Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Sitting by the Rhine River watching the barges go by

Friday morning, we left Max in his overnight spot just outside the city of Bocholt and walked into the city. Not that there was anything in particular we planned on seeing, but you never know what you might come across. 

Plus, we needed a new camera bag because the zipper finally let go on the cheap one I had bought at a Walmart quite a while ago. Surprised it lasted this long.

As expected, there wasn't a whole lot to see. Bocholt (pop 71,000) isn't much of a tourist destination.

The Justice Center,.

The St. George School and Gymnasium.

Market square and the Bocholt Town Hall.

Zoomed in on the relief sculpture of the Bocholt Town Hall.

Same building.

We found a photography store, and the guy there spoke English. They had a good variety of camera bags, but I wanted the smallest one possible for our size of camera. Unfortunately they didn't have anything cheap, and the one we decided on was €40 ($58 CAD, $47 USD) but it's certainly a better quality bag than the last one. 

Pedestrian street in Bocholt.

Another one.

Walking through a residential area to return to Max.

Looks like we are now heading pretty much due west. We want to see the UNESCO World Heritage listed Kinderdijk area in Netherlands where all of the old canals and windmills are near Rotterdam.

So in that direction, I found a free overnight spot at the town of Grieth beside the Rhine River. It's a pretty busy spot because people come and park their cars in the same location during the day and sit and have a picnic and watch the barges go by.

Barges on the Rhine River.

We couldn't believe how many barges there are. It's almost a constant flow of some kind of product moving in either direction. They carry anything from loads of garbage to new vehicles to coal and anything in between. It's an efficient method of shipping inland from the main ports at Rotterdam.

The barges can carry up to three times their own weight. 

Where we parked for the night at GPS 51.787568, 6.317976

Lots of people come to watch the barges go by.

An interesting trailer.

Some barges are privately owned family run operations.

Colorful paint job.

There is a big caravan park campground opposite us.

Notice the vehicles being carried right at the back?
These normally belong to the captain (or owner operator) and are for his use when he makes stops along the way.

We went and wandered around the town of Grieth.

It's a pretty little town.

This small castle, called Grieth House is now a bed and breakfast.

Built around 1310. From 1425 on, it served as part of the fortification of the town of Grieth and was sovereign castle to the lords of Buren.

Back alley in Grieth.

Some people have a good imagination!

Bike paths map!

We are missing our bicycles! You can cycle just about anywhere in Europe with a system of well marked paths. 

We bought good quality bikes in Canada, but they are sitting at Ruth's dad's house. Our plan was to bring them back with us when we return here at the end of September. But now we are considering buying them here so that we can use them over the next month or so. Bikes are pretty expensive here, but we would be able to sell our used ones in Ottawa and get a good price because there is a bike shortage there. And of course we wouldn't have the hassle or cost of shipping them over here. 

We'll see.

Where we sat with a beer and a glass of wine and watched the barges go by.

Some countries have strict rules about drinking in public. I was pretty sure that Germany wasn't one of them, but I double checked and it's not. In fact, there is no drinking age if you are with your parents, and if you are on your own it is 16 for beer and wine, and 18 for liquor. Also, it is legal to drink a beer while driving, provided you don't go over the legal limit of .05.

A white wagtail.

Probably 95% of the boats we saw on the river are barges of various sizes. There are hardly any pleasure craft, or at least not in this area. The Rhine River is 1,230 kms (760 miles) long.

The Rhine has a pretty string current at this point and these kayakers hardly had to paddle.

River cruise ship.

Barge full of shipping containers.

It was a good day! In fact, if it weren't for the fact that our toilet cassette is nearly full we would probably stay another day. Oh well... we have a lot of new things to see.

Heading back into Netherlands today.

Decent price drop on the popular GCI Outdoor Rocking Chair.

And in Canada...


  1. Rees Stellplatz is a good shopping stop.

    1. We have already passed Rees but there is always the next time, we know that we will be back to Germany a number of times before we are finished with RVing in Europe. :-)

  2. My father in law lives on the St. Lawrence. He loves to watch the seaway traffic. He would be in his glory there. (It must be his Dutch heritage shining through.)

    1. Yep, we are sure that he would love it in this spot. People specifically come down here and sit on the benches to watch the barges go by. There are far more barges passing by here on Rhine River then there would be ships passing by on the St. Lawrence River but the ships are certainly pretty impressive when they do go by. :-)

  3. Oh, that bike map makes me salivate! I sure wish the US were like Europe with its cycling infrastructure. It's improving in some parts of the US but will never approach Europe in my lifetime.

    1. Emily

      That level of cycling paths is heavily influenced by their near neighbour Holland where cars often take second place.

      The rest of Europe is working on it but no where near as advanced, yet...

    2. Yes Emily, I know you guys would love it here for biking! It will take a long time before the US or Canada will ever compare to Europe for cyclying,

      J is correct though, I think that the Netherlands had quite an influence over Germany having so many bike paths. I think it also makes a difference that the villages and towns are so close together and that fuel is so expensive. Almost everyone, of every age owns a bike and just about all of them will use it for getting around town. All the bikes have either baskets or panniers for carrying their shopping, it also surprises up how many bikes aren't locked up either!

    3. Yes, I'm well aware of the cycling culture in the Netherlands and think we would LOVE it there. Maybe someday we'll get to visit!

    4. I hope that you will make it here one day soon! :-)

  4. I like those chairs, are they comfortable? I hope they are. It's time for happy hour! Is nice to stop wherever, and have happy hour! You 2 are doing are good, were to next? Take care, Rawn

    1. We like these chairs too, and yes they are very comfortable that is the reason that we bought them. :-)

      Today we are heading into the Netherlands.

  5. To increase your “staying” time is it possible to purchase a second toilet cassette?

    1. Yes, that is possible and we have talked about it but with European vans/motorhomes you have to be very aware of your carrying capacity and there isn't a lot of room for extra weight. Many people run overweight and we are trying hard to make sure we don't, plus there really isn't very much extra space in Max to begin with.


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