Sadly, I didn't have a camera with me for this trip :(
It was summer time, and I was in Luxembourg enjoying some time with friends and family. But then out of nowhere I felt like doing something cool for a few days. I didn’t want to do a long trip, but rather to do have a small adventure in which I could spend hours and hours thinking and getting new inputs.
I decided to do my trip a day and a half before leaving. I just said fuck it let’s go and I was off.
Still in Luxembourg, going up north, I kinda felt like I should have said goodbye to some more of my friends, simply because it’s nice saying bye before doing a minitrip. It sets you mentally. It closes a door so that the next one in the corridor can be opened. Near the Belgian border up north by Troisvierges, I entered a pub to ask for directions. Without looking at who was behind the bar, I started asking how I could get to this place. No answer came. Silence. I looked up and I saw a big big smile. It was a good friend of mine. I didn’t know she worked there. We had some good laughs but I had to go. So feeling good now because I had said bye bye to my friend, I went.
The rain (as usual) started falling, but I had developed a way of thinking. I would think the following: ‘’I’m getting wet and in some time I will get dry, so what’s the big deal?’’ I can’t read into the future, but it is obvious that most things in nature are cyclical. After a while, it turned out I was right: It stopped raining and I got dry. I had packed very little things, as I knew that this would be a speed trip. However, I promise I did not break the speed limits. I like respecting the law. Well ok It’s just cause my gears weren’t fast enough ☺ Or maybe just maybe I couldn’t push fast enough to break the 80 km/h mark. Oh quick tip: Get behind a heavy lorry of a bus, and you’ll be able to get bigtime fast on the road providing there is no uphills. I do this all the time in Luxembourg (since it’s quite flat).
I saw loads of nice landscapes and beautiful forests, some of them with a really strong positive energy. That night I slept in Maastricht in a youth hostel. A friend of mine (who (with a lot of luck) always beats me in squash (Paul you know it’s luck 😀 )) offered to give me the keys to his apartment in Maastricht, but 100g of extra weight was a lot. Well not really. But its nice to meet new people so I decided to stay in the hostel. It was loads of fun, and met loaaaaads of people. It was also really cool to see the city again, since last time I’d been there was to see Jamie (a girl that I liked when I was younger who I met on a trip to Normandy/Brittany when I was 12.
Next day I loved it. Everything in Holland was flat. No hills or mountains, just flatness with fields, forests, tulips and cycle paths ☺ Oh and caravans hahah. Met some cyclists on the way, and we shared some fun times and adventures. We had an amazing huuuuuge meal, and had fun zigzagging people in cities. I also met this guy who was training to cycle from Holland to Norway. His bag was a bit too big People that travel are usually different, more open minded, and with an internal peace of mind. I wished him good luck (although I was sure he’d make it).
If you read the Bike trip to hungary post, you will be familiar with one of my habits. I cycle until the sun falls down, and when it falls down I came very close to wherever I am. The sun was soon going to fall, and as the drizzle was becoming stronger, wind started blowing. As I cycled through Beneden Leeuwen, I asked for hostels. None around. The cheapest hotel was about 70 €.This in my travelling language means plan B. Some people will now think: This is what you get for not having a proper preparation. Yes of course, and that is exactly what I wanted: a difficult situation from which to extract and learn something. So plan B it was. As I was just about to cross the big river that goes past Beneden Leeuwen, I saw something that looked like a church on the other side. I thought I could maybe find a room there. But then it started pouring. Loaaaads of rain and wind. Without hesitating, I went under the bridge to find shelter. I was quite cold, it would be stupid to get even more cold. There is a fine boundary between daring/courage and stupidity. There was a guy who was struggling to jog that also went under the bridge. We started talking waiting for the rain to appease. We got on well. His name was Mark, and he was a very positive person. I could see that he had a good soul, and that I could trust him. He asked where I would sleep tonight and I answered: ‘’ dunno, that church over there looks quite cool ☺ ‘’ (or something similar) Without hesitating, he offered to host me, and I accepted. We had a really nice dinner in his very well decorated and quite modern home, and talked a lot. From my point of view I saw that there was a spark missing in his life. When I would tell him about my travels and sports, I could see a bright light in his eyes. He had had a problem with his knee and mentally didn’t know if he would manage to overcome it. I convinced him that if he wanted to, he could. Some months later we talked and he told me he’d done some half marathon or marathon and that he had been travelling to this place and this other one and I can tell you, he was now full of life.
After a good night sleep, having learnt a lot, I hit the wheels. Turbospeed until Amsterdam. Just before arriving, I got a flat tyre. I replaced the inner tube. But there was a piece of glass stuck on the tyre. So fixed that, and then kaboom I was there. Amsterdam. Just upon arriving to the center, a girl wanted to cross the road but cars wouldn’t stop. Superjesus to the rescue. Pink bike stops in the middle of the road. Opens the arms. Cars stop. Girl crosses the street and sais: “Welcome to Amsterdam!! “ Game on! In Amsterdam, everyone rides a bicycle. I had loads of fun doing little races against other bikes ☺ Amsterdam, full of coffee shops, and the red light district, and the water channels and parks and trams.. what a city!! Later that PM, train back home. Celebrated at my friend’s home, and played some Mario Kart! 😀
It ended up being about 400km in 3 days.