A stop at Groningen

Trip Start Jul 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Voila here I am in Groningen in the huge heat of the European summer of 2006.

We did hitch-hike me and Laura all the way from Leiden to Groningen on this 19th of July with a blue sky, hard sun, dry temperature. We packed shortly, showered and had breakfast by the morning and Laura's au pair family mother drove us to the highway by nearly 11h. There its been some goodbyes and a short walk to the entrance spot where we started to raise our thumb... chatting a little and its been not so long that a van car stopped to bring us further on the road in Amsterdam on another highway entrance.

Our first ride as been promising and Laura did most of the talk... my dutch stands still to shy yet to come back to my mouth. The second waiting as been a bit longer but we didnt care we had enough water and we were standing in the shadow, enjoying the traffic passing by and the plane landing at Schipol nearby.

Finally a chic Jeep picked us all the way to Hoorn, which was nowhere but it was what our sign said and it helps us avoiding and being out of Amsterdam. Next to the roundabout there we started first with a snack as it was already pass noon but when we moved to the spot there was no shadow and the sun really started to hit strong. We didnt lose courage and kept on going until finally at least 40 min later a car stopped to bring us all the way to the northern corner of Noord-Holland in Den Oever, just at the entrance of the Afsluitingdijk.

There it was calm, calm calm. Our first quest as been to just go lie on the grass next to the sea that was at few meters, trying to get tan and having dinner. The road was calling so I did take my camera out though to take some photos. Back to HH on the sun but with something in our belly at least!

From then, we knew the ride wouldnt be easy but finally an old man in a van car stopped and took us along. The marbelous thing is that he had to stop at Het Monument to deliver some things in the middle of the Afsluitingdijk and crossing it all to Fryslan afterwards.

The Afsluitingdijk is the huge dyke project that protects the Netherlands of the sea, it goes as a wall cutting the sea for about 30 km long with the North sea in one side and the Ijsselmeer (a huge lake) on the other side with the countryside that is all beneath sea-level. and the road goes over this barrage. So in the middle of it at Het Monument we enjoyed the view and the sun of water water water for few minutes and got back on the way until the end where the Sas - lock bridge for the boat to pass was open to cross the 2 water areas. We walked a bit during the process looking at sailing dutch and german boat going through until we got back to continue until our stop... which sadly was in a field under the hot sun. There we run out of decent drink and had to wait slightly longer to finally get a ride to a further service station along the highway near Hoogeveen... where we got to by cold drink, ate some more as the end of the afternoon was arriving and relaxed in the shadow.

Back on our attempt for a ride to Groningen... walked a bit to the end of the halt and finally got the good one, all the way to Groningen station from where we walked to meet Esly and chilled in a park by a pond. It was great to see her again and that after 6 rides of car till here! We finally had a great meal in the sun. Later another member came to join us and we chatted longer, took it easy and just tried to cope with the heat.

Finally at the store for some grocery and then hop to Esly for the night doing some pc stuff and HC moderating work... and preparing the road for tomorrow. Our chocolate melted like hell in our bags while my camel bag isnt showing to be the best thing to carry yet. My bag is heavy as hell :\ again...
Answering Troels whom we will stay tomorrow in Esbjerg and hop the road to cross all Germany to reach Danmark on another hot days.

I will have to come to write the previous day, and hope we will manage our ride well tomorrow... 8 ride to Danmark would be cool.
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