Saturday, 4 June 2016

Day 4: Alkmaar, Holland to Heide, Germany 487km

Alkmaar is a town we would happily spend more time exploring.  Another time.
Today we are off to Germany. Our fifth country in 4 days.

Dick has planned a long way round the north east of holland and northwest of Germany. Through villages, across dykes, and on as few motorways as possible. The plan is to reach the Elbe river north of Hamburg and cross on the ferry.

This massive dyke or causeway, is 32 km long and was built between 1927 and 1932.  It is part of the Zuiderzee works.

To the east of the causeway is water as far as the eye can see. The artificial Lake IJssel a fresh water lake fed mainly from the Rhine.

As we cross the border into Germany we see disused border gantry and control facilities.  
Soon we are taken by surprise as we ride along country roads and come to an area which is celebrating rhododendrons. Every house and public area has flowering rhododendrons. Rhododendrons in the Hobbie Rhododendron park spill over to the road side. 

Some of these tasty morsels spill into our lunch plate. 

Steph stops and has a chat as she makes her selection.  

Cigarette vending machines are ubiquitous in Germany. A pack of 20 costs €6.

Tunnels. There is light, bright sunlight as we emerge from this one. Sunny Germany! 


It is harvest season... 

We remember that motorcyclists can go to the front of the queue. Just as well otherwise we would have had a long wait. 
While we cross the Elbe on the ferry we chat with a Danish couple who are heading for Odense home town of Hans Christian Andersen.  They are keen for us to visit. Next time.

The ferry trip shows on the GPS.

Over the Kiel canal.  The 98km canal which was finished in 1895 links the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Ships save 460km instead of going around the Jutland peninsula.
We arrive at Heide which is a light industrial town. We begin to wonder if there are any hotels when the Hotel Berlin appeared on the GPS. It seems she had been renamed. 
It was 28degC. 
My driver had earned his beer after a long ride.


Margit said...

Did you talk to Steph, or how do you know her name? She looks likevsomebody from New Zealand. I didn't know that German women are so heavy tattooed.

Arie Kleinjan said...

Hi Diana and Dick,

Love your travel stories , going over the continent ,taking it all in , though moving fast.
In a couple of days we are heading off at a slower speed aboard the AARO towards Berlin , where we plan to arrive in about two (2) weeks time.
In theory your comment , Diana, that the Rhine is feeding the IJsselmeer is right , but in fact it is the river IJssel ,main branch of the Rhine, which is the feeding river and namesake of the IJsselmeer , the former Zuiderzee.
Enjoy your trip , stay upright on the bike and save travel.

Arie & Els

Diana Hubbard said...

Thanks for your comment. We were amazed at the engineering skill which created the dyke system in Holland. We have lots of questions about the development of polder and the lakes - be prepared for the next time we are together. We hope the sun shines on your canal boat journey to Berlin.
Dick is enjoying blogging on
Love from us both.

Diana Hubbard said...

Steph was one of the new friends I get to meet when we stop for a break on our motorcycle journeys. There is a mutual curiosity between people who see us in our biker gear and we of them.
Conversations start easily.
Body art is an extraordinary phenomenon wherever we go.