Orsoy – Arnhem

XantenOrsoy’s an odd little historic crossroads village in the shadow of power station cooling towers. Terrible news from England cast a pall over our stay, but we enjoyed our accommodation in the Schlafkammer, a grand 19th century house divided into commodious apartments. More often used by long-term tenants, we shared the breakfast with a team from Dummen Orange, a cut flower company based in the Netherlands. Though we were still in Germany there were strong Dutch flavours emerging.

Among the odd spectacles seen in the last of Germany: A nuclear power station converted into a family fun park (apparently never commissioned because it was completed just as Chernobyl melted down). An old people’s home in Grieth from which a succession of seniors emerged on mobility scooters for their daily constitutional.

We proceeded towards Arnhem via numerous small ferries, including one that was anchored in the middle of the river and propelled by the natural water current and presumably a rudder. The Netherlands arrived unannounced. A small cattle gate, similar to many others, sat at the border but the only evidence was that signage changed language.

On the next ferry we met a British couple riding Bromptons from Basel to Rotterdam. Mrs Brompton had taken a tumble from her bike in Köln, while crossing a tram track. She needed a bit of medical attention, so dropped in at a surgery. Inside 30 minutes she was examined, stitched and sent on her way. No bill, no paperwork. Good old EU.

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