Rhein-Maas Tour: Day 2 – Xanten to Nijmegen

After a good night’s sleep it was time for breakfast – and what a breakfast!

Everything beautifully displayed and set out – and tasty too!

Today’s ride was shorter, a planned 68km along the Rhein to Nijmegen. Here is our track for the day.

We set off at about 9am, heading past the Harbour where we had walked yesterday and then around the Xantener Südsee. Here is a view back at Xanten – the cathedral and also the windmill which was turning.

We passed this information board with its history of a bomber that crashed locally.

I had ridden around this area with the Trike Treffen during Christi Himmelfahrt but then it was very hot and sunny and so the dust kicked up by the bikes on the sandy track was notable. This time, in the drizzle, the bikes remained reasonably clean!

After the Xantener Südsee we went around the Xantener Nordsee and saw some lovely posh houses which fronted onto the lake. Most salubrious!

We then rode along the Rhein Radweg on the left hand bank of the Rhein. The track we had prepared stayed on this side but as we were riding we decided to cross over and go to Rees (which is lovely) and then ride along the other side to Emmerich am Rhein. I had done this route on my solo tour earlier.

I had visited Rees a few times and each time taken the busy bridge over the Rhein. However as we were heading towards Rees Klaus noticed a sign to a ferry – we thought that was definitely worth a look so cycled along the path over the Deich and arrived at the ferry landing stage.

All looked rather unoccupied and I assumed the ferry wasn’t running but the information board said it was indeed working today and sure enough the boat moored at the other side of the river started making its way over to us.

As we waited another cyclist appeared with lots of luggage – he was riding from Neuss to Rotterdam.

Watching the ferry cross the Rhein was rather interesting as it careered across at high speed. “I’d better make sure I fix my bike safely too the boat,” said the chap with the normal bike. Our trikes would of course be safe on their three wheels.

the fee for the crossing was 2 Euros each.

Off we went, crossing Vaterrhein.

When we arrived in Rees we saw lots and lots of statues – all over the place, very amusing. Here is Claudia posing for a shower with one chap.

…and sitting on another…

Whilst Klaus pretended to ignore the two women made of bronze hanging on the railings by the river.

Having cycled for at least 18km it was time to stop for cake, so we went to a café I knew of in the centre of Rees and treated ourselves (except Claudia was still full from breakfast so she just had a drink).

Klaus had this cheesecake.

I had this rather yummy Black Forest Gateau.

We then cycled along to Emmerich am Rhein. I had ridden between Rees and Emmerich in Penelope a few months ago and it didn’t feel like a very long way but on the trikes in the rain with the headwind it seemed much harder work!

Eventually we arrived in Emmerich but didn’t stop as Klaus and I weren’t hungry after our cakes (Claudia was a bit peckish but said she could wait). They asked how far Millingen aan de Rijn was and I said I thought half an hour; in retrospect this was because I had been in Penelope on a fast day but we didn’t realise this at first.

This is the bridge back over the Rhein from Emmerich.

the other side of the Rhein was windy again (as it had been before) and the drizzle continued. It wasn’t so heavy as to make us really wet but it was a bit annoying as we were never totally dry.

After the half an hour had passed I realised we were still a long way away from Millingen so each time we reached a village we diverted to it to find a bakery or food establishment – and failed. There were none. Eventually we were just 2km before Millingen when we saw a sigh to a Biergarten with Terrasse so headed up the side road to it and had a light lunch of soup and salad with the very friendly landlady chatting to us.

We headed off again in the rain, crossing the border into NL and passing the hotel that I stayed in a few months ago. After this point the route was unknown to me – so we just followed the purple line that Klaus had planned.

We rode along the Deich enjoying views of the Rhein and of the wildlife, including lots of storks.

I also had to photograph this sign as when I first saw it I read it as an English coarse expression!!!

We rode through a nature reserve where the trail was sand and gravel which is hard work on trikes.

The rain started coming down more heavily and so it was good to know that we weren’t far from Nijmegen, riding mostly along the Deich and past small villages and single houses.

I had booked as our accommodation rooms on a boat moored at Nijmegen. As we arrived at the place there seemed to be a circus or fair on next to it which didn’t bode well for a peaceful night’s sleep. Walking along the metal walkway and then up damp wooden steps can be slightly interesting with click shoes (with cleats) but I managed to find a lady to ask where we were to park our bikes. The answer was backstage to the fair under a tarpaulin.

This all seemed a bit sub-optimal but the lady told us that the fair wasn’t noisy during the week and when we got on the boat and saw our rooms they were characterful and interesting. This is mine – I will be sleeping in a boat!

After a shower and washing my clothes (which I think are unfortunately unlikely to dry) we met in the breakfast room where we could help ourselves to drinks and also look at some museum-type exhibits about the boat.

After I spent some time writing my blog and drinking tea we decided to go for food.

I have often found that it is pretty expensive to eat in the Netherlands and this was the case for our evening meal on the deck of a boat rafted up against our one but the food was tasty!

After the meal we chatted for a bit and then the others went to bed and I wrote more blog. I also chatted through Facebook with Alex who sold me Penelope – he’s going to cycle out to meet us tomorrow which will be great fun. It will be lovely to see him again, even if I’m on Alfie and not Penelope.

Today we rode 72.7km in total at an average speed of. 15.8 kilometres per hour. Although that’s not particularly far and fast it was quite tiring in the rain, but cycle touring is always great fun and I enjoyed the riding very much. We’re hoping for better weather tomorrow for our ride to ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Alfie the Trike, Cycle Tours, Rhein-Maas Tour 2016

Leave a Reply