The Rhine Route by tandem – the experience (2)

The Dutch cycle paths are exceptional. Always asphalt, always sign-posted and always busy. One has to beware of scooter and moped riders as they legally use them, too. On the coast, on a hot day, there is not a cycle parking space to be found; a day by the seaside seems to be by bicycle (or tram, where possible). The LF4a long-distance cycle route, however, is fantastic. It takes in some of the country’s national parks. In our case, we experienced the limited Utrechste Heuvelrug park. It is quite forested and quiet. As a route back to the Rhine at Rhenen, sublime.

Our Utrecht navigation rendered us a little cautious when it came to Arnhem. We stayed on the south bank of the river effectively avoiding the city’s early evening rush. We headed for Panerden to the Southeast of Arnhem close to the German border. Panerden is a typical small town with a few shops and a couple of multi-purpose bars. In the evening the cafes serve as drinking houses. In the morning the coffee and apple pie are a good energy source. Do not be put off by the apparent black hole that is the bar. It is the way it has to be for the proprieters to make a living. The nearby campsite is exceptional (see post 4 September, 2012).

Magnus Manske: wikipedia

And then to the border. First stop Emmerich – a typical border town, though very german. We were advised to go to Kalkar for lunch, some 15 or so kms away. We ate at the distictive windmill, before heading off to Xanten, a historic city with a curious archaelogy park filled with Roman artefacts: from the road an incongruous area filled with ‘crumbling’ pillars and arches.

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