We Have Winners in the Win a Gazelle Bicycle Contest!
Congrats to Annemieke L. and Zach F.! They're the winners of AFAR and Holland's Win a Gazelle Bicycle Contest.
And to everyone else, do not despair: You can still get your own Dutch Bicycle from Gazelle Cycle Imports.
Here are the winning entries, gathered from the posting on AFAR.com and from Holland's Facebook page:
Zach F. from Chicago, Illinois
My wife and I like exercise, entertainment and relaxation in equal measure, so we'd load our packs and ride one of the many scenic LF (long distance) routes sprinkled throughout the country. Most likely we'd opt for a route around the South Sea, which would not only allow us to ride across the historic 20-mile Afsluitdijk and check out one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World (the elaborately mind-boggling North Sea Protection Works, of which The Zuiderzee Works are a part), travel through bucolic reclaimed farmland meeting locals and other travelers in farmhouses and bed & breakfasts, and visit oddities like the Smallest House in Kampen (you need a telephone appointment for that one), but it would also let us start and finish in Amsterdam, which means we could bookend our journey with romantic stays at Boutique Hotel View on the canal, picnics and people-watching in the Vondelpark.
Annemieke L. from Salem, Oregon
I picture myself cycling along the dunes on Walcheren, that lovely peninsula that is Holland’s best kept secret. There are miles and miles of wide bike paths that in springtime are bordered with wildflowers. Rows of tall poplars protect you from the wind that blows over the flat land that is bordered by tall dunes and dikes. The distance between each village or city on this peninsula is only 3 miles: you can cover all of it in one day. Industrious Vlissingen with a sweeping view of the River Scheldt and commercial ship traffic; posh Middelburg with its medieval abbey, tall steeples, bridges and canals; Domburg, the spa of European royalty in the late 19th century and now a lively seaside resort; Westkapelle, where the sea dike dwarfs the village; Dishoek, where you can see remnants of the Atlantikwall; the beach at Zoutelande, and Veere, the picturesque village that boomed centuries ago on wool trade with Scotland and where nowadays only pleasure yachts moor. Where the USA has majestic landscapes, Holland has idyllic landscapes, and Walcheren would be my number 1 of all of them.