On a map, the centre of Woerden is obviously star-shaped. I’m used to seeing the shape at the edge of towns: it’s usually the fortress. Here it’s the whole town that was fortified and bounded by the Singel. It was on the edge of the Dutch provinces in the 17th century and formed part of the defensive waterline. Just to underline the fortress motif, tonight we are staying in the town’s former arsenal.
It’s pleasant to be cycling in the Netherlands again. Great infrastructure, but I sometimes feel very cautious and lumbering when I enter a busy Dutch town and am caught up in the cycling rush hour. I think I gave Utrechters plenty to tut about this afternoon as I obeyed traffic lights and manoeuvred slowly round corners. (There’s a split in my wheel rim – damn’ Kopfsteinpflaster – and I’m not taking any chances.)