We are off again, this time aiming to cycle the whole of the Rhine route. We’ve seen two sections before – around the Swiss/German border and into Liechtenstein in 2014, and north from Cologne to Emmerich in 2015. Both were great, but very different. Hoping this time to see all the many contrasts along the whole route. 

Thanks are due to many people who have helped us get ready for this trip. First of all, thanks to our respective bosses for agreeing a long enough spell of leave to be able to do this as a leisurely trip. Thanks also Sharon Iacono of Sonoyoga (www.sonoyoga.co.uk) for yoga exercises tailored to help a cyclist struggling with hip and back issues. Thanks also to Ian Mitchell for lots on intel on the route in his excellent blog (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/Rhine2010) – although he and his partner knocked this trip off rather faster than we plan to.  Another highlight today was a very friendly guard on the train from Edinburgh to Newcastle who helped us get bikes on and off the train efficiently – thank you LNER. 

Very damp cycle from Newcastle station to North Shields today. By about half way I had to stop trying to tell myself that it was only drizzling and accept that this was rain and I was wet. We were properly drookit by the time we were queueing for the ferry, but fortunately they took pity on us and didn’t make us wait too long. I didn’t linger to take photos of the ferry.  The forecast for tomorrow is warm and sunny, and we have only a gentle cycle from IJmuiden to Amsterdam before many, many trains take us to Switzerland.