In the Netherlands, the Rhine splits and joins up with other rivers. Because of the many names of the rivers it takes, with waterways, rivers and canals, the Dutch section of the international Rhine Cycle Route is called the Rhine Delta Cycle Path.
By the side of the trail, the meanderings of the old Rhine are ripe for discovery, transforming themselves into small, tranquil waterways. The Rhine Cycle Route shows cyclists the various faces of the different waterways. Amongst others, the Waal river expressway – one of the busiest vessel-going waterways in Europe, or the Kromme Rijn (Crooked Rhine), with its numerous castles from the Middle Ages, which for a long time stood as the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. And then there is the River Linge, which snakes through the orchards of the Betuwe region. The Biesbosch natural park, created by a huge flood, and the many windmills near the village of Kinderdijk, show how a large part of the Netherlands, sitting below sea level, was formed. Along the length of the river, cyclists can enjoy the surrounding nature, pretty little port villages and, towards the mouth, before the waters of the Rhine rush our into the North Sea, Rotterdam is a world class modern metropolis
LENGTH OF EUROVELO 15,
FROM ANDERMATT TO THE NORTH SEA
OF THE EV15
Tiel is the largest town in the Betuwe area, which is famous for being one of the centres of Dutch fruit production. Orchards in the area produce apples, pears, plums and cherries. Tiel once housed the famous jam factory De Betuwe. Every year on the second Saturday in September, a festival known as Fruitcorso’ is held, to celebrate the harvest of the fruit produced in the Betuwe area. It includes a parade of vehicles decorated with fruit. In the same weekend there’s Appelpop on the Waalkade, which is one of the biggest free pop festivals of the Netherlands.
Somewhere between 1247 and 1267, Gorinchem became property of the Lords of Arkel. At the end of the 13th century earthen mounts reinforced with palisades were built around the settlement to protect it from domination by the neighboring counties of Holland and Gelre. Half a century later real city walls were built complete with 7 gates and 23 watchtowers. Otto van Arkel granted it city rights on 11 November 1322
The oldest town in Holland, Dordrecht enjoyed an important role in trade until the night of 18-19 November 1421 – St. Elizabeth’s Night – when a violent storm blew in from the North Sea, destroying the coastal sea walls. A huge flood then overcame Dordrecht, drowning up to 100,000 people. The land submerged by that event is still mostly underwater. For Dordrecht, this climate disaster meant the end of its commercial hegemony over the country. New sailing routes opened by the flood were taken. The town of Dordrecht still recalls this episode in its history, with the Flood of St. Elizabeth depicted in the cathedral’s windows!
Rotterdam is currently going through a sort of renaissance, with some urban architecture projects, a nightlife, and many summer festivals celebrating the city’s multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired “Summer Carnival”, the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis pop festival and the World Port days. Rotterdam has many museums. Well known museums are the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum, the NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), the Volkenkundig Museum (ethnographic museum), the Kunsthal (a building designed by Rem Koolhaas), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and the Maritime Museum
The town is located on the former island by the same name: Rozenburg Island. Its current form was created out of three separate parts: Rozenburg proper (a former sand bar between Het Scheur and Brielse Maas – part of the Nieuwe Maas river – both branches of the Rhine-Meuse delta), the sand bar Welplaat, and the southernmost part of the Hook of Holland (which was cut off from mainland Holland by the construction of the Nieuwe Waterweg ship canal in 1870 and subsequently was connected to Rozenburg when the remainder of Het Scheur was dammed off). The island is now connected to Voorne-Putten by a sea barrier and a dam.
Hook of Holland
Hook of Holland – literally “Corner of Holland”), also known as the Hook (De Hoek), is a town in the western Netherlands. It is situated on the North Sea coast, on the north bank of the Nieuwe Waterweg ship canal. Nearby towns include Monster, ‘s-Gravenzande, Naaldwijk and Delft to the northeast and Maassluis to the southeast. On the other side of the river is the Europoort and the Maasvlakte. The wide sandy beach, one section of which is designated for use by naturists, runs for approximately 18 kilometres to Scheveningen and for most of this distance is backed by extensive sand dunes through which there are foot and cycle paths. On the north side of the Nieuwe Waterweg, to the west of the town, is a pier part of which is accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.
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