It looks like WiFi is going to be spotty on the boat, so I will be briefer than usual. Today was a great ride. Since it was Saturday, there was very little traffic in Amsterdam, and we were quickly in the beautiful countryside. We travelled along the Hollandic Waterline, and old defense system, with several forts along the way (unfortunately not close enough for photos.) we saw more windmills than I could count. Here is the first one.
We are now on the barge, about to go through the first lock, so I am going to take a break and some photos. Very interesting experience. We probably gained about five feet in the lock and are now exiting. But I am getting ahead of the story.
As we cycled, we saw lots of cattle and sheep (think cheese), as well as a few goats, horses, and several cornfields and apple orchards. The small towns that we passed through were very pleasant, and immaculately kept.
We had intended to cycle to Utrecht today, but because of congestion, we stopped at Breukelen (from which Brooklyn, NY gets its name) and had a pleasant lunch in the town square before boarding the Magnifique, the barge which will be our home for the next several days.
We will have breakfast and dinner aboard each day, and cycle during the day as the barge moves. It will not be moving at night.
I am very pleased with the bicycle. It is a titanium frame with 1x11 gearing (one 40 tooth chain ring in the front, and 11 cogs in the rear, including a huge one which will give me a much lower gear than I will ever need in this flat country).
My cabin is very pleasant, with two beds, a bathroom with a shower and lots of room to unpack. I am looking forward to the idea of cycling in a new place every day without having to pack each morning and transfer luggage.
The weather today was much more pleasant -- cool with a slight breeze. Looking forward to a great rest of the trip.