sponsors always were:
During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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 & Partners; Austria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western Hotels; South 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.
ReportsDuring my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.
Saturday, 18 August 2001
--> Aalborg (DK) 3rd day
Today a phonecall from Lisbet's friend Mette woke us up, finally at 11am. After we had some bread and coffee for breakfast, Mette came by to pick us up and take us to the harbour.
Aalborg is next to a university city also a city that has the Royal Danish Navy, so that's why there are also a lot of sailors walking down the streets.
Today is was Open House at the Navy ships, causing a lot of people touristing around and on all the ships and submarines.
It was on one of those big ships where we took a tour on, that Mette explained a certain type of board machine gun to us.
"How do you know that?" I asked.
"I've been in combat myself," she answered. I couldn't believe that at all. With her looks and her 22 years, I just could not imagine her in the army!
But she told me how she was stationed in Bosnia[b], two years ago, to guard a very important bridge for over six months.
We explored the deep insides of marine ships and waited an half an hour to get down into a brand new submarine.
I saw all the beds and the kitchen area and with the small control room I still don't know what all those men would do all days long in a deep blue see.
After a couple of hours of wandering around, Mette drove us to her apartment in the north of Aalborg, on the other side of the river.
She had been living here for 3 years and just bought herself her own apartment right in the centre of town.
Between the boxes, ready for the big move, Mette showed me here photo album of her time in Bosnia.
I was simply amazed to see pictures of her with very short hair, a painted face and carrying a AK-47 machine gun at her waist - in a warzone!
She'd spent two periods of three months at that camp, with only one week holiday back home in Denmark.
After she let me use her internet connection for a fast email check, she took Lisbet and me for a short site seeing tour through Aalborg before dropping us back at Lisbet's apartment.
Here we chilled out and had some late afternoon lunch. Lisbet made [b]a fun creation with toast, salad, bacon and eggs. We watched some really old 80's movies on television, about a duck from another universe who had to be beamed back again and we saw a typical American moral-story about some USA ice hockey team and their successful but selfish coach.
After dinner Mette called us again telling Lisbet that she was in for a wild night out (again?) as her new boyfriend from her fresh 3-days old relationship had to go to a boring birthday party.
After I had a good nap, Mette and Thomas (with whom we played pool yesterday night) came over and we drunk a few beers while listening to loud dance music from Lisbet's computer.
Around 10pm we walked to the centre street of Aalborg, that party street, which I mentioned before, and this time I saw it on a Saturday night.
And it was crowded! Every pub had its terrace out and popular dancemusic was played out loud from their insides.
We first drunk a mix in Lisbet's favorite pub, where we sat outside, looking at the good-looking people passing by.
I don't want to call it homesickness, but for the first time I missed the nightlife of my hometown Zwolle. It's not that crowded as here, but when I'd go to a pub there I know that I'll always meet some friends around.
I suddenly missed the long summernights out on terraces, drinking beers with friends and when the pubs close around 2am, a big bunch of people end up in the 70/80's bar dancing in the centre which would be open until 4am.
Someway I didn't really feel that comfortable in this street in Aalborg. Something was itching in my head and I couldn't rub it.
Lisbet and I ended up in a pub, after Mette and Thomas had already gone home, drinking the last possible beer and singing out loud, with songs like John Denvers "Leaving on a jetplane" and the classics like "Hit the road Jack, don't you come back no more no more no more!".
Lisbet pointed out how typical these songs underlined this project of mine.
It did not really get that late as I had to 'hit the road' again tomorrow and my hosts in my next city had already anounced that I would see the Danish prime minister in their back garden!
Good enough for a good sleep!
Good night Aalborg, for the last time!
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