Monday, March 16, 2015

Amsterdam -> Antwerp II

The next day, back yet again on the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal, now south of Utrecht. Last time I made this journey I stuck to the LF-7, which veers away from the canal and goes through the town of Nieuwegein, before arriving at the Lek River. This time I'll stick to the canal, or actually a branch of it, the Lekkanaal which feeds into the Lek, then follow the river's north bank to the ferry to Vianen, then proceed down the LF.
Ferry cross the Lek 
(original date of this entry: Sept 15, 2014)
Overcast morning, cool and breezy. It ought to warm up. I have that blissful sensation that I get early in a long cycling journey, a taste of freedom and adventure. All my doubts seem to dissolve and I realize that ultimately this is what I'm doing here.

Now south of Vianen, I stop along the banks of the Merwede, just below kp 5. Unlike last time, when I headed due south of Vianen, I instead took the LF-7 which parallels that route to the west, a lovely cruise along a dike. It is the start of the second leg of the journey, following the river's meanders to Gorinchem: 18km, piece of cake.

Vianen, first village in South Holland

At the bank of a creek with a layer of light green detritus atop the surface of the water like a crust. On the other side families pushing strollers stop for a chat. This must be Nieuwland. They part and as one group passes me, the dad comments, "Heerlijk weer, nee? Prachtig." And I nod, yes, it is a pretty day. Nice of him to include me in his town, which appears to be a busy crossroads for traffic to Leerdam (6km), Gorinchem (10km) and Utrecht (29km--the distance I've traveled so far today). Leerdam is where Alice and I detoured to get dinner since we had somehow bypassed Meerkerk. I don't see how we could've missed it, It was just the other side of the river. I just stopped there to have a look: a windmill, pleasure boats moored along a canal, middle-aged couples determinedly sunning themselves. Not much in the town but one eetcafĂ© at a crossroads, an absurdly tall water tower and a drinking water fountain. Though quaint and pretty, Holland's small towns feel so empty. Continued ...

Along the approach to Gorinchem.

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