18 November, 2007

pilgrimage to Goedereede

Going to Holland, I had to make one stop. Goedereede is where my mother´s grandmother is from. I will have been the first one back since she emigrated to the United States. Fortunately Goedereede wasn´t too fair from Rotterdam, on my travel itinerary. So today, I got up early on my first day in Rotterdam and made my way to the tourist center. The woman was very nice and gave me printed instructions on how to reach my destination, however was confused on exactly why I was going. I got the strange transportation stamp strip common to the Netherlands, enough to get me there and back. i headed off on the metro to the bus termial. All confusing enough, I finally found the right bus. The sheet of instructions, much like map quest, instructed me to take bus 101 until richting hellevoetsluis, then take bus 104 until richting renesse. Easy enough I thought. But there is always a but. There was no Hellevoetsluis stop, and I ended up taking bus 101 to the last stop, in the end having to get off and backtrack. Not only that, but once I got onto 104, there was also no Renesse stop. So in the end I had turned a 1.2 hour journey into a 3 hour journey. I finally got to Goedereede, and it was thankfully beautiful. The town couldn´t have been a mile wide, and was centered around a small canal. There was a beautiful church from the 1400s which played musical bells pretty much the entire time I visitied. The end of town was marked by an old windmill and from there started fields of green and sheep. Very quant and small and cold. There were only 2 cafes, one hotel-resturant, one bakery, and some assorted (yet closed) antique and art stores. After awkwardly taking some photos and videos, I got a cup of coffee and decided to head back to Rotterdam. The only thing I failed to note was that the Saturday (Zumerdaag, i believe) bus left an hour later than I had thought. But other than that, it only took me 2 hours on the return. Improvement at least. Even though I messed up my transportation sheets, and had no cash left to my name, I managed to get back to the hostel. It was neat to see where I came from in a sense. People thought I was dutch and the Santa Clause wears a pope hoot.

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