Flag collecting & SUP
To say we're zigzagging our way back to the UK would be an understatement, but it's all so that we have an even number of flag stickers on the van! This meant we needed to go to both Luxembourg and Holland, but both have proved to have some great paddleboarding opportunities.
In the last week we've travelled through Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland. Although the landscape in northern Germany was very different to Bavaria, they didn't fail to impress with their castles.
We had hoped to paddleboard on the Weser but it was just a little bit too strong to go anywhere but one way, so we enjoyed a walk instead.
There is an excellent cycle path that follows the Weser for 515km with hardly any hills - perhaps one to come back for. We followed the Weser in the van for a while then had a long motorway drive ahead of us which we split up by staying in a nice village overnight.
We finally made it to Luxembourg where we enjoyed paddleboarding on the Sûre - a river on the border with Germany. It sounds impressive to say that we paddleboarded from one country to another, but in reality that took about 10 seconds! It was beautiful though and we saw wild hops growing on an island there.
Next up was Belgium where we stopped off at Dinant - an interesting city with a gothic church that is towered over by the Citadelle de Dinant.
We're now in the Nationaal Park De Biesbosch in Holland and have enjoyed another SUP adventure today. Because wild camping is illegal in the Netherlands (and the police are quite hot on it), we have found a hostel to stay next to in the van. At 16 euros including showers, toilets and electricity (not to mention their lovely bar area with river views), this is one of the best value places we've stayed. Best of all, we could launch from here - you can see the hostel in the photo below.
I was interested in visiting Biesbosch because it was described as having 'mangrove like jungle' and I wasn't disappointed as we ducked under the hanging branches and trees.
Today can only really be described as a wildlife SUP trail - we saw birds of prey, herons and woodpeckers. Being only half an hour away from Rotterdam, Nationaal Park De Biesbosch is somewhere we'd recommend if you're in the area and fancy hiring a SUP or canoe.