(The Netherlands) There are more bicycles than residents

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I came to the country which is well known for its excellent cycling infrastructure. Actually since the northern Belgium, everywhere there was a bicycle path which was very smooth.


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Since the northern Belgium, the house looked very well organized and managed. In the Netherlands most of house looked very nice and their yard was so clean and beautiful.


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By the 13th century windmills had come into use to pump water out of areas below sea level. The windmills were later used to drain lakes, creating the famous polders


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There were endless farms along with the road. I stopped to eat cereal.


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Then suddenly they came to me. I was wondering they wanted to eat mine. So, I tried to give them a little bit, but they were not interested of cereal.
The fence was electronic one. It reminded me of South Africa where many Dutch moved and started farming long time ago. Many of white South Africans who had an ancestor in the Netherlands stay still as farmers. They also use electronic fence.



It was foggy at the late afternoon.
I stayed at the host’s house for a night. He cycled in Africa, so we could have some common to talk.
He said “I will never cycle again in Africa”
I did agree! I will never cycle again in Africa. It is not because of safety, but because of too stressful thing for different culture and life style.
Maybe if I have male company or a group tour, I would like to visit again.


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At the next day I visited a big market. There was interesting thing for a bicycle. It seemed electronic locker. Maybe people should register and get a card to use. But I thought it was not popular, because I couldn’t find it again later.


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Today my shopping list
I wanted to go to Liddle,Carrefour, or Auchan such as a big grocery. But I couldn’t find them. I just saw some strange market, Ah.
Later I realized that Ah (Albert Heijn) is Dutch company and it is the most popular one in the Netherlands. Some Dutch made a joke that Ah is a monopoly company!
Just next country is Germany which has most popular supermarket all over Europe, Lidle. But Lidle is not popular in just next country, the Netherlands.
Many Items which was from Ah were cheap. But the fruit was not cheap. There are so many farms in the Netherlands and they are really good at agriculture. But why it is not cheap?


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There was always a traffic light for a bicycle.


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There were so many small bicycles at the school.


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It seemed it looked the same house I’ve seen in South Africa. The Netherlands reminds me of South Africa sometimes.


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There were four children at the front.


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I could see many farms. I was really wondering about it because the Netehrlands is a small but too many people living.


The Netherlands is a very densely populated country for its size. Only Bangladesh, South Korea and Taiwan have both a larger population and a higher population density. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the world’s second largest exporter of food and agriculture products, after the United States.


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In Korea we don’t have the land for a house, so most of us live in a taller apartment which has 20~30 floors.
I am curious which makes a difference.


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The Dutch agricultural sector is highly mechanized, and has a strong focus on international exports. The Dutch rank second worldwide in value of agricultural exports, behind only the United States, with exports earning €79 billion in 2013, up from €75.4 billion in 2012.
The Netherlands exports a quarter of all the world’s tomatoes, and trade of one-third of the world’s exports of chilis, tomatoes and cucumbers goes through the country.
Aside from that, a significant portion of Dutch agricultural exports consists of fresh-cut plants, flowers, and flower bulbs, with the Netherlands exporting two-thirds of the world’s total.


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I didn’t know what was at the inside of jar of the left one on the picture. I couldn’t understand Dutch, but I believed it could be for a vegan, because there were vegetable pictures. It was some just spice vegetable stuff.
The right one was my favorite jar!!! It was my first time to see and try in Europe. Since I saw it, I’ve loved.


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Um… Yummy.. I love it!!!


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There was water everywhere in the Netherlands. But here was no bridge, so I had to pay 1 Euro to cross.


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In Europe there were many unique cars and motorcycles.


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They cycled with holding their hand for a long distance. It looked like a movie.


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‘What is this place? Bicycle shop?’ I thought.
But actually it was a parking place for a bicycle at the inside of the subway.
Surprising ever!!!


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There were some house boats.


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There were really so many bicycles ever. It seemed the clothes and bicycle’s brand were not important to them.


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The city was too busy with bicycle. Once I got out of city, I could cycle quietly.


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In the Netherlands the stationary position of the sails, i.e. when the mill is not working, has long been used to give signals. Most notably the positions with the sails just before or just after the main building signal joy or mourning. Across the Netherlands windmills with the sails tilted to the right were used to mourn the victims of the 2014 flight MH17.


