The description I found online of Bergen was “an artist village” with interesting architecture, amazing sand dunes and a long beach. After a week in Bergen with a lots of cycling, I found such a description could never do justice. You have to see it with your own eyes and feel it on your own skin.
We hired our bikes from a local fietsen shop. Unlike in Amsterdam, no official identification form and credit card authorization were needed. That’s how it works in a village. That’s how it should always work – said my country boy.
The first direction of choice was Bergen aan Zee. As little as my Dutch vocabulary was, I could almost taste the salt in my attempt to pronounce “Bergen aan Zee”. Waiting for us was a long beach with soft fine sand – the kind that stays in your shoes for weeks upon your coming back to concreted roads of the city. The sea was not so warm though. It’s North Sea, not the Pacific – I had to remind myself. Still I ran cross the beach to dip my feet into the biting cold water. My impulsion was to get my feet salty: a must-do on a trip to the beach.
Leaving the sea behind, we pedalled up hills to see sand being stranded into massive dunes. The view was impressive. More were the sea defending efforts. On top of a dune a highland cattle stood in solitude, merely noticed us passing on our bikes.
Heading back to town we found hidden behind fences of green leaves and colorful flowers houses of beautiful structures and unique designs. Many of them have thatches, as a warning sign of a frosty winter in North Holland. Grey dense layers of dried plants give modern house a look of warmth and comfort. A resemblance to those houses would be yuppies who wear slim fit chinos and top-button-off shirt with a straw conical hat. The combination is uncommon but the presentation is pleasant to eyes.
My favorite rides were actually ones across stretches of fields. I was too late for the flowers that must have filled those fields with spring colors. It was however about time for the smell and sensation of summer when the wind blew through open fields. I just loved the early summer wind. Feeling my hair tangled up in the wind, I was very free.