Sunday, 28 November 2010
Hunebedden in winter
Cycling doesn't stop in the Netherlands in winter. It's low season for cycling holiday customers, but we carry on riding our bikes for both utility purposes and touring, whatever the weather.
Today I rode to one of the hunebedden, shown above. Hunebedden look particularly beautiful in weather likes this.
The word hunebed literally means "giant's bed", but this dates from a period in history when people weren't really sure what they were. Actually, these rock formations are ancient stone tombs. There are 54 of these in the Netherlands, 52 in the province of Drenthe and 2 in Groningen.
The information board explains how the Hunebedden were built around 5000 years ago by the "Trechterbekervolk" (in English, Funnelbeaker people - both languages name ancient people for the artifacts that they left behind). These structures were built to accommodate the dead and were originally covered in soil, which has eroded over time. The stones weigh from 2000 to 20000 kg and were arranged by tens of people working together with levers, sleds, rollers and ropes.
Today I rode my Mango velomobile to visit one of the hunebedden:
We ride a wide range of different types of bicycles. Most of our holiday customers choose one of our standard Dutch style bikes. These are comfortable and easy to ride. However, unusual bikes can also be arranged with a little notice.
Many thanks to Théan Slabbert for sending me his music to use. It was -5 C as I set off today, which makes it very much Mango weather. Inside the Mango I was warm with just a T-shirt and leggings and no gloves, but to keep my head and neck warm I had a warm hat, a buff, and a scarf knitted by my Mum as well. Our tours in the area of course include visits to the hunebedden.