Tandem Club Discussion Board
Rosyth - Zebrugge Ferry
Posted By: Jock Stewart
Date: 28 July 2008
I am just back from a cycle tour of the Netherlands and I thought it might be useful to let people know how I got on.
If you drive your tandem to the ferry the secure parking is outrageously expensive! Park at the nearby park and ride and cycle the mile or so to the ferry.
The ferry could not have been simpler, we rolled down with the pedestrians rather than with the vehicles and the bikes are simply tied onto the side of the boat with soft rope. If your are taking an "aircraft" style seat, take your bed roll with you and crash out in the area next to the restaraunt. Everything on board is expensive to bring food and drink unless you are wealthy.
Ferry to Zebrugge:
Bikes and motorcycles tend to go first so you will be sent down to the car deck early. Watch out for sand drifts as you approach Zebrugge.
Doddle! Could not be nicer to cycle in. Really. We stayed at several campsites and while they don't always have provision for the visually impaired (disabled showers) they also don't care if you take your visually impaired partner into your shower area. "We are Dutch we don't worry about these things!", is a real quote from one camsite owner in Middleburgh.
Train - Amsterdam to Antwerp then to Brugge:
The woman selling the tickets apologised because she had to charge us twice to take a tandem on board. The conductor helped us load the bike on the train and while I was tying it up he assisted my wife on board. Nothing could be simpler. At Antwerp we changed to a different train and again the conductor was a big help. The bike storage area is at the front next to first class but he let us sit there because my wife had her white stick out. Your mileage may vary but it was very civilised.
At Brugge the tandem was too big for the lift down to the main concourse but they did not blink an eye at us using the escallator with a fully laden bike.
A nice 15k plod with a case of beer on the back. We waited for ages to board and the bike was tied up as before.
You alight with the foot passengers and go through foot passenger customs so it is better to walk with the bike rather than cycle.
If you have a visually impared partner I can wholeheartedly recommend a Netherlands cycle tour, the people are friendly and the facilities are outstanding at the campsites. Everywhere has table service to you can sit together as a couple and relax while eating. The toilet facilities are usually genderless and immaculate.
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