posted by Totte Frank on July 13, 2009

Back again to continue telling you of our experiences:

GERMANY.
Biking Germany is really not as comfortable and nice as Sweden and Denmark. There are lots of bike-lanes which is good as it separates you from other traffic but they are mostly in very bad condition. They seem to have had no reparations since the time between world war 1 and 2. ( You can't blame Hitler for everything.) So after some kilometers you will have a burning butt and wishing you were somewhere else. When passing through towns and villages signs are ordering you to use the sidewalks which are even worse than the bike lanes. It is also sometimes confusing as you often are ordered to pedal on the wrong side of the road. Car drivers tend to look in the wrong direction when coming from the sides which Alex found out the hard way when he was hit by a car in Flensburg. Speed was low so there was no harm to it.

Flensburg was also the city where my helmet was hanging on the steering handle and a pidgeon saw the opportunity to shit right into it. Well, as my hair is just a memory since many years, some bird droppings may be good as fertilizer.

Signs directing you along roads in Germany are excellent and easy to follow and you get information of distances and alternatives. Be careful though to trust maps. We have several times been looking for camping sites shown on a map but actually closed since many years. A great disappointment was also when we were told at a tourist information office that a ferry line to Cuxhafen we planned to use were shut down already 10 years ago.

Most appreciated memory of Germany are the small lovely villages and towns along the North Sea coast. They are really something to visit again. And we had a real nice afternoon along the north shore of Elbe before getting the ferry to cross it.
Passed a nuclear plant also and must say I prefer when energy is produced that way compared to the many hundred wind generators we've passed along the way.
Worst thing about Germany as we feel it is that people in cars seem to enjoy very much to throw glass bottles beside roads and preferrably on the biking lanes.

HOLLAND.
Coming to Holland from Germany was as reaching the golfgreen!. Smooth and soft. Holland is a very wellorganized country where almost everyone can communicate in English. Nice campingsites and reasonable prices. First camping we stopped at after crossing the border was a "minicamping", just a farm with horses and other animals where we was invited to have a cup of tea first thing. Morning after a good nights sleep we were served breakfast in the stable where the horses watched carefully what kind of folks we were. A very nice camping which we strongly recommend.

Do not think I saw more than 2 or 3 smashed bottles along the roads in Holland. Strange how different folks can be. On the other hand we also found our worst camping so far in Holland. We arrived late so the reception was closed. When calling the phonenumber we found written on a note at the door the man who answered explained that he was the owner of a liquorstore and that he would appreciate if we could ask the camping manager to take away the note.
Anyway, suddenly a man turned up, asked for payment and showed us where the tent could be placed. Then we spent most of the night listening to someone playing strange music nearby. Nothing worked at the facility except that we managed to get some cold water following morning. Sometimes you have to take the bad things as well as the good ones.

Generally the people are very friendly asking if they can be of help. Once we stood in a crossing discussing which way to take when we were approached by an elderly gentlemen who was out walking 40 kilometers as training for the yearly 40-kilometer march in Nijmegen. He invited us promptly to put up our tent in his garden and prepared our map so that we could easily find the way to his home in Wasenaar. Once there it showed up to be a really nice place where we slept well while not playing with Linda, a rotweiler who liked to chase tennisballs around the estate.
More about Holland later.
Read the other day a good description of what experience is:
There were two buffalo bulls standing up the hill looking down in the valley where all the cows were grazing. And then the young bull says "let's run down and fuck a cow". After a while the old bull says " let's walk down and fuck them all.
That's what I call experience.
Have it awful until next time.
Totte

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