Today, my destination is the Steendijkpolder in Maassluis. This was also my starting point when I started the Grote Rivierenpad towards Hoek van Holland (which, by the way, I did not write a blog post about).
The end of the Great rivers trail is still a long distance away; it is even in Germany, in Kleve. But this time, I did finish my first round trip around and through Rotterdam on this trail. In a previous blog post, I mentioned that I had skipped a bit of the trail near Maassluis. Today, I can finish this part. Although my plan turned out to be quite different. You can already see it on the map.
To Maassluis via Rozenburg
I get off at a different bus stop than where I got on last time. This way, I can see another part of Rozenburg. I get off in the centre of the town. There is a small shopping centre here; most of the shops are still closed. I walk towards the Boulevard where I have to take the ferry. I pass the windmill called de Hoop.
I walk through a couple of residential areas and once on the Boulevard, I go up the dyke and turn left. I can already see the ferry further on. At the ferry dock, I buy a ticket from the dispenser and wait 10 minutes for the ferry to arrive.
Another 10 minutes later I am on the other side in Maassluis. I immediately turn left and walk along the Nieuwe Waterweg for a while. The ferry is already on its way back.
I turn right on the Burgemeester de Jongkade and walk through the harbour with old ships. Further on, at the sluice, I go up a flight of steps, the steps have a nice pattern of fish. I cross the road and walk straight ahead to the point where I started the hike in my first blog post.
I walk through the harbour again with its beautiful facades and ships. I pass the red mail box again. I have to turn left there. Last time I went straight on, so I didn’t quite follow the route back then. Nice that it is different now.
A little further on I turn right into the Veerstraat Zuidzijde. I pass the Markt and I am in doubt whether to have a coffee and a piece of pie at the pie shop. I just started my hike so I decide not to and go on. A little later, I have to turn right at the P.C. Hooftlaan and immediately take the first left on the Zuidvliet. I have been here before. Further on I have to go around a school and end up on the Wipperskade, again alongside the little windmill (for photos see my earlier blog post). At the end of the path I reach a busy road. I cross over and turn left. At the junction I turn right and immediately left again. Last time I went straight on here.
I am now walking through Maasland along the water on the Kluiskade. Maasland is a beautiful village with picturesque streets and little bridges.
I pass two different churches: the Maria Magdalena Church and the Oude Kerk. After following a long winding path along the water I have to cross a small bridge on my right.
At the General Cemetery on the Hofsingel I turn left. After the children’s farm I take the path Klein huis ter Velde. This is the last part towards the Steendijkpolder, about 4 km to go. First I take a break on a bench before I start the last part.
The last part…
The path winds through the fields and then past a chicken run and a few houses. Further on, there is a small campsite. Along the paved path is also a path of broken roof tiles. This gives a nice effect of orange and green colours.
After the campsite, the paved path turns into a grassy path. The path runs along a cornfield. After the cornfield I turn left. A lonely tree is next to the path. I go straight ahead, but I have a feeling that I am not going the right way. I take a look in my trail booklet, I think I should have just turned right. I go back to the lonely tree and there I see the sign that I have missed.
In the distance, I see a herd of cows. I think: hopefully, the cows are fenced off. When I get closer, I see that this is not the case. There are about 20 cows in the filed that I have to pass. There is no way I can walk around the herd. I don’t mind one or two cows on my path, but a whole herd…. I cannot go on here.
By now, I am quite annoyed and go back along the same path. On Google maps, I see whether I can go somewhere else to get to my destination. I turn right again at the lonely tree. While moping, I hope that I can turn right again further on. I see that at the end of the path, there is a shelter for pets. The closer I get, the louder the dogs start barking. Oh no, there is a large gate at the driveway. So I can’t go through here either. Shit, now I really have to go all the way back!
My mood is almost unbearable. I have to go back over the Wipperskade again. That’s the third time already 😤 😡 %$!@^&##!!! I walk back twice as fast. Past the lonely tree again, past the corn field again, past the campsite again, past the chickens again. I don’t even look at the chickens anymore. When I arrive at the bench where I took my break earlier, I have cooled down again.
I now turn right through the residential area on the edge of Maasland. I turn right again and go through a green zone. The way back is not so bad after all. Eventually I end up at the busy junction again and turn right. Fortunately, I can enter Maassluis again via another road. Near the highway, I can turn right to end up at my destination. I then pass the pet shelter with the closed gate. I don’t really feel like it any more, so I may as well not complete the whole route! In the meantime, my plans are changed. I go straight on and walk into Maassluis. I pass some nice canals and houses with pretty facades. I did not take any more photos, by the way.
A little later, I am back at the Markt and can complete my new plan: coffee and pie 😊! A nice ending to the hike after all.
Well, what can I say about this hike? After such a disappointment, it is difficult to be objective. Still, I give the hike a three star rating. Maassluis and Maasland are definitely worthwhile to walk through. And I don’t think I missed much of the Steendijkpolder.
Where: from Rozenburg to Maassluis, Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands.
No. of km: +/- 13 km
Hiking date: 17 August 2020
Materials used in illustrations: Inktense pencils, coloured pencils, watercolour paints and graphite pencil
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