A Travellerspoint blog

Rest days and a day trip

Noordwijk and a trip to Amsterdam

overcast 13 °C

Tuesday 10 - Noordwijk - rest day

Lazy morning reading then catching up on our blog. At lunchtime we venture out to the beach to make the most of the afternoon sunshine. Make sandwiches, then enjoy a long walk on the beach. It’s really windy and it has washed up several big blue jellyfish. We can't see the windfarms offshore today and so we wouldn't know they were there if we hadn't already seen them. One girl has braved the water. She barely makes it to her thighs before she turns around. I don’t think it counts as a swim since her head didn't get wet. Kim says it does. here are hundreds of people walking on the beach and in the cafes on the dunes. We later ask our host and she tells us as school holidays in Germany so it’s always this busy.
Find a place in the sun but out of the wind at one of the cafes on the beach for a beer and wine. As the sun starts to dip we wander back to our Airbnb. Spend the evening resting and reading.

Wednesday 11 - Noordwijk - rest day

Not a lot to report. We have midweek lazy Sunday. We brave the wind and walk to the beach. Enjoy some local fish before we are blown home again. The rest of the day we spent resting, drinking tea, blogging and reading.

Thursday 12 - Noordwijk - rest day - day trip into Amsterdam

Exciting day today. We are collecting our bib for Sunday's Amsterdam marathon! We registered back in May when Kim thought it would be a memorable way to end our Western European leg of our journey. She also thought once we crossed the Alps we would have more time and energy to train. It's certainly iconic, but I think she was delirious to think we would have time or energy to train for a marathon. This is why we have been having a lot of rest days this past week!

It is a 20 minute bus trip to Leiden. Its cold and raining outside but we are cosy on the bus. It's an easy transfer to the train to Amsterdam. We arrive into Amsterdam Central station at 10am. As we exit the station there are people everywhere and more people speaking English than we have heard in months. It's quite a shock to the system.

We've got plenty of time to wonder about the old town. Need a decent coffee before the expo opens. Kim has already researched her caffeine fix. As we track down the cafe we walk straight through the red light district - Kim had no idea! We nab the last table. The coffee lives up to our expectations plus they have banana bread which we share. Reminds us of home.
It's now raining outside, put on our wet weather gear to continue wandering along the canals and through the Botanical gardens. We discuss how different Amsterdam is to the rest of Holland. It's grungy and in need of a good scrub. Reminds Kim of Camden Town in London! As we walk through the gardens hundreds of people, walk, run or cycle past us even though the weather is more conducive to being inside with a cup of tea and a good book. It's just past of their culture and we like it.
We find a local vegetarian cafe for warm soup and a wrap. Both delicious and exactly what we need. It is after 1pm and the marathon expo has opened. When we arrive we notice there is a big hotel outside named the Olympic Hotel and wonder if we should have booked to stay there the night after the marathon. The expo is huge covering three sports halls. There are lots of very fit people inside. We don't feel like one of them! Find our queue to collect our bib, pick up a map for Sunday, collect our marathon t-shirt, then find our name on the runners wall! Kim is stoked - she hasn't had her name on a wall before like this. Wander through the rest of the expo, there's lots of great gear but can't buy anything as it's just more to carry! Plus the gear we have, is tried and tested even if only for a few parkruns. You should never change your gear or diet for a race!
It's still pouring when we leave the expo but we don't mind. Retrace our steps through the gardens and stop for a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up near the train station. Kim loves quaint pubs and she found one a block from the train station with over 150 beers to choose from. Would be rude not to go. We sit at the bar. The barman asks what are we after - a dark beer we reply. He recommends a trappist beer - we order two. Kim asks the percentage as those monks are known for strong beer. 10% the barman replies and Kim nearly reconsiders but its only 250ml so she agrees on just one!
After finish the first beer we decide to share another beer and ask what we should have next. A dark IPA. Another good recommendation, a little less alcoholic. Decide on one last beer to share. The barman says he has just the thing. An extra Stout. Kim is not sure about a Stout, so I suggest that I'll have the whole thing if she doesn't like it. She is pleasantly surprised. A couple of regulars are sitting next to us, and we have been chatting away with them. They order a spirit of some kind. We ask what it is. Instead of explaining he just offers to get us a short each for us. Shots are out of Kim's comfort zone but I whisper "use your Yes muscle" to her. We gratefully accept. It's a licorice liqueur. Pretty good considering I'm not a fan of licorice.
Time to go. We are hungry and a bit tipsy. Kim has found a highly rated Falafel bar not far away. There is a line out the door. When we walk in she says it reminds her of being in Israel over 20 years ago! We get a wrap each and share some hot chips. The wraps are huge and delicious.
Train and bus and bed way after Kim’s bedtime


Days cycled - 127
Rest days - 64
Distance cycled - 0km (6232.5km)
Ascent - 0m (Total 54110m)
Descent - 0m (Total 54110m)
Money Spent - $154 + $124 + $335 AUD (Total $23289 AUD)

Posted by darrenhough1974 00:00 Archived in Netherlands

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