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The bicycle path was sometimes not good, but compared to other European road it was the best. There was water everywhere beside the road. My question was it would be okay for summer about mosquitoes.


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Many parents are used to taking their baby with a bicycle. It means Dutch baby will be very familiar with a bicycle.
There were many hosts in Amsterdam, but I couldn’t get an answer. If it is too touristic place, it is very hard to find a host. Thanks to my host of yesterday, I could stay at their parents’ house.


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Old car


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In a big park, Vondelpark


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It was hot just last month. But here autumn came.


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In France I saw the bike like the left one of the picture. At that time I was very interested and I took the picture. But in the Netherlands I could see it so many times. The right one which has a big basket on the front is also very popular for a people who needs to carry their school bag or some big bag.


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Interesting bike!


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Amsterdam is made of canals.


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Oh.. I found the secret how to tight.


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Amsterdam… they put.. I…… I amsterdam…..?

There were so many people that I couldn’t take the all letters clearly.


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Some people drawing on the park


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People enjoying the day on the Park


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A park which was at the next to Rijks


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I almost forgot that Heineken is from the Netherlands. There was some tour in Heineken. I don’t know what they are showing, but I am sure that the gift after touring would be the beer of them.


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Dutch beers.. Heineken beer is only 1 Euro. The taste of Heineken is really weird. All the time I think like this when I try.


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I didn’t bring a bicycle, but walked. Most of people cycled at average speed of 15~20 km in the city. As a pedestrian and a cyclist, I really didn’t feel safe to cycle or walk in a big city. I think I failed to adjust their culture. Even I thought too many bicycles is worse than too many cars. It was really chaotic.
As a cyclist the scariest thing was I had to use this small road with a motor cycle. The main road was only for a car!!
I made two times mistakes as cycling for a few seconds on a main road, because at the first night it was too dark and I didn’t know yet about the country and at the second time I missed bicycle path while thinking other things. And then I witnessed the angriest driver in the world. I’ve never seen that much angry drivers ever in the trip. Every car kept honking horn at me. I had ears to hear honking quickly that they didn’t need a huge long noise honking.
Most of time they were so kind and they respected me as like an angel on the road. But when I made a mistake, they became angry monster.

The Netherlands is very unique country, I think. Before coming here, I thought the Netherlands would be like Mediterranean country which is more relaxing, because it is a legal for marijuana and prostitution.
But actually the Netherlands was the strictest and the cleanest country I’ve been in Europe. Every yard of people’s house was maintained very well.
I think they have some opposite things.


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The land of tulips, the Netherlands!

I read some book about tulips. It was long time ago, so I can’t remember exactly. But I knew some of history about Tulip.


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Tulip mania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.
At the peak of tulip mania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.


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Cheese shop


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Many different colors


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Always there were so many bicycles


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I was wondering why house is leaning.


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There were many leaning houses


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It is Red Street. It is popular street for drinking to local young people and for prostitution to tourists.


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It is a bit quiet around 6 pm.


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But actually there was a girl dancing already. Maybe after 9 pm, so many girls would dance on the street.
I was wondering they only danced like a strip club, so I asked to a local people. I heard that they were prostitute. They were dancing to be chosen by a customer. Behind that window, there would be a room for the service.
Everything is a legal!


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The more I walked into the center, the more I had to smell marijuana which is really disgusting than cigarette. After Red Street, I saw some girls who enjoyed some their special party. One of girl was vomiting while sitting on the street. Vomit was flowing on her jaw, blouse, and skirt.

Actually I didn’t feel good while walking on the red street.

My city tour was finished with weird feeling.


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While going back to host house, I dropped my iphone. Opps…
But it still worked!! Hahahaha.


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At the next morning, it was Sunday. There were many bicycle in front of the house. The road was so quiet that I enjoyed calming morning.
Today I would go to Van Gogh Museum
I already booked yesterday, because I didn’t want to wait a long line. But when I arrived there, I saw the line was not long
-> https://tickets.vangoghmuseum.com/?_ga=1.43568421.1203111740.1412974029


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I paid for an audio guide. There were only 30 explanations.


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His first drawing Still Life With Cabbage And Clogs (1881)
Van Gogh began to draw as a child, and he continued to draw throughout the years that led up to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches, and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes, portraits as well as paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.


