3rd . Sept 2016, BURGER, Germany
Sunday 28th August
We set sail a week later than planned having postponed the trip to Dubrovnik with Ken & Jackie due to the sad and untimely death of our dear friend Marion who passed away on August 13th.
We both wanted to attend the funeral so put our departure back a week only to find that Jackie's sister was terminally ill and they would be delaying their departure as well. So we said goodbye to Marion on 26th August at a very emotional family funeral along with other friends from Conil. We re booked to sail on the 28th. and Jackie's sister having also passed away in the meantime, they would follow us on the 6th Sept having first gone to the funeral in Cornwall. So plan B was for us to meander about a bit until they could catch us up and the Moselle beckoned as an area previously unexplored and offering various attractions.
For some strange reason we had chosen to eschew the tunnel and go Harwich - Hook of Holland again. There were good reasons for this route when going to Scandinavia, but fewer when going to Croatia, but we booked it before experiencing it because if we had, we wouldn't have booked it if you see what I mean. Anyway, they do do a good meal . It's a long crossing and takes a long time to clear the port as they only have 2 kiosks checking every passport......ho hum.
Knowing this we had picked an Aire at ALBLASSERDAM as overnight stop about 50km away which seemed about right. In fact it was inspired choice as excellent new commercial aire with all facilities on the harbour and offering enough delights to make us stay 2 nights instead of dashing off.
Monday 29th August
A lovely cycle path to KinderDike, one of the oldest examples of the polder (1738) and now a UNESCO site. 20 windmills were built to pump water to drain the land and 19 remain today. Steam and then electricity replaced the need for the windmills in the 18-1900's but they were preserved and are a wonderful site.. all still work, and 2 are open to view as working museums, along with an excellent visitor centre explaining the concept, heritage and mechanics of water management. As the ground is 6 metres below sea level, the electric pumps are still pumping water as we speak
Having enriched our knowledge of dikes and polder (shades of 1950 O level geography), we then took the waterbus to DORDRECHT, which was the first,and is therefore the oldest,city in Holland, and a jolly fine one it is. In the other direction, the waterbus which is actually the P+R fast ferry, goes to ROTTERDAM, which we plan to do on our way back. It's very cheap and bikes go free. So we mooched aound Dordrecht, an excellent day to visit as all the shops shut on Monday but worth a detour.
Tuesday 30th August
Head for somewhere but don't like the aire so pick out ANDERNACH, on the Rhine which is another good choice. Large Aire on the river bank and we find front row spot which gives great views of river traffic and has cooling breeze from river which is v.welcome in heat. Also has itinerant icecream van in evenings.
Wednesday 31st August
Received sad email fom Jackie saying Ken has problem with leg and local doctors advised not to travel abroad but return home and seek treatment. As this now invalidates insurance as pre - existing complaint they have no choice but to abandon plans and cancel trip. We shall miss their company.
Plan C....still go down Moselle but not linger and head to BLED and then SPLIT.
Nice cycle thro local countryside.
Thursday 1st September
To BURGEN on banks of Moselle. Nice campsite, pretty villages
Friday 2nd September
Cycle to COCHEM (28 mile trip) along banks of Moselle through pretty villages. COCHEM has fairy tale castle overlooking pretty town full of colour,flowers and tourists by the coach load. .and cruise ships. We picnic on riverbank in glorious sunshine. This is the life.....