Friday, April 18, 2014

Starting the Bike and Barge Portion of our Trip

Hello Everybody,

We are just about ready to our start the Bike and Barge ride with our friends from the Bicycle Adventure Club (BAC).  We have been told that although there is an internet connection on the boat, we should plan to use it sparingly.  It sounds like there will be a lot of people sharing a slower connection, so the posts during the trip might be a little short and possibly infrequent. We may also have to wait for pictures until the end of the trip.

So far, the weather here in the Netherlands has been very nice but a little cool, which should be good for cycling, but with some jackets and long pants.  The tulips in Amsterdam are obviously out, so we have high hopes for seeing some beautiful fields of flowers growing during the ride.

The map below contains the area where we will be riding (you may need to adjust it a bit to see the entire area):

View Bike and Barge Netherlands in a larger map

Day 1 Saturday the 19th - we check in at 4 pm at the Merlin.  Docked behind the Centraal Train Station Amsterdam. (Violet colored map pin)

Day 2 Sunday  the 20th - The boat sails to Nigtevecht, where we actually start the riding part of the bike tour. Visit cheese farm & stay for lunch. Bike to Utrecht & meet boat. (Blue Map Pins are the star and end points of the ride)

Day 3 Monday the 21st  - The boat sails from Utrecht to Vreeswijk. We ride the bikes from Vreeswijk to Schoonhoven (Red Map Pins)

Day 4 Tuesday the 22nd - We ride from Schoonhoven (our destination from the night before) to Kinderdijk meet the boat and sail to Gouda (Red and Green Map Pins).

Day 5 Wednesday the 23rd - We ride from Gouda to Leiden (Yellow Map Pins)

Day 6 Thursday the 24th - Sail from Leiden to Lisse and nearby Keukenhof ride to Haarlem. (Purple Map Pins)

Day 7 Friday the 25th - We ride from Haarlem to Amsterdam.  Time to tour both. (Purple and Violet map Pins)

Day 8, Saturday the 26th - Amsterdam. Have an early breakfast and head for the train station and catch the train to Berlin which will be the next phase of our trip.  Two of our friends, Vickie and Karin, from the bike ride will be joining us during the first week in Berlin.  We should have a great time there and we will be staying in the same apartment that we had during our last trip to Berlin.  We loved it.

It is a short distance from the boat dock to the train station for our departure to Berlin, it is just a couple of blocks and should be an easy walk to the platform even with luggage.  Saturday is some sort of a special holiday a Kings Day, so the trains running out of Amsterdam are on a special schedule, but it should mean that we will just have to leave a half hour earlier catching an 8:30 train and making a connection in a town called Amersfoort, it should be interesting.

We will have to see if it is practical to do any postings from the boat, if not we may do a summary when we reach Berlin.

We hope you are all doing well,

Stephen & Linda

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