Bike tour report Venice-Amsterdam July 2007

The path:

Saturday - 7 July 2007
Venice - Prato Isarco (Bolzen)
Sunday - 8 July 2007
Prato Isarco (Bolzen) - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Monday - 9 July 2007
Garmisch-Partenkirchen -  Reimlingen (Nördlingen)
Tuesday - 10 July 2007
Reimlingen - Walldürn
Wednesday - 11 July 2007
Walldürn - Wiesbaden
Thursday - 12 July 2007
Wiesbaden - Cologne 203,30
Friday - 13 July 2007
Cologne - Zevenaar 190,00
Saturday - 14 July 2007
Zevenaar - Amsterdam 154,80

Total km:  1476,78
Average per day: 184,6 km

Day 1
Saturday - 7 July 2007 Venice -> Prato Isarco (Bolzen)
Usually I start the tours from my small little town, but this time I thought "Uhm, Venice-Amsterdam sounds much better the Casoni di Mussolente-Amsterdam" :-) So I convinced my brother to wake up at 4:30 and drive me and my bike to Venice,  which is 60 km away.
From Venice to the beginning of the alps there are not so many bike ways, but on the week end there are not so many cars so it was not so bad. After Bassano starts a wonderful bike way which takes you to Trento. Sometimes it merges to ordinary streets, but however there is never traffic there :-)

Ordinary streets:

Bike ways:

Unfortunately the navigation system does not know the bike ways :-(

And this is the bike way Trento-Bolzano (what a fantastic landscape !)

Today the weather was hot and sunny.

Day 2
Sunday - 8 July 2007 Prato Isarco (Bolzen) - Garmisch-Partenkirchen

I heard a lot from people and on the internet about a place in Austria where the street goes up by 19%. The place is called Zirlerberg. My navigation system (set on "by bike") struggled a lot  to make me to avoid that place, but all the other ways were too long so I decided to go there however. Well... I think next time I will do what the navigation system says... :-O There are only 4 km where you go with the 19%, but it is however 19% !!! When I had to stop to take some rest the people on cars driving by were looking at me very surprised and  were  greetings to me. So if you want to go through Zirlerberg, you are advised ! :)

Once passed the border to Germany the weather turns from sunny and hot to cloudy and cold :-( I even got a lot of rain and my mileometer even stop working ! Since today I have to use the navigation system instead.

Day 3
Monday - 9 July 2007 Garmisch-Partenkirchen -  Reimlingen (Nördlingen)
This is the first picture of the day got just out of the Hotel: the weather was cold and ready do rain :-( Indeed it was raining nearly all the day :-(

Sometime it is really amazing where the navigation system takes you: in the middle of nothing !!! :-)

After 212,8 km and a A LOT OF RAIN I find a cheap but nice hotel in Reimlingen. I am the only guest that day and the owner takes me to my room, I tell him I am Italian, he looks at me in a very strange way and then goes away. And I think "Ohi  oi oi, I was able to find the only Bayern on the planet who do not like italians !". But then I go the the Hotel Restaurant, I open the menu, find it full of italian food (which was pretty good) and I spend the next 2 hours talking very nicely with the Hotel owner telling me all the places in Italy where he has been and where he has bought wine :-) He was just surprised I was on holiday there :-) So, very cool guy ! :-)

Day 4
Tuesday - 10 July 2007 Reimlingen - Walldürn
I think today was the rain-record day :-/ It started at 10, finished at 16... I was able to go the half  of the 160 km of today since 4 p.m.... Before the rain was heavy slowing me down !!! And once again, I the navigation system takes me to some strange places:

The green sing on the right says "We do not use any manipulated DNA"

Other cows come out to watch me: maybe they dont have so often tourists ! :-)

Day 5
Wednesday - 11 July 2007 Walldürn - Wiesbaden
Today I get no rain, but misteriusly I am not able to do much more than 150 km. Uhm, strange. Probably because of some mountains.

One of the nice small towns that I passed:

Day 6
Thursday - 12 July 2007 Wiesbaden - Cologne 203,30 km
I really like Cologne and its people and today I really struggle to manage to sleep there. :-)
I spend the most of the day on the street B8: even if it is a Bundestrasse (=National Street or something like that) it is mostly without much traffic. At least when you are still 60 km from Cologne... :-( :-( :-( Then you have REALLY a lot of traffic with a lot of trucks... Even the bike ways, which usually are next to such streets in Germany,  are here not present.  So I have to stop and search  for a different way.
Fortunately, a local guy, also by bike, ask me if I need help and together we have a look at my map:

At first, when we start talking, he says:
"it is better if we move 20 meters away from the B8. Here in this point accidents happens every week. For example, do you see they are building here a new cowshed?  That's because the old one was destroyed by a truck last week".
So put into the navigations system to avoid the B8 for the next 10 km and I head to a place suggested by this gentleman.

Finally, at about 8 p.m., I enter into the city. Juhu ! :-)

Here I am very close to the center:

And here I am in the center (time 20:43):

Day 7
Friday - 13 July 2007 Cologne - Zevenaar
Today I dont get any rain :-)
The landscape is getting closer and closer to what you imagine Holland is: no mountains, no hills and many bike ways. Especially after Duisburg, there is a bike way next to each street. Well, also in the rest of Germany there are many bike ways, but the more you get close to Holland, the more you have.

The people on the street between Duisburg and Holland are all smiling: I dont know if this the most smiling area of Germany or it is simply because that day the weather was so lovely ! :-)

This is the sing the says I am nearly in Holland.

...but there is no sing that tells you "you are now in holland", but however you notice that because you can see that here bike ways are something really serious !!! :-O
For example, everybody indicates his direction with the hand when taking right or left ! People do that nearly never in Italy  :-)
This picture was taken just after the border:

The pink areas on both sides of the street are the bike ways. In Holland sometimes it is like that, but most of the time are separated from the normal street:

In Holland there are so maaaaaaaaany bike shops! For example here there are 2 in front of each other here:

Day  8
Saturday - 14 July 2007 Zevenaar - Amsterdam

Well, no country is totally perfect. For example here a dutch guy parked his car on the bike way :-)

A nice picture token some km before Amsterdam:

This is the first sign that I find that tells me I am in Amsterdam. But hem... I think I missed one, because I came from behind this sing, that means now I was LEAVING Amsterdam- :-O

Please notice the the red lights behind me. I think you know what that means !!! :-)

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