Today we awoke to a bluebird sky and a gorgeous day! I thought I would see what it’s like to ride with my full panniers, so I packed all my clothes including shoes, rain gear, and toiletries that I am taking on “The Big Ride”. I found I even had space for our usual picnic lunch!
Off we went to one of my favorite havens…Hellevoetsluis. It was easy going with the wind, and no worries about getting lost since we had been there before. There were not many riders on the Fietspads…we notice the fiets traffic to be considerably busier on the weekends, especially with large groups of road/racers who can really come up behind you quickly. I am very happy that The Gazelle has rear view mirror which is very handy in these situations. I can also keep track of my cycling buddy!
We stopped at the Dry Dock Museum…
Between 1798 and 1822 the dry dock, including the pump house, was built in two phases to the design, and under the passionate direction of Jan Blanken Janz. (1755-1838).The building of the dry dock was part of a grand project for the modernisation of the naval base of Hellevoetsluis and was in it?s time a work of highly advanced technology. The dock is closed off from the harbour by a ship?s door (bateau-porte) and consists of 2 consecutive docking chambers which can be separated by lock doors. The aqueduct, 320 meters long, runs all the way round the dock and serves as a water reservoir. The pump building has been restored to its original state.
Mark decided that he needed one more tube of paint, so we made a short detour to the Art Shop,
then it was time to look for a picnic spot. Found one in the sunshine and watched some guys fishing across the canal as well as the sailboats heading out to enjoy a lovely breeze on the Haringvliet.
After lunch we found our way back inside the fortified town via riding on top of the ramparts….very fun!
We stopped at the main square to listen again to gorgeous sound of the chimes….yes, they even played the “Drunken Sailor” again! And to relax in the warm sun on a comfy cushioned bench to sip a koffie with the Admiraal! On our way back home we would be heading into the wind, but not a very strong one!