Holidays in the Netherlands
Biking or Hiking
At the end of our visit to the Netherlands, I finally had to concede defeat. We were leaving the country in the sad realization that the Dutch will never take to hiking in a major way. Never will hiking be the preferred choice of the Dutch for moving about their cities or their countryside: for the simple reason that the big beast which hiking would – to use the terms of Sir Alex Ferguson – have to “knock off its effing perch” is simply too big. No….
The Dutch will never get off their bicycles.
Exhibit one: cycling lanes are everywhere – which does not mean that the Dutch do not insist on taking bicycles to places where they clearly do not belong …
… or where they seem somewhat out of their element.
Even when they go hiking, the Dutch go biking first – as we found out on our walk in Kralingse Bos …
… where virtually anywhere you go, people on two wheels outnumber people on two feet.
Two feet good, two wheels better – that seems to be the unofficial motto of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (what would that be in Latin?).
Particularly so when you approach anything with young people in it – such as Utrecht University.
Now, to the cursory observer it might seem that bicycles have taken over the country and are running it in their own interest. The actual truth, however, as we found out, is much sadder….
Bicycles are born free, but everywhere, they are in chains.
… or worse…
Bicycles of the Netherlands, unite!