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Days 74 - 77

Day 74         07/31/23

We woke up and left Cologne in the rain. We knew it was going to be a rainy day so we had mentally prepared for it. Unfortunately we didn't shoot many pictures because it was raining most of the time.


We only stopped once at a bakery that was attached to a grocery store. We first enjoyed coffee and pastries. The display counters are packed with items we can't pronounce and have no idea of what they are. I ordered this pinapple, cheese and ham looking thing and a croissant. When I bit into the croissant, to my surprise, it was full of the most heavenly whipped cream.


Our plan was to camp that night so after we finished our pastry surprises we decided to pick up some groceries as well. We hoped by doing so when we got to our campsite we could quickly cook dinner and jump in our tent. As with all well laid plans, when we got to the campsite and it was a muddy mess. The rain was coming down and we both looked at each other like, "Really?"


But all was not lost. Just 200 yards away, out in the middle of what appeared to be nowhere, was a hotel. So we made a quick decision and headed over there, checked in and cooked our dinner in the room. We were very happy not having to be in the rain and we didn't leave our room until we checked out the next morning at 11:00am.



Keep on rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 47 miles




Day 75        08/01/23

Last night was wonderful sleeping in a King size bed and watching a movie in a warm room. The sun was trying to peak through in the morning but the clouds were not fully behaving. We got on the road around eleven and it wasn't long before the drops started to fall. Thankfully the rain was on and off for most of the day but not a drenching.


We are beginning to think we chose the wrong side of the Rhine to ride. Miles and miles of industrial plants and crowed streets with trucks were challenging to navigate. At one point we rode through a chemical park which made the both of us laugh. We have ridden through a lot of national parks, state parks and local parks but never a Chemical park. We now have a new first.



The ride was full of twists and turns, dead ends and headwinds but we finally made it to our hotel. Very unique hotel to say the least. You check-in at an outdoor kiosk that verifies all your information and prints you a room key card. The key card gives you access to the bike storage room, the front door to the hotel and the door to your room. No one was onsite to help but the place was very nice and perfect for weary travellers.



We walked into town for dinner and were amazed by the quaint downtown. Cobblestone streets were lined with many places to shop and eat. They had a fantastic Gothic Cathedral that we walked around and then ate the most yummy fish and chips. The evening turned out to be a beautiful clear sky in spite of a week of forecasted rain.


A quick note, in one of the pictures below we came upon a cow today that had just been born. The mom was licking it as we watched it stand for the first time. That was really special to see.



Keep on rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 49 miles



Day 76      08/02/23

Guess what? It's raining! What shalI we do today? I know, let's take a bike ride and get soaked for five hours!  Doesn't that sound fun? Not that I am counting the days but it has been raining for a week now and it looks like we have another week to go. I know, get some cheese for that whine. But the good news is we camped all those days in France and Switzerland and now get to spend all the savings on hotels. Thankfully we have a nice warm place to dry out at the end of the day.


It was, in fact, a five hour day of riding in a rainstorm but there were a few moments when the rain let up and we actually did enjoy the ride. At one point we were four miles down a road and had to turn around because it was blocked. It was pouring rain and we had to ride all the way back to the bridge where we got off route. Soon, a few others joined us. We all compared notes and got back on track.


A couple of miles down the road we came to some fixed metal barriers that were staggered across the bike path. They are used to slow down the bicycle traffic. As I reported two months ago we hit one with our rear pannier which bent the pannier bracket. On this occasion, in between the barriers was some kind of metal sheep grate to keep the sheep from passing through. Not expecting it to be as slick as ice when we rode over it, the bike slid out from under us and we both went down. Fortunately, neither of us had any serious injuries. The bike did suffer a bit from the fall and the front brakes still need some attention.


We rode into Arnhem around 3:00pm and checked into the hotel. We are now in the Netherlands and experiencing a new kind of traffic, bicycles. Bicycles of all kinds and shapes are whizzing by in all directions. I have never seen so many bikes in my life.


We went into town for some burgers and ice cream and came back to our room to watch the movie,

A Bridge Too Far. It was about Operation Market Garden, a plan during WWII to capture the bridges over the rivers that lead into Germany. A major battle took place at the Arnhem Bridge. The Germans held and turned back the Allied forces. We hope to visit the museum tomorrow if we can.



Keep on rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 51 miles




Day 77        08/03/23

Started off the day with a great buffet breakfast in the hotel Restaurant. After breakfast we headed on over to the bus station and caught a ride to the Airborn Museum at Hartenstein. It was here where British commanders set up their headquarters. What a fantastic museum! It is a testimony to the the troops who held the Arnhem Bridge without reinforcements. They eventually had to surrendered to the Germans.



Afterwards, we took the bus back to Arnhem and got a late lunch. Feeling full and not wanting to go back to our room we headed over to the actual bridge where the battle took place. It is here that they have another museum that details the accounts of the fighting. The museum is facing the bridge which you have as a backdrop while you watch a short film about the event. It was free and well worth the time.



The most amazing story is the post war testimony of the Dutch people. When the British initially arrived with a brigade of 800 men they felt a sense of liberty and hoped the end of the war was near. As the days unfolded the battle was lost at the bridge and the remaining forces and leadership retreated to safety under the cover of night. The citizens in the area (90,000) had to endure nine more months of German occupation. After the war the British were concerned that the Dutch would be resentful for what transpired; their city had been destroyed. The exact opposite was true. The Dutch were deeply grateful for what the British attempted and have been very active in keeping the memories of what took place alive.



Keep on rolling

Scott and Sarah

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5 Comments


Rod Potter
Rod Potter
Aug 05, 2023

Oh man, so glad you both didn’t get injured when you fell. I can’t imagine how scary that is when you go down by such a surprise with no time to get you feet out of the pedal clips!


On a more sour note, I bet that’s a pleasant aroma kicking back in our face when drying your shoes out with a hair dryer! Mmm, pungent.

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We love the adventure and keeping a great attitude. The history is amazing!!!

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That museum and history sounded amazing in many levels!

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That sounded like a difficult stretch of travel, but love how you find (and share) wonderment in the simple and complex! Love you two!

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Second only to the wonderfully photos is the history you share--so enjoyable!


Hey, if you meet any Dutch with the surname Van Horn on this leg of your journey, please tell them their American cousin says, "hello"! 😊

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