Monday night, Bill and I walked all over creation… Well, maybe that’s overstating things a bit, but we did take a very long walk. I was already a little fatigued from the first walk to the Centrum earlier, but I was a bit curious to see if there was a shorter route to the Centrum. I have concluded that there probably is one, but the walk Bill and I took on Monday night was only successful in that I found a grocery store, which I had been wondering about during my first long walk to town.
As we started in the direction opposite of the one I’d taken earlier in the day, I had a nagging thought that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to go exploring. But the air smelled of horses and the houses in the neighborhood were cute. We ran into one guy with an energetic spaniel who was playing with its leash. We started walking and soon ended up in a part of town that looked a bit seedy… or as seedy as a neighborhood can look in The Netherlands. The truth is, it was still a fairly nice looking living area, it just wasn’t as cute and polished as the other homes we’d seen. I spotted a grocery store and wondered if maybe there was a restroom in there. There wasn’t, but we did find a wine tool, which we ended up not needing because I already had one packed in my bag.
The need to pee was overwhelming, so we visited a fast food joint called Charly’s. Bill ordered a couple of Cokes and a couple of orders of frites with ketchup. I relieved myself of the beer I had enjoyed while waiting for Bill. We ate the fries and drank the Cokes and started walking. As we got deeper and deeper into Apeldoorn’s “projects”, I started to get a little worried. I usually have a very keen sense of direction and rarely get lost. Bill doesn’t completely trust me, though, and goes into Army officer mode. He whips out his iPhone and consults the compass, not at all interested in letting my intuition take over.
We passed a duck pond near a tired looking apartment complex and I wanted to turn right because that was where my intuition was leading me. But then we saw a bus stop, so we turned left and approached it, only to find out that my intuition had been correct. We followed the stops for Bus 11, which we knew went to the Centrum. Our walk led us past what looked like a brewery, a couple of industrial looking businesses, and perhaps a municipal dump… I stopped to snap the picture below, because it was surreal.
A very large, pink, ten speed bike replica was in this lot full of cut tree branches and other debris…
My hips were starting to hurt and my feet were sore. Just then, Bill said he thought he heard someone playing tennis. He glanced to his left, only to see a very tall Dutch guy wearing traditional Dutch wooden shoes. He was walking his large dog and the clogs made a regular popping sound, as if he was playing tennis. He was the first guy I’ve seen in wooden shoes, but perhaps not the last.
We eventually ended up near a canal. I knew we needed to turn right, but was enchanted by the canal and wanted to see more of it, so we went straight, then turned into another apartment complex. There were what looked like large plastic spoons attached to the side of the canal. I should have taken pictures because it was a weird sight. But by the time we reached the canal, my hips were screaming and I knew we still had a long way to walk.
I did take a picture of this sticker because it describes me.
We finally got to the Centrum, though it was a part I didn’t explore earlier. Bill was still in Army mode, while I was relying on my intuition. We approached a group of guys who appeared to be drunk or high or both. Bill wanted to avoid them. We crossed the street and I spotted the mall where I had stolen a free piss earlier in the day. We walked through the Centrum and looked for a place to have dinner, but it was getting late and I truly worried that if I sat down somewhere, I’d have real trouble getting up again.
So we headed back toward the hotel, the same way I went when I had walked back from the Centrum earlier in the day… and on the way there, we ran into a group of Americans leaving an intriguing looking French restaurant. I would have liked to have tried it had it not already been about 9:00pm and my hips weren’t bellowing in pain.
Bill was very apologetic when we got back to the hotel. He handed me a bottle of Trappist Ale and a couple of ibuprofen. It wasn’t too long before I was sound asleep. I woke up yesterday morning vowing that I would enjoy a lazy day… I think, all told, I walked over ten miles on Monday. That may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I am a confirmed fattie who is about to turn 43. It was pretty strenuous for me.
In the lobby of the hotel…