Duration: 07 Days
COUNTRIES VISITED: Netherlands
PLACES VISITED: Amerongen, Rhenen, Buren, and Culemborg.
Arrival and settle into your accommodations at the Napoleon Schuur, located in the historic center of Amerongen. Plan on strolling this quaint village and visiting the Amerongen castle here. Overnight at hotel.
After Breakfast, This route mainly covers an area where heavy battles were fought at the beginning of WWII. You will cycle near the “water line”, an area the Dutch had flooded to stop the Germans. History tells the story. The “Hollandic Water Line” was a Dutch defense tactic used for centuries. First conceived in 1629, it was constructed and revamped throughout history. The Dutch realized that flooding low-lying areas formed an excellent defence against enemy troops. Earth and brick fortifications were added throughout the years.
Both water lines failed to hold back the German forces. Hitler thought that Holland would fall in a day, but the struggle lasted 5. Holland was forced into surrender by the aerial bombing of Rotterdam, and the threat of the same for Utrecht and Amsterdam.
Also on this day, you will visit a modern-day farm in Holland, getting a taste of the Holland of today. The farm is an example of precision agriculture that uses robots and computerized programs to optimize production. You will enjoy a tour of the farm.
After Breakfast, on this day, the theme of Holland of yesterday is continued as your guide expands further on the history of the area. You will also be introduced to the Holland of today, though you will have already experienced this! Amerongen, you will be based, is a little paradise of tranquillity, tucked away in a pristine national reserve. You will be cycling on a wonderful cycling network, through small cities, towns, and bergs. There are cyclists everywhere, the Dutch, living their lives, going to school, tending their gardens, shopping, having a coffee in the square. It is a very peaceful and safe environment. This is the other Holland, apart from Amsterdam, this is authentic Holland.
Wageningen is known for its world-renowned agricultural university as is part of the “food valley”, one of the largest food communities in the world, consisting of more than 1,510 international food companies and 20 research institutes. Wageningen University & Research (WUR) has been named the best global university for agricultural sciences according to U.S. News & World Report, 2016.
On the agenda as well today is Rhenen, where the German troops broke through the Dutch defence during WWII in May 1940. In 1945, the town was damaged again during the liberation of the country from German occupation. Many or all of the Dutch soldiers who were killed by the Germans near Rhenen lie buried in the Cemetery of Honour.
After Breakfast, The majority of this route leads through the Betuwe, a region of historical, geographical, and agricultural importance. It is a very fertile region, located in the delta formed by the waters of the Rhine and Meuse Rivers. It is known for its fruit orchards and rich soil. This food valley is one of the best examples of Dutch agri-food collaboration. In the last months of WWII, it became known as “Men’s Island” or “Manneneiland” due to the evacuation of its entire civilian population during Operation Market Garden, leaving only soldiers behind.
After Breakfast, The majority of this route runs on the dike along the river Rhine passing through old towns along the way. Two, in particular, Buren and Culemborg, feel as if time has stood still. You will find a museum in Buren called; “Buren en Orange”, meaning the town and the Royal Dutch family. The Royal Dutch family is called “the House of Orange”.
Nowhere in the Netherlands will you find as many castles as in the area north of the river Rhine. Many of these castles are still being inhabited by the nobility and their families. The farms that belong to the castle grounds can be recognized by the colored shutters of the buildings. Each family has its own colours. Sections of this same area belong to three different government-owned nature preserves with very strict rules for land use.
After breakfast, Board your flight home.