On Saturday the wind started howling and whistling at 1 AM and by daylight it was over 25 mph (with alleged gusts to 40) from the SSW. We were headed south to Utrecht - we hung out waiting for it to let up a little and switch to SW - it never did let up but it did shift a little. It was also cold and raining, in the 50s. There are signs all around saying "summer is here" but I guess the weather didn't get the message. We geared up & so stayed warm & dry and didn't have any trouble til we got to the outskirts where there was a big street market in progress. As I was passing a clothing shop the wind picked up a huge overloaded rack and threw it at me. Items of clothing tangled in my spokes & front brake and I went down hard. A little shaken but pressed on into town where the cobblestone streets were slick but no further problems.
Our room wasn't ready when we arrived, but they allowed us to store our bikes in the back yard and our packs in the tiny breakfast area. Our Hotel at Mary Ks was right on the main canal and very close to the famed outdoor restaurants along the lower level, but it was really cold - I stole the first photo from another page but it really looked like the second, so we headed away toward the markets and a Brew Pub in a church. We had a light lunch and by the time we got back our room in the loft was ready. Very steep stairs (yes that's GLASS at the bottom so you can see straight through to the ground floor - yikes!). Our room in the rafters is very cute and functional with a desk! and a view of our bikes. The "closet" is round pegs on the wall with hangers. Jim's a very functional guy so this is his favorite place. We even have our own resident elephant mascot whose name is Oopsie Daisy and whose job is to tell you to "mind your head" on the beam.
For dinner we wandered around looking for a place that would be out of the wind and warm but still outside. We finally stumbled on a tiny alley off the main canal where - we chose based on the proximity to heaters and it turned out to be a great choice with a cozy spot, good food & wine and great view of the many goings on in the alley around us including an after-wedding celebration with many in formal dress & tails. The girl on the left across from us had the right idea bringing her own blanket.
As usual you must hover to see the captions.