Saturday, 31 May 2014

Bike and Barge Day 1 Amsterdam to Vianen

Woke very excited to be starting the bike and barge tour today. We are to be at the barge at 1pm where there will be a welcome speech and crew introduction.  So we had an easy morning, packing and resting before lunch in Cafe Orloff.  Dutch BLT and smoked trout.
We boarded soon after and were pleased to see bikes on board.
We farewelled our favourite library 
And at 2pm we headed off towards Nigtevecht on the barge 
and it was fascinating to move out of Amsterdam, with bridges opening upwards, swinging across and others just being high enough for us to squeeze underneath.
Loved this dog in a life jacket. 
Our cabin is cosy but well appointed.
Garrie bought himself a hat and looked right at home.
Though we wonder how they'll fit 23 of us into this lifeboat.
The Captain assures us that should we sink we just stand in the upper deck as it's all very shallow!
Then the cycling began with a short bike trip (18km) to Breukelen along the winding and lovely river Vecht.

Included is a visit to a real Dutch cheese farm where cheese is still made via traditional methods.
It takes 12 liters of milk to make just 1kg of this cheese.
Returning to the barge we head to Vianen, a small fortified town on the river Lek. We eat dinner on the way. Three courses, zucchini soup, salmon pasta and tiramisu - excellent.  Passing through a lock before arriving at Vianen.  A well decorated lock.
We head off for a town walk.  Pretty quiet for a Saturday night and all these photos were taken between 9 and 10pm.
Wonderful to see this bird nesting - a stork of some kind?
The evening finished with a wonderful sunset
So that's day 1. Wifi is impossible on here (a fellow traveller has loaned me his hotspot so can't do that again) so no guarantees we can deliver daily, but we will keep a record and catch up as we can. Xxx