Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Our Euro Tour Day 12 to the Finish

Wed 28 august 2013 Bonn-Krefeld
one of our better hotel stops

63 miles


Wow what a breakfast today! We've cycled all this way to get a good breakfast and this one had it in spades. There was everything, sausages, scrambled eggs, lovely crispy bacon, cheeses, meats, different types of proper yoghurt with all sorts of fruit to add, pastries and nice coffee. I could barely move after stuffing myself.
Eating up all that ate up quite a chunk of the day too. It was well after half ten when we finally hit the road. Today though was easy riding along largely flat roads with a little downhill bias. We flirted with the Rhine Cycle Route when it suited us. It was lovely especially going through Cologne where the river side offered a safe and scenic route through the city with it's variety of old architecture from old cathedrals to modern apartment blocks and the opera house. 

So all in all a pretty good day producing the longest ride of the tour so far too. What's more tonight's meal of various meats, green beans and sauted spuds washed down with aldi wine was yummy.

Thursday 29th august Krefeld-Nijmegan

54 miles


So today we were to cross the final frontier as we moved north from Germany into Holland. Not that you could really tell the difference, this part of Germany looked identical to the miles of holland that we'd cycled in the past. Windmills, lovely smooth cycle paths for the most part and flat, flat flat.  Such was the sameyness of the route I found myself aiming the bike for acorns, I found if I ran right over them they made a nice crack, or even more fun was to try to catch them just with the edge of the wheel getting them to ping off to the side like riffle bullets. Well, it kept me amused as we rolled along
We came across one or two lovely little villages too. This is one of the best things about holland, so pretty in the village centres with lovely terraced cafes. I love those places and could sit there all day just watching folk going about their business. So even with the miles we had t do it was still nice to spend a good while in there nursing a rather delicious cappuccino.
Our accommodation tonight turned out to be excellent. Instead of the usual hotel this was an apartment in a really old building but it was great with a kitchen so we could cook rather than eat out and saved us a it of money. What's more there was a complementary bottle of wine and a bottle of beer, a fridge full up stuff for our breakfast and a coffee machine. Happy days. The town itself was great to look round too and had the most amazing cheese shop I've ever seen.

Fri 30th  August 2013 Nijmegan-Utrecht

47 miles

Bit of an end of term feeling for us today with both of us now feeling a little reluctant to get going as the end was drawing closer. After breakfast we lazed around probably a bit too long as we new we didn't have huge mileage to do. The trouble was yesterday was for the most part headwind and what we didn't realise was today was set to be pretty strong headwinds all day too. It was a nice enough ride though but it offered little inspiration and it was very much a case of just getting the ride done today.

The hotel turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. The Holiday Inn Express we'd booked turned out to be right in the middle of a commercial zone. Desolate office blocks and water features. Whats worse was it had no restaurant either. Luckily we we're able to order in a takeaway from a local Thai restaurant that the hotel let you eat in the bar area. It was pretty good to but it was a shame we hadn't been able to look round the shops in Utrecht center especially as it was our last night.

Saturday 31 August 2013 Utrecht-Ijmuiden (Amsterdam Ferry Port)

48 miles


Getting out of Utrecht turned into a bit of a problem today. Sometimes my Garmin has a tendency to try to get me into trouble and sends us onto roads that we weren't allowed on. Sometimes it seams as though its led us into an impossible situation with no way out. It reminds me of one of those old Tomb Raider games where you have to probe away here and there when suddenly the way ahead is revealed, hopefully without any impaling spike pits to crash into.
It was a really pleasant ride with Holland Showing itself at its best with gorgeous canal side houses all over the place in beautiful rural settings.
Gradually, despite the headwind giving us a huge battle we closed the distance on the ferry. The last few miles on these trips are always full of mixed feelings. Sadness that the adventure was coming to an end but also happy to be going home to familiarity, Moss the dog and all my lovely friends.
The Amsterdam-Newcastle ferry is always good though. We got ourselves on board with minimal fuss and settled into our cabin, remarkably like a prison cell but met our needs for the night.
The hot buffet is awesome, there is so much stuff I couldn't even begin to list everything but it was delicious. We knew there was a strong wind blowing so we'd taken the precaution of taking sea sickness tablets and I'm sure it was these that had me nodding by nine o-clock an it wasn't to much later than that that we hit the sack. We'd be waking in the morning with just a 15 mile ride through Newcastle back to where we left the van, adventure over and with a fantastic on board breakfast inside us we would finally, after all that way be back in the UK.....till next time :-)