This is my 23rd consecutive summer in Lausanne, Switzerland. With Lausanne as base, my bike and I have pretty much dissected Europe. It's getting more complicated to visit new places as it usually involves flying and I'm not a big fan of planes especially with my bike in tow. I've had baggage handlers damage the bike, ship it to the wrong destination and even "forget" to put it on the plane. You want a definition of helplessness? Standing at the departure gate, looking out the window to see luggage carts loaded with suitcases pulling up to be transferred onto the plane AND, spotting the cardboard box containing my bike on the bottom of the heap of suitcases!
Several planned trips to France were canceled this summer. Train workers have been on strike since May. In 2019 European Union (EU) countries have to open their railways to competition and the bloated French train monopoly needs to pare back on expenses--meaning getting rid of vast numbers of overpaid, underworked employees. French rail workers can retire at 50 with full pension.
Summers in Europe can get very hot with temperatures averaging in the 90's for the months of July and August. Last July I spent time cycling around England in deliciously comfortable 65 degree weather while continental Europe was baking in the mid-90's. I was planning a similar trip to England----cycling along England's southwest coastline but canceled. Why? England is having record high temperatures (in the 90's) along with extreme drought and I was constantly seeing pictures of overflowing crowds flocking to England's coastline and beaches. When traveling I like to have as much flexibility as possible and do not book hotels beforehand. So, my big problem would be showing up in a town and finding no room in the inn.
I've been cycling this summer to ski resorts and mountain lakes but haven't posted pictures since they're previously visited places.
Netherlands here I come! It's a cyclist's paradise--beating even Denmark, the people are friendly, its women rank amongst the most beautiful in Europe and many of its cities/towns still have preserved medieval city centers. This trip I'm flying into Amsterdam and heading to an area in the northern part of the country that I've yet to visit.
Haarlem (population 160,000) lies 10 miles west of Amsterdam. This is Amsterdamse Poort, the last remaining city gate. It dates back to 1355 and was one of 12 city gates encircling the city.