Friday, April 27, 2012

't kopje van bloemendaal

This highest point in the Leiden vicinity is a hilltop just north of Haarlem- 43 meters above sea level!

The area is part of Bloemendaal and from what I saw, it has many near-palatial residential buildings, winding brick roads and lovely tall trees.

The specific hill has it's own name, "'t kopje van bloemendaal", and a pannenkoeken restaurant on the top (as every decent hill should).
Adjoined to the pannekoekhuis building is a bunker/viewing station with a sign and history for the "Kopje." 
The route to the top of the hill is not clearly marked, but if you simply follow the large crowd of hill-starved racing cyclists, you'll get to the top...

And incidentally, while looking for the directions to the hilltop on the internet, I found a number of great cycling routes and sites, but my favorite is this one: http://heuvelsfietsen.nl/  A specialized site for hill lovers who ride in the Netherlands!

They rate the route I took up the hill as a 21 kip difficulty. Being unfamiliar with this system of measurement, I'm going just imagine that kip translates to chicken, like on a menu- and it's not an acronym for anything else.

So my effort was 21 chickens, and if I'd approached from the other way, it could have been 29 chickens! For comparison, some of the hills that I attempted in Limburg on my brompton vouwfiets were over 50 chickens! And maybe that's why I couldn't do them.  I'm a 30 chickens or less gal.

Good to know.

It's a fun ride! Do it. Pannenkoeken. (Call first- Apparently they think posting their hours on a printout taped to their roadside sign, without updating their website is acceptable.)

7 comments:

  1. When my Dutch friend Jacques took me up there last October, we were chuckling in the car about its distinction as the tallest hill in the area. On the other hand, the tower up there does provide a nice view of the surrounding area:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetbrent/6300556949/

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    1. Cool! Thanks for the link to the photos.

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  2. heuvelsfietsen.nl specifies kip as klim-inspannings-punten, see here (it's all mathematics apparently) http://heuvelsfietsen.nl/methode.php

    Incidentally one of the highest climbs, 40 kippen, on their site is the VAM hill in Drenthe which is a glorified refuse tip. So much for artificial hills.

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  3. Math, blah. Chickens are better! :) Thank you for the clarification.

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  4. Slightly OT: did you read that Almere has plans to erect (or whatever the proper verb is for dumping enormous masses of sand) dunes along their coast on the IJsselmeer, for the same reason you cite for Bloemendaal: people will gladly pay for the privilege of living on seaside hills? Lots of room for chickens ...

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  5. I was thinking maybe it was like a 21 chicken salute, and when you get to the top, there are 21 chickens standing there squawking at you, and somebody throwing confetti in the air :) wooo!

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  6. Awesome! For Pannenkoeken I'd ride up any chicken hill.... Maybe in a few years you can come open a Pannenkoeken and Bicycle Gear head shop atop a hill in the vicinity of my house...

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