a bike & barge tour in The Netherlands - May, 2006

In a fit of irrational exuberance, we booked a bicycle tour in The Netherlands with our our long-time friends from Virginia, Carolyn & Mick Piercy.

The tour we chose was a variation of the 'southern tour, relaxed' offered by Cycle Tours. Since 2006 marked the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, our tour included more museum time than normal, and was renamed a 'Rembrandt Tour'.  

The tour was a bike & barge tour on a 'Comfort class' Dutch barge that served as our hotel, traveling along with us. We had the good fortune to be on a new boat, the Lena Maria.

There were 13 people on our tour, 11 adults and 2 children. We were very fortunate in that everyone seemed to get along very well. We had lots of laughs, good camaraderie, no bike crashes, and excellent crew.  A good time was had by all.

You might want to set your browser to full screen mode to see the pictures. Click on any small picture to view a larger version.

The bike tour

        Day by day pictures & notes...
Saturday We arrived Saturday afternoon, and after finding the boat, settled in. We sailed promptly heading south on the Amsterdam-Rhine canal to our overnight dockage at Vianen. Dinner was served en route. After dinner, we went for a walk to explore a bit of the town.
Sunday We motored from Vianen to Schoonhoven, then biked from Schoonhoven to Kinderdijk to Rotterdam, ~42 km. 
Monday Biking from Rotterdam to Delft (~21 km), tour the Royal Delft factory, walking tour of Delft, train to The Hague, tour the Mauritshuis museum
Tuesday No biking! We motored to Leiden where we had a walking tour prior to visiting the Lakenhal museum.
Wednesday A 5:30 am start motoring to Haarlem where we biked to the beach. On the return we visited the Cruquis pumping station museum (~20km?)
Thursday Biking from Haarlem to Amsterdam via the scenic route. Another ~40 km day.
Friday A morning bike tour from Amsterdam along the Amstel River to Ouder Amstel, and back, ~30 km. The afternoon was spent at the Rijksmuseum.
Saturday Out of the cabin by 8:00, off the boat by 10:00, then trains, planes, and automobiles to Reykjavik.

Iceland stopover

We flew on Icelandair which offered a 'hot stop' extended layover in Iceland, so we opted for a 3 day stay in Reykjavik to have a brief look at that fascinating country.

Sites we hit
Thingvellir Location of Iceland's first parliament in 930 AD on the  fissure of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian plates are slowly separating.
Geysir Geysir is an Icelandic word named for a now-defunct geysir.
Gullfoss Gullfoss is a large waterfall not too far from Geysir.
The Blue Lagoon Monday afternoon we drove out to this large bathing spa heated with waste heat from a geothermal electric power plant which provides electricity for 45,000 people and home heating for 17,000.
It's a hot tub for about 5000 filled with geothermal seawater containing minerals, silica, and blue green algae. It's better than it sounds.
Reyjkavik We stayed in the capital of Iceland in a great guesthouse, the Tower
misc duty free shopping and a few shots from the plane heading to Boston

Paul & Ginnie Smith, Colchester, Vermont U.S.A.