12 May 2011

Day 131: 12 May - Apeldoorn to Utrecht, Nederland

Last night I heard that I’m going to be meeting that band I was speaking about earlier: Focus. Out of all the people I had a desire to meet, these guys were high – but so impossibly low in possibility.

That’s probably the most ‘profound’ thought in my head right now, because I’m just pedalling and pedalling to the Netherlands’ largest university town, Utrecht, passing some very pretty landscape along the way that I couldn’t really do justice to in photos.

Flattest water I’ve ever seen.

Those canals that thread through the ever-so-neat & tidy fields, green as green, make me happy that I chose to see the real Netherlands, even if I do get bored of it after 200km.

I’m passing through yet another ‘dorp’ which is Dutch for ‘small village’. It’s the most fitting word for something that I’ve ever heard; a word for tiny little places where only bikes are used. Dorp 1… dorp 2… I must be at dorp 10 by now. Hoping that the compass and signs are pointing me in the right direction, because I’ve seen more farm animals than humans today.

The next dorp I decide to stop at contains the only non-drop thing in the.. uh.. dorop: a supermarket. I eat a whole baguette and two croissants in front of a bike bike gang of dorp-people. The girls shout “salut!” to me after astute observation – little do they know from how far away I really am. Riding away now I wish I shouted “dorp” to them instead of “dag” (see ya); what an excuse to use this great word.

More flat.

Some kilometres later, the people and cars start appearing as I head lose and closer to Utrecht. It’s the journey’s end, and I’m pretending to myself that I’m happy to be in civilisation again, but I’m really not. Travelling outdoors and travelling to places with significant populations are two different beasts, and I haven’t quite faught with the outdoors one enough.

That said, my aching arse tells me otherwise. It seems all aching anywhere in my body has been transferred to my poor posterior because I’m not hurting anywhere else. Proud regardless.

Everybody rides bare bones bikes here that are much more comfortable than my own fancy bike with gears. Despite our differences, when we get into Utrecht, we all wobble over the cobblestones and around the tram tracks (it’s a rule of thumb not to ride parallel to tracks for obvious reasons). The afternoon light is bringing it the city out nicely.

I wonder around for the only few hours that I’ve got in this place.

The tallest spire in the Netherlands. Church sighting number twelve-thousand-three-hundred and eighty-nine.

Wonder back and see the most blatantly homosexual woman I’ve ever seen, tanktop and plumber’s arse and all. It’s very Utrecht, but not very dorp, of which are only a few kilometres away; so it’s this contrast I’m expecting to see throughout the next few days. Right after this kilogram of microwave food.

June 12th, 2011 5:16am