Sunday, 3 August 2014

In and around Stellendam

It is Sunday morning and I'm almost out of cigarettes (again). So I ask the hotel owner at breakfast where to get some.  I do not like the expression on his face!  He apologetically tries to tell me that since it is SUNDAY, everything in this town is closed.  Even in the next town of Ouddorp (~8 km away) most places will be closed, but I might be able to find a gas station that is open. BUT, the city of Hellevoetsluice has a mall !!! So I start on the 11 km ride there to buy cigarettes.   Not too bad, after all it is for the bike riding that I came to Holland.
The Dutch have A LOT of Dykes and Dams and generally grassy sloped things, and they even have remote-controlled lawnmowers for those. But there is an easier way to mow all those grassy slopes.
And there are a lot of those!
Don't you dare touch my grass!

They also don't like cats crossing their field.
The cat had to backtrack the first time and only snuck through the second time

I finally realize why I like the weird light here. Grandparents used to have these weird ocean and ship pictures with washy colours and indistinct horizons. They were painted by Dutch painters.  Now I finally know why they looked like that!

Passing under/alongside a bridge, I notice some reflections in the water that almost look like native art.

I'm not the only cyclist on the dam this early, but I don't think these guys are riding to get cigarettes ;-)

I didn't know swans can have that many kids, but maybe it's just this family because the dad (?) quickly puts himself between me and the dark young ones.
I finally make it to the mall at 10 am and find out that pretty much not a single store in the mall opens until noon.  Except Jumbo! And they sell cigarettes!  I buy 3 packs to make sure this does not happen again.
A sign in a vacant store. I'm sure every German speaker has to do a double-take.

That was my 20 km morning bike ride to find a pack of cigarettes in rural Holland on a Sunday!

In the afternoon, I think to myself that it would be nice to have another one of those pancakes with hot cherries. Off I ride.
Yes, that's what Holland looks like ;-(
The mowers look kind of pitiful.

I see the sign below and wonder what I should be afraid of. 

Instantly I am on the lookout for the ominous berm.  I have no idea what a berm is or what it looks like, but I do know that gevaarlijke means dangerous. I never meet or even see the berm and still don't know what it is and refuse to look it up so I can daydream about the great danger I escaped from ;-)

I get to Ouddorp, where they don't sell cigarettes on Sunday, but I hope to get a pancake with cherries again!  What they do have in Ouddorp though are FAKE SWANS on the village pond. It even has fake legs !!!
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Yet another route back to Stellendam (a 3rd route !) leads me through Goede Reede.  Dead Quiet, and neither cigarettes nor cherry pancakes ;-(

No cigs, no pancakes, and fake swans?  I have to get out of here!

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