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  1. #1
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    Standard 2019 July - Germany - Holland

    All pictures here https://bit.ly/2Mt5oLZ

    Motorbike used: Bmw GS 1200 R

    Departure: 07 July 2019

    Arrival: 17 July 2019

    Km traveled: 2,500

    Countries visited: Germany-Holland

    07 July 2019 (110 km) Finally we leave for this new adventure on the road with my wife Laura. We leave the city of Malmö under a light drizzle to reach the port of Trelleborg where the ship for Travemunde in Germany will leave at 10.45. The departure is on time and the journey passes quietly until reaching Germany in the evening. The weather is good and the temperature is perfect. It starts in the direction of Hamburg about 80 km from the port. By highway we quickly reach the city where I booked a room at the Novum Hotel Hamburg Stadtzentrum. Parked the motorbike in the parking lot of the hotel very close to the structure and arranged the luggage we go down in the center until we reach the Hamburg Town Hall (Hamburger Rathaus) with its imposing main facade 111 meters wide and with a central tower 112 meters high. A real show. Let's take some pictures and then meet in a nearby pub with Nicola and Massimo of Italian motorcyclists returning from Caponord that had passed the day before from my house for a coffee. Who would have thought that we would meet the next day on the road! I take this opportunity to thank them for the beer and the pleasant evening spent together. After a short walk through the canals you say goodbye and who knows maybe you'll meet again somewhere.















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    08 July 2019 (130 km) We get up early and after a very hearty breakfast we are ready to leave in the direction of Bremen. After a brief stop for a coffee, of course with the mocha we arrive in the city at the ibis Styles Bremen Altstadt, a very comfortable hotel near the old town with lots of private covered parking. Once the luggage is settled we head to the restaurant near the hotel to quickly eat something and then head to the historic center of this wonderful German city, also known for being the place where it is set. the story of "The musicians of Bremen", a tale of the Grimm brothers, also remembered by a bronze statue in the town hall square, one of the most visited monuments in the city and depicting the four protagonists of the fairy tale: a donkey, a dog, a cat, a rooster! And it is from here that our experience begins among the Unesco World Heritage sites including the Renaissance Palazzo del Municipio and the statue of Rolando di Bremen which depicts Rolando the paladin, famous literary figure of the poems of the thirteenth century better known as the furious Orlando of Ariosto. Then again the market square, the Bremen Cathedral and the church of Our Lady of Bremen. Beautiful and picturesque The Schnoor, famous historical district of the city center, composed of small buildings, many of which are half-timbered from the 16th century is 19th century, which escaped miraculously to the destruction of the second world war. It deals with of the most ancient inhabited center of the city and to walk among these streets is really very suggestive. Very special is the Böttcherstraße or via dei bottai, a 110-meter-long museum street with La Haus des Glockenspiels (House of the carillon), which every day at 12, 15 and 18 resounds with music box made up of numerous Meissen ceramic bells. For today, tomorrow is enough to enter the Netherlands.










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    09 July 2019 (280 km) Breakfast starts for Holland. The weather is not bad indeed I would say it is chilly! After about 150 km we reach one of the best preserved fortified complexes in the whole country near the border with Germany. This is the Bourtange Fortress. Built at the end of the sixteenth century with its ditches full of water, the imposing defensive walls and the picturesque houses, represent one of the greatest examples of defensive constructions of the time. Absolutely worth a visit. Resumed the bike and bought something to eat we stop at an area equipped for lunch and the inevitable coffee. Late in the evening we arrive at Giethoorn, a pearl of the Overijssel, in the Weerribben-Wieden National Park. It is a town without roads but crossed by canals, pedestrian crossings and cycle paths. Given the time, the great flow of tourists pouring into the city is almost completely absent and so after booking a room at a nearby hotel, we take advantage of the wonderful day to rent for an hour a small boat and enjoy in absolute tranquility a tour of the canals and the lagoon. We are literally enchanted by the beauty of this place. Magical, picturesque, romantic, extraordinarily beautiful. Not content with the boat trip we still spend an hour passing through canals, bridges and walkways to discover every corner of this little paradise. We leave with regret this beautiful place and resumed the bike after about 11 km we come to Geertien at the Blokzijl, a small hotel surrounded by nature right next to a canal. The ideal place to relax after a long day on the road.

