At last, a real excuse to skive off work and still get paid: the annual holiday. We decided to go cycling again this year but to avoid the washout of last year, we decided to go a little further afield. In the spirit of my recent expedition along the pilgrim route, France seemed to be the obvious choice and so, armed with a cycle route along the St. James' route (which eventually leads to Santiago) we set off.
Well, actually that isn't quite the case because we didn't leave the Netherlands by bicycle, rather by train; to Paris which, despite strong advice to the contrary from the Dutch Railways telephone helpline, is possible and not too difficult with a bicycle. One operator even hung up on us, even though we were paying through the nose for the bad advice we were getting (€0.35 per minute). Eventually after a not too long time trawling the internet pages of the French and Belgian Railways, we discovered a reasonably quick route to Paris without too many changes and WITH THE TGV! which according to the expensive advice line was absolutely NOT possible. The Dutch Railways will be hearing about this. The annoying thing is that you can't take your bicycle on the fast train to Paris, but you can go from Amsterdam to Paris in six hours with two changes, and that ain't bad.