Friday, 24 August 2012

Day 74 - 89 Berlin to Amsterdam. 870kms (Total 3905kms)

Hello from Amsterdam!!!  How long I've been waiting to say that :-)  3900km's done and the last major stop before reaching home.  So close to 4000km...I've even wondered whether we should do a small detour to reach the milestone...but I don't think our weary bones would be too happy & I guess we've already done 900kms more than we first predicted.  I can't actually believe we're here!  I think we need to look at a map of Europe to really take in what we've done.

After birthday celebrations & goodbyes in Berlin, we picked up the Europa Radweg 1 further south & once again joined more bicycle tourists plodding along between campsites.  We passed through many a beautiful town and lots of lovely forest, sipping large beers along the way.  For those of you expecting us to be fit, skinny minnies on arrival home will be disappointed - Germany made sure our fat supplies (well mine anyway!) stayed plentiful with amazing beers, breads & ice cream cafes throughout.

Crossing into Holland a few days ago meant we had to forget all our basic German & unfortunately reverted back to English...we're both so exhausted with (badly) attempting other languages that Dutch seemed just too ambitious, luckily everyone we've spoken to has near perfect English and with our broad smiles haven't been too annoyed.

We've once again met some wonderful people & been treated so well along the way.  Particular shout outs go to Mariam, Norma, Bob & Jim who were staying in a caravan next to us in Munster - they took pity on our cheese sandwiches & kindly cooked for us, as well as watering us with plenty of wine & brandy.  The cycling wasn't so easy the next day.  Also to Rolf, who offered us his garden to camp in & got a bbq & beers in especially.  The main thing I'll take away from this trip is the kindness of strangers, so please folks, if you see any tired, scruffy cyclists passing your way, do remember us & invite them in for a cup of tea - it might just make their day.

On a slightly more negative note, what's with all the bleedin' head wind?!  It wasn't until a couple of days ago when we raced along at 25kmph on the flat feeling super motivated that I realised what a difference it makes & how much its shaped our trip ...I think we'd have done the route a month quicker had we gone the other direction. All about the character building (or whatever they say) though...

Right, here's a few pics and then we're done....until next week, when we'll write our final update from Newcastle!  Thanks for all the support guys, still not sure how many or who is reading our blog but we appreciate it all the same.

Cycling along the Berlin Wall with Stephy Spaghetti
Fun times at late-night outdoor parties
A bike shop made for John
Birthday dinner in Berlin
A posh roadside lunch
The twin town of Skegness!
One of our fave camping spots
John was swept off his feet by our amazing host Rolf
These 45 cyclists were all cancer survivors doing a tour of German children's hospitals...very inspiring
Country number 10!  Holland!
SO excited to reach Amsterdam


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