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Checkpoint Charlie roadhouse is a welcome coffee stop

Over the Houtribdijk to Lelystad on another windy, but mercifully mainly dry, day. We cycled over this in the opposite direction in 2017 into a mad headwind the whole way. Mainly crosswind this time which was only a problem on the first section where the cycle path runs right beside the road, and every passing lorry gave us a big sideways gust with added sand. It took some time to shower it all out of my hair and face when we reached the hotel.

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Almost at Lelystad…
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… and looking back across the dyke

 

Lelystad is the same age as me, built entirely on reclaimed land. Like any new town, it is just a little too uniform and planned, but efforts have clearly been made with the architecture and lots of green space. There is an even-more-excellent-than-Netherlands-usual cycle network that very deliberately runs in wiggly lines, though whether for added interest or to avoid creating wind tunnels I haven’t yet discovered. The streets are numbered within areas so there is not the usual fun of Dutch Street names, but it must make it easier for delivery drivers. Our hotel is right in the centre by the 1970s issue shopping precinct, so very handy for restaurants and exploring.

We decided to stay here to have a day exploring the Batavialand museum, with a full size reconstruction of the 17th century warship Batavia and – even more interesting to me – information about how the land around here evolved and the eventual reclamation after the Afsluitdijk closed off the former Zuiderzee and turned it into a freshwater lake. There are maps showing how the topography changed from the Ice Age and how the Zuiderzee formed. Lots of books for sale but all in Dutch, alas.

Cycling deities willing, off to Zaandam tomorrow.

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