Dan and Claire on Sabbatical!!

Welcome to our blog, we hope you enjoy following our adventures!
We split our sabbatical in 2 parts:
Part 1 was from March to June 2010 touring around in our campervan in France and Spain.
Part 2 started on the 7th of July when we left Scotland to cycle through Europe and the Middle East to Africa in the remaining 6 months (back for Xmas).
Have a look at the route below and we'll try to post pics as much as we can!


Cycle Route to Africa

31 Jul 2010

Zwei Bier Bitte

Song of the day:
The wheels on the bike go round and round, the wheels on the bike go round and round, MY ARSE HURTS!!!
Thats what cycling 1500km (1000 miles) does to you...

Germany is so big, everything in fact is very big. Big hills, big beers and big bits of pig (to eat). We're still averaging 100km (60 miles) a day through some really cool country side. After leaving Shuggy and Alisha's we rode through Belgium and Holland into Germany into 'a big green bit' as we call it on our crappy map. This green bit turned out to the Eifel National Park, which was full of huge hills that went on for ever at 10% up...and down in the rain... After that we made our way onto the Rhein for a day and half which was pretty and nice and flat. We passed Koblenz and Mainz and went off the Rhein towards Darmstadt Wurzburg. We're in a beautiful medieval town called Rothenburg and der Tauber now, in Bavaria and just had an enormous leg of pork. Each!
Tomorrow we continue our journey towards the Donau, a couple of days and we'll be cycling on the flat again. Great to cycle together in the sunshine!

24 Jul 2010

Cycle week 2: Holland and Belgium

The journey south has begun after 4 days of re-fueling in Groningen. Doortje escorted us on her bike the first few kilometers to Zuidlaren, very stoer Door!
Cycling through Holland can be very frustrating with the 'knooppunten', a very good system of cycle routes where you cycle from number to number, but it zigzags a lot and takes you through all the picturesque parts rather than the shortest route down. Which is fine if you're cycling around for fun but with such a long way to go we were happy to cross the Belgium border.
We had 4 beautiful days though, good weather and we felt quite fit. We camped on funny dutch campsites full of caravans with complete gardens, treelights, statues, microwaves and televisions. 
We also visited 'Kamp Westerbork', the WW2 concentration camp where the Germans transported hundreds of thousand of dutch jews to Poland/Germany. It's a place that makes you very quiet, the scale of the horror that happened there and the peacefullness of the current forest are so confliciting that it fills you with anger and sadness.

In Arnhem we cycled over the 'bridge too far' where the English had to surrender after holding it for 4 days waiting for reinforcements.
We're now relaxing at Hugo and Alisha's house in Zutendaal and getting ready for Germany tomorrow.
We're busy copying google maps for the route and should cross our first 1000km mark...only 9000km to go. Bums are sore already! No rude jokes from Terry please :o) (liked the song)

17 Jul 2010

Cycle week 1: Scotland and Holland

The first 600 km and flat tyre are behind us!
We left Lundie after a week of rest on the 7th of July and took the ferry from Edinburgh to Zeebrugge. We had to push it a bit along the dutch coastline up to Amsterdam to make it in time for the Worlcup final on Sunday evening. So we had our first 120 km day between Middelburg and Den Haag. An experience to be at the Museumplein in Amsterdam between 100.000 orange happy people but what a disappointing match...
And on we went towards the Afsluitdijk, Friesland and Groningen in amazing summer weather in Holland which is sometimes a bit too hot for cycling (30 degrees).
Dan had a huge pin in his tyre just when we came off the Afsluitdijk (30 km against the wind on a dyke :-().
The first week gave us a good impression of what we want to improve/where the sore points are. So we spent our resting time in Groningen buying new shorts (bums hurt already...), picking which clothes to leave behind to make the panniers lighter and adjusting things on the bikes.
On Monday we start the cycle south towards Zutendaal and Germany.

ps adding comments is easier now, we figured out how to change the setting. No need for an account now.