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The Potato Eaters (1885)
The most comprehensive primary source for the understanding of Van Gogh as an artist is the collection of letters between him and his younger brother, art dealer Theo van Gogh. They lay the foundation for most of what is known about the thoughts and beliefs of the artist Theo provided his brother with both financial and emotional support. Their lifelong friendship, and most of what is known of Van Gogh’s thoughts and theories of art, is recorded in the hundreds of letters they exchanged between 1872 and 1890: more than 600 from Vincent to Theo and 40 from Theo to Vincent.


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Van Gogh made copies of two Hiroshige prints. He altered their colours and added borders filled with calligraphic characters he borrowed from other prints.


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I could understand a little of him through his paintings. Maybe the way he drew was the way he saw like that with his heart. If everything would look like that with his heart, it could be hard to live normally.
In 1890, Van Gogh was killed himself.


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This is my favorite painting of him, but it was not there. It is in New York.


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There is some interesting ranking.


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A klomp is a clog from the Netherlands. Some Dutch people, particularly farmers, market gardeners, and gardeners still wear them for everyday use.


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The road is really busy at the next morning while I try to get out of the city.


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There is really interesting thing. Nobody wear the helmet. In their law, the mandatory thing is to have a bell and lights, not a helmet. Many of people use a bicycle to go to work or school. It would be not good to start fresh morning with mess hair which was made by helmet, so nobody doesn’t wear it, in my guessing.
But some reasonable fact is Dutch people tend to go helmet-free because they are protected by the cycle-centric rules of the roads and the way infrastructure is designed.
Other thing is the government thinks helmet will make them discourage to cycle, so they didn’t pressure people.


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The morning’s light was warm.


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The center was quiet in the morning that I could see all letters finally.


34,000 km

It is my turn.
Congratulation’s photo for 34,000 km


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It is really leaning.


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If you don’t remember where you park, you will lose your whole day to find it. haha


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Waiting for ships


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There was one hard thing in the Netherlands. There were too many roads to every city. It was my first time to wish to have GPS.


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A trash basket
Good idea!


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I’ve seen a few times like this view. I think mother was supporting her child.


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I asked the bicycle shop to remove a seat post. Unexpectedly it came out very easily. I guessed the vibration which I made during cycling made lubricant go down.


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Oh.. finally.. my dream saddle!


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Unfortunately a new saddle hurt me. Cycling with a saddle having nose after using saddle without nose made really uncomfortable. I thought something was wrong as well. Maybe I should buy a new screw for saddle and seat post to change a position.


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Today I arrived in the city late again. I really didn’t know that why my speed was slow in the Netherlands, a flat country. My average speed was between 13~15 km/h.
The host from warmshower was a sailor. He said he had to leave the house and work for a few days out of city. He hid his house key and let me stay at his house alone.
Actually since Europe, a few times it happened that people just gave me a key with some reason they couldn’t stay with me.
Thanks to him, I could take the rest well.


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The Netherlands was really unique country to me. If I didn’t come here I would not know many thing of them.
Through the yellow street, I would cross German border. I was excited to cross the border, because I heard many good things about Germany. ‘They are on time, they are always follow the law, they are strict.. etc…’
What would it be like? Let’s cross the border!


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Days in The Netherlands = 10 Days
Distance of cycling in The Netherlands = 384.66 km (240.41 mi)
Cities I stayed in The Netherlands = 4 Cities
s-Hertogenbosch, Amstredam, Achterveld, Enschede
Expenditure in The Netherlands = $81 (€ 58.36)
(€1 = $1.4 )

[14/09/04~09/11 (D+1107)] 

  1. Glad you liked the Netherlands, you have seen many things in just ten days.
    I wish you all the best on your travels.

  2. Hoi Jin,

    Leaning of houses in the old NL was for a good reason !
    On top you find a hook or ropewheel. The topfloor was used to store things like flour, tulipbulbs, whine, etc.

    When the house is leaning it is more easy to hoist stuff since there is more clearence to the wall. That’s it, it is on purpose !

    I think you have passed my former hometown Hengelo. And passed the German border at Glanerbrug. The region Twente is one of the very best to cycle (onroad and offroad). But i guess you missed that since you don’t mention that. You just don’t notice that when you’re on the main roads. Next time take some (much) time, ie for this route :




    Don’t forget to bring all your cameras !


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