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Relax tour means just that …

8 Oct 2019

Nancy Campbell

The 11-day “relax” tour between Bruges and Amsterdam is new to Boat-Bike Tours this year. You definitely want to start in Bruges so that the wind (and there is wind most days) is mostly at your back. Our tour started on Sept. 4, just as the hot summer weather ended and cooler, wetter weather started … so make sure you bring good rain gear (pants, gloves and head scarf in addition to rain jacket). Our room on the Gandalf was fine — comfy beds, a linen change 1/2 way through the trip, space to store suitcases out of the way. It would have been nice to have had a guaranteed clean dry bath towell each day (things don’t dry well on a boat!) and better wifi. Dinners were good, plain cooking for the most part with some special theme meals near the end that were a delight. Captain Hans and the crew were helpful and hospitable throughout. We enjoyed visiting with them and each other on the “poop deck” at the end of each day. Our guide “Marianne” was familiar with the route but a little disorganized at times. She was very knowledgeable about the history of the region and happy to answer questions on any topic in English and German. With our group skewing older (55 to 75) a bit more attention is needed to bathroom breaks and/or other issues besetting older folks (e.g. hearing loss). The rain definitely harshed our mellow at times on this trip. Overall we had a good group of people to discover Belgium and the Netherlands with. I would recommend this trip to others but perhaps a bit earlier in the year to avoid early fall weather/rain.

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