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  5. #5
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    10 July 2019 (190 km) We leave the hotel under a bright sun but it takes only a few kilometers and the weather begins to change. Big clouds on the horizon do not promise anything good. We arrive in the picturesque Kampen, another Hanseatic city whose medieval old town is very well preserved. Parked the bike in the center we visit the city between streets, doors and medieval alleys. Just enough time to get going again and it starts to rain. A few kilometers and we reach Lelystad where we stop to visit a very particular work of art. The Exposure is located on a long pier giant metal wire sculpture squatting in contemplation, even if it makes you think of someone suffering from constipation. In fact the locals started calling it "The Shitting Man"! It continues to rain and so seeing the bridge under which we parked the bike we take the opportunity to eat something and have a good coffee. We set off again in a pouring rain crossing the N307 that cuts a piece of sea in two. With this weather you cannot appreciate the view, which looks very beautiful. The rain leaves us no truce until we reach Den Helder for boarding to the island of Texel, famous above all for the National Park of the dunes. After about half an hour of crossing we arrive on the island and we immediately go to Den Burg where we have booked a room at the Fletcher Hotel Restaurant Koogerend. Once the luggage is settled, the weather starts to improve until the sun makes a timid peep in the clouds. We take the opportunity to get back on the bike and travel the 10 km that separate us from the National Park of the dunes. The place is really very beautiful with large sand dunes covered by a particular vegetation that grows only in these parts. The beach is very long. We follow one of the paths of the park to reach the top of one of the dunes from which you can enjoy a fantastic view. Too bad the weather but a bath I would have gladly done.

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  7. #7
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    11 July 2019 (240 km) We leave the hotel under a light drizzle and, after taking the ferry, we reach the picturesque fishing village of Marken. Fortunately the rain stopped. In front of the houses the typical wooden clogs worn out by use are arranged in a row. The center is completely closed to cars. The Kerkbuurt is beautiful, in the north-eastern part of the village, with tarred or brightly painted houses and raised on stilts to protect them from the Zuiderzee floods. Very pleasant to walk through these streets to reach the pretty harbor of Havenbuurt where you can drink or eat something. After the visit we have time to go to the bike and it starts to rain again. Then we take the opportunity to have lunch under a big tree. It starts again, the weather has improved and no longer rains. A few kilometers and we arrive at the spectacular Castle of Muiden one of the most beautiful medieval castles in the Netherlands. This fortress at the mouth of the Vecht river was built around 1280 by Count Floris V and is surrounded by a beautiful moat. It is also a museum. Beautiful visit of the various rooms and the great collection of armor, weapons and utensils of the 13th century as well as a series of paintings dating back to the Dutch Golden Age. We leave again and finally the sun returns to shine. We arrive in the charming medieval city of Amersfoort. Beer, wool and tobacco made this city very rich from the 16th century onwards. The old town is wonderfully beautiful with more than 300 buildings dating back to before the eighteenth century and three ancient gates to the city. After the visit we head to the city of Amsterdam where we will be guests for three days from Anna a long-time friend who warmly welcomes us by making her home available and making us find a delicious dinner. I take this opportunity to thank you and your partner for the warm hospitality.



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  9. #9
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    12 July 2019 (200 km) Today I will be alone, unfortunately my wife has to go to a funeral and she will come back in the evening. After a hearty breakfast we head towards the town of Alkmaar where the famous cheese market takes place every Friday. It all started in 1573 when the inhabitants rejected the Spanish invasion opening the locks and flooding the area with sea water, forcing the Spaniards to withdraw. For this victory the city obtained the right to have a public weighbridge that marked the beginning of its cheese market. Upon arrival on the main square where the Waaggebouw is located, a fourteenth century palace became the public weighbridge two centuries later. there are already many people waiting for the event. Hundreds and hundreds of cheeses (kaas) coated with a layer of wax are piled on the floor. The show begins. There are porters who with their colored hats and traditional clothes indicate the corporation of which they are part and traders, in white coats, testing the cheese. Once the agreements are made the porters load the cheeses on colored sleds according to the various guilds and from time to time carry the old-fashioned pesa cheese. Of course, everything is done for the joy of tourists but it is a really beautiful show to see, fun and exciting. It is possible to buy slices of cheese of various types and naturally I do not miss the opportunity to taste these fantastic delights. Once the market is over, I take the opportunity to have a good cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie and then take a walk in the historic center. Resumed the bike I headed south. It begins to rain heavily. Arrival at De Haar Castle in torrential rain! It takes me a good coffee and so I park my bike under a big tree that makes me an umbrella right in front of the manor entrance. Now it's better. The rain continues to fall but slightly. This 16th century fortress was restored in 1890 by Baron Etienne Van Zuylen Van Nijevelt Van de Haar that he decided to restore the family castle to its former glory, together with the Baroness Hélène de Rothschild. De Haar is the largest castle in the Netherlands with a huge garden and its rooms are home to priceless treasures. The international high society of the last century, with its opulent lifestyle, regularly visited the castle. According to tradition, the family spent the month of September in the manor. The baron and the baroness invited famous guests from all over the world. Great industrialists, bankers, artists and movie stars came to De Haar. The baron and the baroness organized large parties and extravagant dinners, and offered excellent hospitality. Among the guests just to name a few Coco Chanel, Maria Callas and Yves Saint Laurent. After the visit I make my way to Amsterdam. The rain has stopped and the weather has definitely improved. Once in town I decide with Anna to take a little ride together on a motorcycle. A few kilometers away we reach Haarlem, a typical Dutch town, made of cobbled streets, old buildings, majestic churches, refined cafés and picturesque canals. The Grote Markt, a large square surrounded by restaurants, cafés and historic buildings, is the heart of the city. We take a walk in the old town and then drink a beer (non-alcoholic!) And taste the famous fried potatoes with the typical Dutch sauce in the square.

