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Dutch leave in Leiden…

A Dutch tandeming couple had a marriage-threatening argument one day, and the husband stormed off on his solo bike, riding 80km every day to let off steam. After 7 days he said he felt much happier….now that he was 560km away!

We all know that taking Dutch leave is the equivalent of being AWOL, playing truant, bunking off without permission……well, today that was us….yep, I humbly confess that we ‘bunked off’. So, on an independently arranged cycletour, how do you ‘bunk off’?

Well, we took the train……yes I know (yawn), it is cheating….it’s not in the spirit….it’s playing by the wrong set of rules….but who makes the rules? Well, we do of course… we make and break them. The reason? Temperatures here in Holland were climbing into the high 30s, (40C+ had been recorded in Eindhoven) when sensible people take special measures to simply survive. So, we let common sense rule…….OK?


Last night’s Warmshowers hosts, Dirk and Veerle, were exceptional. After a picnic supper, we headed out for ice creams, then on to a favourite bathing spot where Veerle could take a dive into a canal and have a swim…..but, she declared, the water was a bit too warm…..

So, after a perfect breakfast the next morning of fried banana with porridge (try it, it’s delicious), we headed for Amsterdam Centraal, and caught a Sprinter train to Leiden……

….air conditioned, lots of space even for a tandem, comfortable……we could have stayed on it all day….but instead, when we got to Leiden, we made a beeline for the Museum of Lakenhal, recently refurbished and a cool haven in the heat… of the best museums we have ever visited……anywhere. More than adequate compensation for the missed cycle ride.