Yesterday we made a decision to change our route, based on the weather predictions for strong easterly winds in the coming days. So from Willemstad we rode to Breda ( through Van Gogh country). It does seem that when it blows from the east the weather is fabulous…clear blue skies!
In Breda, we hopped ( or should I say dragged ourselves and our bikes and our luggage) on the train to Maastricht via Eindhoven, where we had to change trains. A whole new experience taking a fully loaded bicycle onto a train! I didn’t actually realize how heavy my bike was until I tried to get it up one little step onto the train!!!! Mark pushed and I pulled and then there I was in a tiny space allocated for bikes ( there is actually a specific car with a bike storage compartment on the trains) with two bikes already there and Mark coming in behind me….it was challenge to get sorted out! Finally with the help of the other two bikers, we managed to lash our bikes against the wall with the other two. For the train change in Eindhoven, we had a 2 minute connection, and had to do it all over again!!!! However, this time we took the panniers off , so then I loaded the luggage into the train first while Mark held onto the bikes, then we easily pushed the bicycles on board, and strapping them to the wall was also much easier.
The trains are extremely efficient and user friendly. The staff are quite helpful and speak English. And we made it to the beautiful “University” town of Maastricht.
It was a bit of a shock riding in a city with so much traffic and so many bikes. We had our route to the hotel planned out ( thanks to google maps) but it was tricky to find street signs while concentrating on the rode and avoiding other cyclists and cars and trucks! We eventually found our way to the Hotel Beez. ( great location in the center of the “old” city) The friendly staff found us a room at the back for our bicycles and then we were off to discover the historic sights of Maastricht.