Days 4 and 5: Lelystad to Assen, Assen to Groningen

There are two ways of looking at this, so I’m doing all three. We could say that the first cycling day was too much for our unpreparedness. We could say we’re on holiday, so we can do what we like. Or we could just say ‘wibble’ – I often do. Anyway, despite wearing padded pants over my padded shorts and chamois cream (I’d left off the padded leggings to let my legs cool), my bum was bruised. My right calf had responded favourably to deep heat cream at a stop – but not for very long. Elly may – or may not – write about her own tribulations. But I think the killer was the combination of a light but unending headwind and no opportunities for coffee. My leading us towards Dronten (our original destination for day 3) instead of towards Waterwijk (the only obvious break on the way to Dronten) didn’t help. So we stayed night 3 in Lelystad and, after rethinking routes and where to stay, we took a train to Assen.

We both think Assen is lovely. (So is Groningen and the area between.) As Dutch as you like (waterways funky buildings, oh-so-lovely tarmac cycle paths) but with more history in the architecture than Flevoland. (This is not a surprise given how young Flevoland is.)

So we spent yesterday afternoon in Assen’s Drents Museum, learning a little about Armenia, the Nebra sky disk, bog-bodies, and generally being on holiday. Yay! We also bought a phone-holder because the glue on my lifeproof holder had died. (The new one holds phones by their corners rather than a sticky pad on the back of the phone, so it will work with many devices.) 

I think we (and Drenthe and Groningen) got today right: about 10km to Vries, drinks at Onter den Linden, another 13 km to Haren, bean salad and cheese toasties and cake (there was a CHOICE of vegan cakes) at Verbeek and then a few km on to Groningen. The only issues were the my water rucksack’ hose detached itself from the bladder, causing moistness in interesting places, and the sun being so bright that at times I couldn’t see my phone to navigate. A little shopping was the first stop: I bought a new bladder for my water-rucksack, and Elly bought other essentials. (Ask her!) This afternoon’s trip to Gronigen’s library-cum-everything was a wee highlight. Currently we’re in Handy Wash because our cellphones were minging.

OK, I wrote that hours ago, and left it and photos to upload while we went for dinner. That didn’t work (I’d saved the text elsewhere, thank goodness) so here’s hoping it will this time. Dinner was at the Groningen De Baren. Burger and chips have pulled me out of the hypo I took on the way. Yay! We both really want to revisit this area to explore and enjoy more. Next year?

Photos from day 4

    Around Assen

    Drents Museum

    a very pleasant stroll through Assen’s Asserbos (nature park) with extra werewolves

    Photos from day 5

    stops for a Kodak moment and lunch in Heren 

    out and about in Groningen. The main library in ‘Forum Groningen’ is inspiring! Perhaps that’s why laughing gas is forbidden.

    bimbling around Groningen again

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