Everything was closed. We ended up on a nice Italian restaurant, exhausted. We went through 1,5 litres of San Pellegrino pretty quickly. We thought we were good to go and continued towards Antwerpen.
I’ve never felt so dehydrated in my entire life.
Everything was a blur for a couple of miles. We were both really dehydrated, our bodies just screaming for water. At one point I really found it hard to keep my eyes open. Now, thinking back, that was a pretty dangerous situation, actually.
When we drove past a sandwich bar with large coke signs in front, I thought i was hallucinating – but it was real and we hit the breaks.
In line, they let me purchase first even though the line was pretty long – I must have looked pretty thirsty. I bought 2 liters of water, paid the overprice for it and we both just threw it down. Sooo good.
Our bodies didn’t really accept the water right away, and we both got a really bad stomach ache. We continued, slowly, towards Antwerpen and when we reached our campground we booked two nights – we couldn’t bare the thought of waking up the next day and drive more. No way.
It turned out to be a very good decision. And we also got a chance to experience Antwerpen – a very nice city that you will see more of on the blog soon. :)
DAY 17: ANTWERPEN – BRUXELLES (51 km)
The extra day in Antwerpen was really great for us. When we finally set off towards Bruxelles we were feeling fine and were ready for the short trip.
The weather was stunning again and we drank lots of water to keep hydrated. Even though we had lots of water, we still felt a little dizzy when we reached Bruxelles. This kind of crazy heat and sunlight is serious. We’ve learned to respect that.
We thought Bruxelles would be very new, clean and filled with people in suits – it is in fact the EU-city. But the city is very old and charming and seems chaotic – very French, actually.
Everybody speaks French here so I’m trying to remember what I learned in school – I did take French courses for many years.