The final ride of our tour was 72 km, from Utrecht to Amsterdam.
We decided to take a scenic route, exploring the wetlands and lakes to the north of Utrecht.
We rode through a very interesting town called Breukeleveen, it is basically a single street between two lakes. Many of the houses sit between a canal on the road side and the lake on the other side. It got even narrower at the next town, called Muyeveld, which is basically a road back to the mainland – some of the houses alongside the road are built on stilts into the lake.
We then made our way to the historic town of Naarden, which is built in the form of a star fort, with a moat around its fortified walls. We circled through the town before continuing on our way.
The weather was changing rapidly and it started to rain heavily just as we reached the Muiderslot castle, a 13th century moated castle near the coast. We were stuck under an archway with a bunch of other tourists during the first big downpour at around midday. After having a quick look at the castle, we made it into the town before the next downpour saw us sheltering under a covered pavement next to an ATM.
When the rain abated a little, we got onto the most direct route to Amsterdam, a good bike path alongside the highway. Heavy rain started again at about 1pm, and we sat in a bus shelter for around an hour until 2pm. It felt as though the weather was conspiring against us ending our tour!
It was still raining, but less heavily, when we finally set out again. We continued to dodge showers all the way into and through Amsterdam. We entered from the east and skirted around the center city to our accommodation in the west. It took longer than we anticipated and we were pretty wet and tired when we arrived at the hotel. We found a local pub later on, with another excellent Belgium Tripel beer – Paix Dieu – as a reward. This may have been the best one yet.