Along the EV 15 from Germany to the Dutch coast
August 2nd – August 6th:
After the night in Cleve, the last night of this tour in Germany, the rain was gone but the wind was back. The highlight for today, the border crossing to the Netherlands, which we celebrated with a photo in front of the town sign. From now on cyclists should be in the cyclist's paradise, many friends at home said to us and you can also read it everywhere. We can definitely confirm it was true. In the Netherlands cyclists usually have their own cycle track separated from the road network. The roundabouts have a separate ring for the cyclists and the cars always give precedence to the cyclists. As a one of them you are feeling very safe.
The route mostly led along the dams and took us via Nijmegen to Arnhem. Striking are the numerous thatched roof houses younger and older generation. They looked beautiful! We passed Arnhem but unfortunately a few kilometers later my back wheel went bang. Luckily we were able to manage the last 10km to the hotel pumping up the wheel for a few times. Despite some welding beads and thanks to a good assistant the subsequent repair was not as difficult as expected.
Next to the typical huge amount of straw roofs and windmills we also noticed plenty of geese in the fields and along the banks in the Netherlands. Mainly gray and Nile Geese and again and again many ring doves. In Werkendam we booked something special, the safest B&B of the trip. The former storage room for the gunpowder of a disused fort, with extremely thick walls, was converted to a bedroom and is now used as a guesthouse together with the other rooms.
The further route took us through the famous National Park De Biesbosch to Dordrecht and heading to Rotterdam we also passed the most beautiful mills in Kinderdijk But for the last part from Dordrecht to Rotterdam we enjoyed the water bus. A large catamaran for the fast transport of people with and without bicycles.
In Rotterdam we had arrived in another world. A large city, famous for its old seafaring stories, with many impressive sights. A huge market hall covered by apartments from outside. The cube houses, the old and the new harbor, the Laurens church, the huge Erasmus Bridge, the breakfast at King Kong and much more impressed us in Rotterdam. The Erasmus Bridge, like almost every bridge in the Netherlands, is a bascule bridge. It’s fascinating to observe the spectacular while standing right in the middle of the bride. For about 15 min pedestrians, cyclists, cars and trams waited patiently just to let the ship go through. Interesting was also the 2.5 hour tour by boat through the harbor of Rotterdam, the No. 1 in Europe and the No. 12 among the harbors worldwide.
After Rotterdam our route took us to the estuary of the Rhine in Hoek van Holland. These were 35km with a strong headwind up to 35 km/h. This part was clearly our slowest stage and during the whole route to Hoek there was always harbor of Rotterdam to our left hand side. In Hoek van Holland the Rhine flows into the Atlantic, the point which was also our intermediate destination. We dropped our wheels into the sand, embraced us proudly and enjoyed the moment….
Sabina and Stephan started their cycling trip already on the 23rd July 2016 in their home area of the Furttal. If you lile you can read all of their experiences along the EuroVelo 15 from the start til the German boarder here nachlesen or have a look on all their pictures of the tour.