Rhineland, Saarland and the French German Border

Literally spoilt for choice in terms of cycle routes. You can cycle hundreds of kilometres through stunning scenery without ever being on a road.

I found myself at the start of last week stranded in the small city of Trier in West Germany for a couple of days, near Luxembourg, until the rain finally lifted. I’d pitched my tent on a scenic hill overlooking the city, just behind a hedge, next to a church. It was so well hidden that I could leave my things there for the day and wander around the city. The choice of cycle paths in this region is simply amazing. If you ask at the tourist office on any … Continue reading

A Short Adventure from Holland to Germany

My bike on a cyclepath on the banks of the river Moselle, heading to Trier.

Near the main station in Rotterdam, nestled amongst a wall of tenement houses and pubs, lies a small, cluttered workshop. From somewhere between the jumble of bicycles, wheels and metal, appeared the only man that knew any sort of order to the apparent chaos. A busy, oil blackened hand pulled a cigarette away from a crooked smile. “Ahh…Hollowtech,” he said, with only a slight Dutch twang. “All the bikes here are city bikes,” he explained as he pulled out a small tool that had never been used before. “Is this … Continue reading

Living in Rotterdam

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It’s actually the fourth time I’ve been here now and to the same hostel too. For the last month I’ve been working in the hostel, and I’ve had a taste at what it’s like to live here. I even managed to get out of my very first day of work after being sick in a bin, from the previous night’s carnage. I’ve been living in the dome of the building, an old clock-tower, with a French and a Brazilian, which has an adjacent roof with views across the city. ‘Rotterdam’ … Continue reading

Cycling the Netherlands

Afsluitdijk. The never ending cycle path.

I packed up early afternoon and began cycling through the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, leaving the traffic, bikes and people behind, heading west on a quiet and straight cycle path towards the city of Haarlem. The rain was pelting down nearly the whole way so that by the time I had reached Haarlem, I felt like I had been submerged in water. This is where I discovered that my jacket, ‘waterproof’ trousers and gloves are really not that waterproof any more resulting in me cycling about in a bright … Continue reading

Back on the Mainland

A canal at the border between Belgium and the Netherlands

From London, I took the train to Brugge, in North-east Belgium. The only noticeable change from the last time I was here being the sun to brighten up the dreary clock tower. Down a cobbled street, I found my way to the hostel I stayed at previously by passing the four windmills on the outskirts. I had dinner, and slept. The next morning I set off after talking with four pretty hardcore cyclists, on a long tour as well but much different from mine, their bikes and bags light and … Continue reading

Cycling from Glasgow to London …

…in just over 5 days, with 20 quid and a road map… Few people sell everything they have to leave the country. But that’s exactly what I just did. With nothing more than my bike, three bags of gear, and some crazy ideas, I’ve packed up and boosted. I’m currently in the Netherlands but just a few days ago I was cycling hard from Glasgow to London, with no plan and nothing to guide me but a £5 road map bought the day before. It wasn’t easy. But you never … Continue reading

My tour of Europe

Cycling through tiny hamlets, towns and cities – along open countryside, forests, farms, lakes, coastlines, beaches, cliffs, rivers and over mountains – on tarmac, gravel, dirt and mud – in scorching sunshine, clouds, rain, hailstones, thunderstorms and fog. And that’s only half of it. I met hundreds of lovely people, seen some incredible things and have more stories than kilometres on the speedo. But it had to end sometime. And now I’m disembarking from my saddle, taking my lifetime supply of vitamin D, and swiftly heading back to the island … Continue reading

And back to the Netherlands

My plan as of two days ago: Cycle back across the coast of the Netherlands, to Rotterdam, take a few nice pictures of windmills or something, and sum up my trip. Reality: Got to Netherlands, didn’t want to pay for boat across river, decided to take long way round via tunnel. Cycled 20km to tunnel, no bikes allowed. Only other way to cross is back in Antwerp in Belgium. Cycled 50km back to Belgium, meets cyclist, gives tour of Antwerp. Meets another cyclist, gives a better tour of Antwerp and … Continue reading

Belgium, Brussles and Brugge

Baguettes, croissants, wine spilling over from France and fine chocolates, strong beers and… waffles. My journey through Belgium has been a true ramble. With an excellent map of the region, donated by the cyclists I met in Luxembourg (cheers!), it’s no struggle to go everywhere and anywhere, especially with the thousands of cycle paths. It’s at least an extra 10 degrees warmer here too, and it’s nice when you can feel your toes in the morning. I’m a happy camper once again. Beggining in the south east, departing from the … Continue reading

Luxembourg City

Overloking the thousands of trees, right in the centre of the city

A surprisingly interesting and very green city, Luxembourg is the heart, and really the only city of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, with around 100,000 people. Despite the political importance to the EU and the 100+ banks that are based here (contributing to a large part of the country’s wealth), it has a relaxed atmosphere – in fact it’s considered to be the safest city in the world. Built over and around a gorge filled with trees, part of the city lies in the narrow, twisting valley and part on … Continue reading