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DAY 20

DATE: 26:07:2010
The Italian-style fake cycle paths
Yeah, the Italian-style fake cycle paths arrived also here; the Netherlands is not immune. Here they have done them with more care: more than the white stripes they paint the red background too. This does not prevent motorists distracted and/or unruly to occupy them, especially in curves. This is a fast road, motor vehicles are between 100 and 150 km/h (Dutch motorists do not shine for the respect of limits and rules). The results are bouquets of flowers leaning against a tree, with a teddy bear and a name. Probably this is a child. Did he drive a car or maybe, instead, perhaps, a bicycle? Who knows...

Chronicle of the day: bridges; a storm more violent than usual continental little rains; REAL endless cycle paths on the banks of the Rhine, elevated in comparison with the countryside, which are a pleasure.

And however there are also many sections of cycle routes promiscuous with cars, really annoying. These, let's face it, put the Netherlands several steps below the Trentino Alto Adige with regard to extra-urban cycling. And you do not see construction work, i.e. they do not bother at all to resolve conflicts... not good.

In the morning before leaving we discover that the room was including a visit to the bicycle museum, managed by the same hotel. Really interesting, even this for cycling fans deserve a trip. Hundreds of specimens from the origins to today (well, of today there are only 2 or 3 for the truth). Including wood, including bamboo, even with the built-in radio. Wonderful really.

After Zaltbommel, at the suggestion of Flavio, we decide to take the shortcut: abandonment of the father-Rhine, and straight away headed for Utrecht and Amsterdam following the red and white signs with the little drawing of a bicycle. I recalled that two years ago we did so and had worked. I was sorry not to arrive at the mouth of this river whose waves had accompanied us from nearly to their source... I felt like a gush of water that had lost its way, ending to dry on arid land... but at this point the time is short, and the poem had to give way to pragmatism.

So do we arrive quickly to Utrecht? Not exactly...

The bad fact of the day which spoil the party, in fact, is the false cycle path of the photo. After 30 km passed in this way, with as many still to do before Utrecht, I throw up the sponge: I really can't stand any more, either I proceed by train to Amsterdam, or we return back in Zaltbommel and take the master road of the guide.

Short disbanment of my friend Flavio, then the decision: we return by train in Zaltbommel, we will spend the night there, and continue along the Rhine as the guide says. We must arrive in Amsterdam with our forces.

So, we take the train to Zaltbommel. Currently we are in a village, the station is small but we can buy tickets two minutes before the closing of the bar, which reveals itself to be also the ticket shop. There is one train every 30 minutes, no problem therefore.

Arriving at the famous Zaltbommel, just got off we look at the map to find a hotel and a gentle girl asks us if she can help us. It will not be the first nor the last time, in Holland people are really nice and it makes me happy. There are only two hotels, as usual; one is business with a pool, the other is economic but, she says, a little dirty; we opt for... the economy :)

The hotel is in fact not refined, but it can not be defined really dirt; better... home-made. The owners, Chinese, are friendly; the room is cheerful because very illuminated by the sun. Flavio have dinner outside, instead I'm not hungry, stay in room to finish the fruit I have in bags and I watch TV all the time.

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