The way out to London took me two and a half days. On first I was thinking of going the distance from Bielefeld to Rotterdam/Hoek von Holland in one day, but eventually decided to split it into two parts. That was a good decision, March is still early in year (daylight, temperature, my physical condition), the luggage had some weight, too.
When I reached Kleve after 10 hours of pedaling on the first day I felt I had enough kilometers for that day (a bit more than 200km). The pension Röhrhoff/Kleve provided me a nice room and a good breakfast for 38 EUR. On next morning I started again at 8:30. The weather was misty and rather cold and the mist cleared not completely before noon.
A bit after Nijmegen I lost track and had to use my gps phone for the first time intensively. It worked well.
Twice I rode a few kilometers with some Dutch cyclists who hada nice pace and on late afternoon I reached Hook van Holland. I got my ferry tickets, bought a bit Dutch food at an Albert Heijn (the city of Hook van Holland is rather boring) and entered the ferry.
I was pretty surprised to regognize that this ferry would not go to Ramsgate as I thought, but to Harwich. Well, I needed to consult google maps to make a new route.
The ferry was a very nice one, my cabin pretty neat and silent. For out and return the fare was 168 EUR (bike and cabin) - I'd say not a bargain literally, but a fair price though.
On next morning I repeated my mantra of the day (drive left! drive left!) rode a few kilometers on a rather big road (A120) and then switched to smaller roads and crossed the beautiful sceneries of East Anglia. On early afternoon I eventually reached the city of London and directly drove to the Comedy Theatre where I locked my bike and entered the theatre backstage and was warmly welcomed.
I saw the piece the next day - it was really brilliant, my seat pretty good and I was pretty impressed. Hats (helmet) off for that!
Of course I enjoyed London, too: Buckingham palace, national gallery, sandwiches, Indian food and stuff like that. The protests against social cuts were interesting to see (it seemed a bit different to protesting in Germany).
For the way back I took a train to the ferry, cycled from Hoek van Holland to Emmerich (200 km against a steady wind) where I eventually took a train to Ostwestfalen. All in all that trip was good 750 km in one week (4 days of cycling). Nice one!
A bonus is that the 12 months kilometer count reached 10507 km now. Impressive number, but I guess April will yield to way less kilometers.
Visit the Children's hour at the Comedy theatre while it is still running and check out leap productions for coming productions by my friend Leonie.