Well, so much for making a bee-line for Italy, it's currently day 6 of our tour and we have only just made it into Switzerland. So far we have been the only people 'tenting' at each of the campsites we've stayed at - perhaps 3-4 degrees at night has put others off! However, we're not in a rush, so no deadlines to be met, and though the clear skies have been serving up cold nights, we've also had a hefty course of sunny days.
Following a straightforward ferry ride from Harwich to the Hook of Holland we spent a day cycling around the bulb fields near Leiden. The Keukenhof gardens were stunning, especially given the sunny day we were blessed with. We then left the flatness of the Netherlands for the rolling hills of Belgium and on into Luxembourg. The medieval town of Vianden nestled into a valley with its vertiginous castle perched above, was a great place to while away a couple of days. Luxembourg is a curious linguistic and cultural mélange comprising just 500,000 people. A walking tour of the city centre gave us a bit of insight into the history before we headed into the wooded hills of the Vosges in France.
We then wound our way across and between valleys in NW Switzerland and ended up at Lac Neuchatel not far from Bern where we soaked in our first view (albeit a distant one) of the snow-capped Alps.