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Holiday 2001
On the 23rd June 2001 I turned my cycle upside down and spend 4 hours servicing the vital parts. New chain, new brake cables, new gear cables, new rear tyre, a general clean, oiled and adjusted. On the 24th June 2001 I rose at 5am packed my tent, tiny Sharp 3100 PC, and a selection of clean clothes into the paniers. A quick breakfast, water turned off, and at 8.30am I kicked off into the morning sunshine.

I just love that feeling of inertia when my cycle is fully laden because I know that it is the beginning of a new holiday experience. This year I made my final decision on where to go the night before I left. That is what I most enjoy about my cycling holidays, the total freedom to go wherever I please without weeks of preparation. At the last moment I decide on the general idea of what I am doing and the holiday sorts itself out as the miles pass by. This year I knew two things as I set out, I would be taking the boat and train to Cologne in Germany and I would be flying back from somewhere in southern France.
24th June 2001

The port of Harwich is just 12 miles from where I live. I needed to get there in time to buy a ticket for the 10.40 ferry to the Hook of Holland. A gentle back wind ensured that I arrived with plenty of time in hand. The ticket to Cologne cost 59 with extra to pay on the train in Holland and Germany for the cycle.

The new fast service to the Hook of Holland takes three and a half hours.

This picture is the conductress who I paid for the bicycle in German marks. It took her ten minutes to establish that I could pay in marks. She gave me the change in Dutch guilders!
This picture shows the cycle path along side the Rhein.
This picture is in stereo. I am still in Germany cycling along the Rhein.
I am on the way up the Timmelsjoch pass. Imagine cycling up a 1 in 12 hill for 4 hours.
Curve 10, another 200 feet in height to gain to get to the top.
Just over the top, the entrance to the 'long dripping tunnel'. The first time I encountered this tunnel my hair literally stood on end! It is the dripping water down your neck, the rough edge the total darkness, it is an experience to you never forget. As you enter you can see the light at the far end but it is 550 meters long!
This is the view a little way down on the other side of the long dripping tunnel. I have seen this view 6 or 7 times and it always drives my senses into saturation.
This is Gasthof Schlossberg. I always stop here for at least two nights. 3000 feet up overlooking the small town of St Leonhart. So warm and friendly it is almost worth going just to be there.

From St Leonhart take the road toward the Yaufen pass. You will find Gasthof Schlossberg on a sharp left hand bend 2 or 3 miles from St Leonhart.

Fantastic food, friendly people and such an incredible outlook. Don't go this way without stopping here.
This is lake Garda on my route to the mediterranean.
Lake Garda. The only way past some road works was by ferry. There is no other road.
Just before I left lake Garda.

I asked this young lady (in English) if she would be in my photograph. She understood and was obviously pleased to be asked.
I seemed to have been cycling up hill all day. I could see a huge hill directly ahead. I said to myself out loud 'there has to be a tunnel'. And there was. I was so pleased not to have another pass to go over.
It should have been all down hill from lake Garda to the Mediterranean. The only problem was the odd mountain or two. I stopped here for the night. A most pleasant experience.
My first view of the mediterranean at Genova. A dark day although very warm. The sea was not inviting. I had no urge to go swimming.
My last picture before leaving Italy. These two played while I ate my evening meal. Typical Italian songs. It was really most pleasant. Sorry about the picture. I dropped my camera onto a concrete hotel floor and it stopped working properly.

(I sent it off to Olympus for repair when I returned - it cost 120).