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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
Dutch newspaper Spits

This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
Netherlands: Paping Buitensport, ODLO, IPtower.nl, AVRO Dutch Broadcasting Org., Travelcare, TunaFish, Book A Tour, StadsRadio Rotterdam; UK: Lazystudent, KissFM, The Sunday Times, The Guardian; Isle of Man: SteamPacket/SeaCat; Ireland: BikeTheBurren; Belgium: Le Temps Perdu, Majer & PartnersAustria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western HotelsSouth Africa: eTravel, British Airways Comair, CapeTalk, BazBus Spain: Inter Rail, Train company Renfe; Australia: Channel 9 Television, Bridgeclimb, Harbourjet, SeaFM Central Coast, Moonshadow Cruises, Australian Zoo, Fraser Island Excursions, Hamilton Island Resort, FantaSea Cruises, Greyhound/McCafferty's Express Coaches, Aussie Overlanders, TravelAbout.com.au, Travelworld, Unlimited Internet, Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Acacia Apartments; Malaysia: Aircoast; Canada: VIA rail, Cedar Springs Lodge, BCTV/GlobalTV, St. George Hotel, VICKI GABEREAU talkshow, Ziptrek Ecotours, Whitler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Summit Ski & Snowboard Rental, High Mountain BrewHouse, Cougar Mountain Snowmobiling, Whistler Question Newspaper, Snowshoe Inn, First Air, Nunanet.com, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.


Reports

Wednesday, 15 August 2001
Fredericia --> Århus (DK)

Today I travelled with a sponsored ticket by train from Fredericia to Århus, up north one hour by train. The weather was hot, which decided my Dutch hostess Ingrid van Vliet to take me to the local beach!
While I was sleeping on the air mattress in the living room, Mette woke me in the morning. After a shower and a coffee, I checked my emails and noticed again the enormous amount of invitations in Denmark through the Ekstra Bladet newspaper publication.

And I know that the complete article will be published this Friday in the paper edition. So the invitations could only come from their website article.

And this mornig I also had an interview by a lady reporter of the serious newspaper Information. Maybe her article will be published on paper on Friday too!

Around noon, Mikael came back from his work for a lunch break. He had also arranged that the SID Union would sponsor me with a train ticket to my next destination in Århus! That was really great.

I already thought about taking a lot of water with me while walking to the motorway and hitchhiking, because the temperature kept on rising above the average.

But that wasn’t necessary. After the lunch, Mette and Mikael brought me to the train station and got me a 100 Danish Kronen ticket.

I said goodbye at the train station at 3.44 pm and thanked them for their support of my project.

I had never seen such a luxury train. Next to your own fresh air button, like in airplanes, this train also gave the possibillity to recharge batteries for your telephone or laptop. And across me this guy was using his laptop, while he was connected to the internet through a wire going above his head!

Don’t ever expect this in The Netherlands for the coming five years. And because our trains are always too late, make it ten years... Don’t worry, you’ll get used to the waiting there.

I arrived in Århus around 5 pm and gave my hostess Ingrid van Vliet a call. She told me she would pick me up and within 10 minutes she appeared on her bike.

The walk to her appartment was a 15 minutes walk with my backpack on, which is nothing for me, I had worse. But at the same time I enjoyed the atmosphere. Someway the traffic, few cars and a lot of cyclers made it so friendly and quiet.

And as I saw a map of the city, there was so much green. Residential and commercial areas were balanced between small green parks, even botanic gardens!

Ingrid lives in a spacey apartment just outside of the city centre. She is originally Dutch, you might have noticed that with her last name, and moved to Denmark four years ago.

The reason was a boyfriend she once met on a holiday in Sweden and the love made her travel a lot to Denmark and finally moved there.

Someway the love did not work out, but she still stayed in Denmark as it’s just less hectic and demanding than living in The Netherlands. There are no traffic jams and next to that: Ingrid has the beach and a lovely city centre closely.

She works as a webdeveloper at a company called Netjob and she has her own homepage Ingridonline.dk that informs about Denmark and The Netherlands. The website provides a lot of information for Dutch in Denmark en the Danish in Denmark who might want to swap countries or just want a taste of both cultures by only moving a mouse.

When I arrived, she prepared some sandwiches because we would hit the road again. This time by bike.

Within 15 minutes of cycling we arrived at the Århus beach, where I also met three friends of Ingrid. The sun was going down, but I enjoyed the fresh tuna salad that Ingrid had made, including the sandwiches.

Her friends said the water was nice and warm, but for me the bathing of my feet that was enough for me. For my senses it was cold and Ingrid had to admit that. Probably it would have been something different if we were here on the middle of the day, sweating our heads off. Then everybody would just jump into the clear blue water.

After the picnic, Ingrid took me along for a small guided tour through this impressive city. I noticed how clean it was up here and all the people were good looking!

We stood in a queue at an ice cream saloon where Ingrid treated me with ice cream as dessert. From there we cycled back home again.

After I checked my emails and made some quick postings on my Dutch weblog, Ingrid and me talked about The Netherlands.

She told me that she even had the Dutch commercial radio station Sky Radio on the cable. That is very strange, because you’d hear the news and commercials all in Dutch all the time. Even Mette showed me this radio channel yesterday.

I remember when I was in Galway, Ireland, the same radio station featured on the background of a cable information channel. Very strange to hear that there is a traffic jam of 3 km near the little Dutch village Staphorst, while being in Denmark.

Ingrid had some videorecordings of a Dutch comedian, recorded in The Netherlands sometime last year, and we decided to watch it. I really enjoy the intelligent and downlooking view that this Youp Van ‘t Hek has on the complete population. And next to his great monologues, he mostly also has a statement to make.

Like: Life your life as you live only once, but be amazed forever. Don’t let things happen so fast that you won’t be amazed about anything anymore. Especially if you home key goes into the door lock for the million’s time. Live and enjoy!

After the onemanshow, I offered Ingrid The Gift from Mette and Mikael in Fredericia. It was a special made wine bottle from Indonesia, but clay-carved with a statue on it. Ingrid kept saying wow, wow - she really loved it!

Then a mattress in the livingroom got prepared and Ingrid went to bed, leaving me free to use her computer and do my reporting and uploading.

Tomorrow I’d be almost in the north of Denmark. Maybe some company wants to support me on a boat to Oslo, Norway, or maybe someone even drives there soon and I could get a lift. Otherwise, Norway will have to wait a little as I’ll make a move down south again.

Good night Århus!

Ramon.




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