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  11. #11
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    13 July 2019 (200 km) Today we are going to visit The Hague (Den Haag), that is the city that houses the Dutch government and residence of the royal family. Very beautiful the historical center around the parliament where the Binnenhof is located, place where in the past the death sentences were carried out. Do not miss a visit to the Mauritshuis, a small museum housed in a 1640s building that houses some of the greatest Dutch and Flemish works of art. Wonderful "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Vermeer. The museum houses a wing dedicated to Rembrandt among whose works stand out a self-portrait of 1669, the year of his death and the famous "Anatomy lesson of Dr. Tulp". You will be enchanted by so much beauty. In the afternoon we meet on the square Anna and her companion who have come to visit us for a drink together. We leave the city until we have taken some pictures from the Hofvijver, which gives us a magnificent view of the Binnenhofe and the Mauritshuis. After about 70 km we arrive in the beautiful city of Utrecht one of the oldest cities of Holland. Most of the most important monuments are located no more than 500 meters from the Domtoren, the bell tower of the cathedral from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city. The center is surrounded by truly unique channels. They are arranged on two levels and the lowest on the water level, which housed the warehouses in the 13th century. now it houses bars and restaurants where you can sit quietly right next to the water. Truly a beautiful town where it is particularly pleasant to walk in the historic center. Like many we sit in one of the many bars to enjoy the special atmosphere of this beautiful town.







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    14 July 2019 (320 km) We leave Amsterdam under a leaden sky to head towards the Delft's delightful medieval center with its magnificent square and cozy historic center. The town is famous because it was born and lived here the famous painter Jan Vermeer. We continue our day to reach one of the most famous and photographed places in the whole of the Netherlands, the UNESCO Heritage Kinderdijk. This is an area made up of 19 windmills from the 18th century that are still functioning and arranged on both sides of the canals that cross the area. The place is really very picturesque and offers views of an extraordinary beauty along its route. It starts again in the direction of Maastricht. On the way we stop in Breda to visit the Grote Kerk, a splendid Gothic church of the fifteenth century with its bell tower 97 meters high. Late in the evening we arrive near Maastricht, in the small town of Valkenburg where we found accommodation at the Fletcher Hotel Restaurant De Geulvallei, a charming place nestled in the woods. Tomorrow we will visit the city.











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  17. #17
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    15 July 2019 (230 km) After a hearty breakfast we head towards Maastricht, a magnificent Dutch city located at the southernmost end of the country in a narrow strip of land on the sides between Belgium and Germany. The historic center is rich in monuments and very interesting. Once the visit is over, we take the opportunity to eat something and then start the journey home. Along the way we take a coffee break in a rest area. More motorcyclists arrive and I can't help but offer him good coffee with moka. In the end we will be almost in twenty! In the evening we arrive near Deventer and presumably in Gorssel where we have booked a room at the hostel Stayokay Gorssel - Deventer in a place surrounded by nature among woods and fields of flowers. The evening is beautiful and once we have settled our luggage we get back on the bike to cover the eight kilometers that separate us from the historic center of the ancient Hanseatic city of Deventer with its winding streets and magnificent historic buildings. The setting sun illuminates the city with a wonderful light. on banks of the Ijssel river, we take a boat that takes us to the opposite side of the river. Here you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city. Back at the hotel we have dinner with what we have. Tomorrow before departure we will return to the city to visit the cathedral.












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    16 July 2019 (420 km) After breakfast and the bike is ready we are ready to leave the hostel. A brief visit of the Deventer Cathedral and then off to Germany. On the way we visit the beautiful town of Zwolle which in the during the 14th and 15th centuries it became the main merchant port of the Hanseatic League. In the evening we arrive in Bad Oldesloe, a quiet German town about 40 km from the port of Travemunde. Tomorrow the ferry to Sweden is waiting for us.



  20. #20
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    17 July 2019 (90 km) We have breakfast early and then head to the port of Travemunde. The shipping company he anticipated the morning ferry due to ship problems. We were due to leave in the afternoon and for this gave us two meal vouchers for lunch on the ship. The crossing takes place peacefully and we take the opportunity to sleep a little. At 19 we are already landed and unless we say we are at home. Even this latest on the road adventure is over. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of Holland, a very beautiful land. I thank my traveling and life partner Laura for sharing this fantastic holiday with me. Until next time.

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