Smooth and pleasant ridng along a couple of dikes brought us, once again to the quiet farmlands with new and newborn farm animals. Though we did see a few horses, ponies seem to be more abundant, and one mama was standing over her newborn babe. Baby sheep greeted us as we passed by and the cows gave us a few nods.
In this time, hay is bundled in that plastic wrap we always see in the fields. There are a few of these hay barns that have posts in the four corners that are used to raise the roof to allow room to put in more bales of hay.
Today’s weather was a bit cooler with clouds to hide the sun for most of the day. Everyone was taking off or putting on their jacket at each stop we made. It felt great, and though we knew there was some threat of rain, at most we felt only a couple of drops two or three times.
Francine had arranged a most interesting and information filled visit to a cheese farm. The farmer gave us a long talk and showed us a film in which he was the star! HIs is totally organic farm that is highly regulated and tested by the environmental labs. On these farms, the feed for the cows must also be edible by the people. The video showed him eating some of the grass he feeds his cows. The production of cheese is Gouda (pronounced with an “H” rather than a “G”) and is, of course, organic as well as raw, whole milk cheese. Not pasteurized. It is most delicious.
Upon reaching our destination town of Nijmenga, we had a tour of the Bicycle museum located at the waterfront near our boat. An amazing collection of restored wheeled vehicles – two, three and four wheeled — from over the ages.
The following day would take from our boat in Nijmegen on a loop returning to the boat for an afternoon sail to our next port in Arnhem. More dike riding through the countryside and some wetlands with views of several species of bird. The original plan was for a stop at a “beautiful Dutch Tea Garden” to have tea and crumpets (or any pastry). However, someone had rented the entire place for the day so it was closed to others. Francine found us an alternative for our snack stop, but needless to say, I was one most disappointed.
We did have a nice stop along the waterway and I found the local art class most fun. I chatted with a couple of women there and discovered, as the painted their impression of the landscape, that they all seemed rather talented in art.
We then touched into Germany for a very short time in through Kleve.
Ralph and Carol took us all for a delightful dinner in town on this evening. Nijmegen was, like so many of the towns along the border of Germany, bombed out and many of the old buildings were destroyed. The church at the town center is one of the few that still stands.