Earlier this year I started on the Long-distance Hiking Trail the Great Rivers Trail (Grote Rivierenpad). I like hiking, especially by following a trail. I wanted to stay close to where I live because of the Corona regulations. The trail is even a stone’s throw away from my home!
In this post you can read the report of my hike from Maassluis to Schiedam. I also made an illustration of the special things I came across during my hike.
I start in the centre of Maassluis and walk towards the harbour. What a nice town! I read on an information panel about the historic walk through Maassluis. I put it on my list for next time. Also in another hike of the Great River trail I will go through Maassluis again.
I walk through the harbour along the water. Various beautiful ships are lying in the water. I take several pictures of the facades, the bridges and the Great Church.
I walk on and come across a red, old-fashioned letterbox. While hiking I think about what I would like to draw or paint and the red letterbox is a good candidate. I also like the low bridges in the shopping area for an illustration. But taking pictures every time doesn’t really speed up the hike, I’ve been on the way for half an hour now and I’ve walked less than 2 km. I follow the road straight ahead and walk over the Wipperskade past a windmill.
At the end of the Wipperskade I end up on a busy road. Very difficult to cross here, the traffic seems to come from all sides. I cross safely and walk straight on again with a dike on my right. I see that there is a path on the dike and that seems a lot calmer without the cyclists. On the dike I walk along the Noordvliet. I look at the many boats passing by.
At a certain point the footpath turns into a narrow cycle path, watch out for cyclists again! When I turn left, I look on my map if I already need to go in another direction, but that is not the case. I still have to go straight on, until I really can’t go any further. At the end of the canal I can finally turn left onto the grass dike Duifpolderkade along the Vlaardingervaart. Here is a statue of Johan Barthold Jongkind.
After Vincent van Gogh, Johan Barthold Jongkind is considered Holland’s most influential 19th-century painter.
Surprises on the grassy dike
Again, I have to go straight ahead, but with a little more variety. Suddenly I see something coming out of the water onto the dike. I’m thinking: “Is that a squirrel?!”, but it is a somewhat longer, slimmer animal with the same reddish-brown fur. It turns out to be an ermine (or a weasel)! He looks at me for a moment and quickly shoots back into the reeds. You don’t always come across animals like that.
I pass a stretch of cabins and houses and finally some shade. And passed beautiful poppies along the hedge, in different shades of red. After a cross-over in a fence I suddenly see a glass bottle and a thermos jug next to the path. There is a sign that you can take coffee, tea or soup (and lemonade!) for a small fee for the Zonnebloem foundation. I take a refreshing glass of lemonade and donate 2 euros to the moneybox. This is most convenient, because it is a warm day.
I continue my path over the grassy dike. The path gets a lot narrower and the grass gets higher. Sheep and geese shoot away in front of me. At the end of the dike there is a fence with barbed wire. For a moment I don’t know how to continue. Two other hikers decide to climb over a fence at the bottom of the dike and I go after them. I go along underneath the bridge at Schipluiden and then over it to the other side of the water.
From Schipluiden to Schiedam
It is now getting very hot and I get pain in my upper leg. I still have a long way to go in the direction of Schiedam. I walk straight ahead and (more by accident than on purpose) I skip Schipluiden. I cross the A4 highway via an overpass and can finally turn right onto the Tandhofkade (a grass path). Now and then a cloud floats in front of the sun for the much-needed cool down.
After the grass path follows a long, boring and busy stretch of cycle path to Schiedam (maybe I shouldn’t go for a hike on Saturdays again). I am now very sunburned, despite using a lot of sun cream, and my leg is starting to hurt more and more. My only goal is to get to Schiedam as soon as possible and then go home. By now I’ve had it with the hike and forget to take pictures. At the end of the cycle path Schiedam is finally in sight and I can go home.
I liked the first part of the hike through Maassluis very much and because of some surprises it was a successful hike. There were a lot of straight paths and it was a bit of a monotonous landscape. I like more variety. There was not much shelter either, so the hike is not recommended on a hot summer’s day. The last stretch on the (busy) cycle path towards Schiedam was a real downside.
Where: from Maassluis to Schiedam, Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 17 km
Hiking date: 13 June 2020
Materials used for illustration: gouache (map) and watercolour paints (the rest)
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