Hitch-Hiking to Leiden
Leiden Travel Blog› entry 5 of 144 › view all entries
July 17th, 2006 – by: maplefanta
The waking up was extremely early and I went to join Achim at the old appartment to have breakfast with him and talk before I was leaving and of course handling back the keys.
Finally, it's only by the end of the morning that I walked back to prepare to go hitch-hiking at first at the same place than Jurgen did but for my destination (to the north towards Antwerpen) it was crap. So at the entrance of Jubelpark was not good and no car were really passing by and the day was hot.
So I simply decided to go somewhere else on the northern crown of the city to leave which was involving that I needed to cross the whole city and I didnt want to pay public transport (as usual) but felt unsafe about it today. So first the metro for few stops until the Royal Park once out I simply jump on a tram (which are more safe while black riding) on the way to Schaarbeek and finally another tram direction the northern border near Vilvoorde.
Dumbly when I arrived at the highway it didnt have a place for a car to pull over to pick me and I wouldnt have walk anywhere else has my energy were gone (as well as my water). So I called Frank who gave me some tips which was to stand at the bus station a bit before and only catch the traffic coming from one side... and if I was still going to be there later he would have pick me. I did and finally I got pick quite easy all the way to Antwerp which at 160km/h was done pretty fast and Frank wouldnt have to pick me.
I received a warm water bottle by my woman driver who left me at the highway service station before Antwerpen. So I could have something to drink which was great and there it was again hot hot and hopefully I didnt get to wait to long before a young couple coming back from Dour took me over until nearby the dutch border. So Antwerpen city was pass and behind. There I waited a bit longer but still pretty short and 2 other dutch hitch-hikers arrived as well trying to reach Utrecht. On my side I got picked by an old croatian seaman who had been to Quebec with the both in the past and was now living in Antwerp and was going to deliver something in the Rotterdam Harbour area. He was talking with a strong Antwerp accent in dutch but it went all fine for the talks and I reached the service station around Rotterdam in quite good time.
Then it was my first dutch territory hitch-hiking of the journey and after another slightly longer waiting its a man who approach me to offer the lift to the direction I was going which is Leiden. Finally, he drove me all the way to Laura's place in the middle of Leiden so I got directly at the door of the old district of Leiden by the canal quite early just by the end of the afternoon around 4hpm.
There Laura was babysitting children in her au pair job and everyone was anyway quite numb by the heat. So I relaxed there until the parents of the children arrived and we prepared the meal that we went to eat in the frontyard park by the canal in this really quiet and great sight place.
I emptied my back my chocolate reserve went all liquid by the heat so we put them in the freezer as well as some other of my food. Later by the evening, we both went to walk in Leiden to enjoy some of the view of the historic downtown and walk along the old canals discussing and enjoying an ice cream. It was amazing again to remember that the sky is still clear even after 23hpm so that you can stay up and out quite long, which we did. So we only came back by dusk and get to sleep.
We woke with the 3 kids (Joost and Diderick 7yo / Oliver 4yo) and prepared to leave to Scheveningen by the end of the morning where we were going to the SeaWorld. By this heat the beach there was full of people as well as the tram to the sea side from Den Haag. So it was quite a mission watching over 3 young kids in this crowd.
So the first thing has been a visit at the aquarium which was fine but still just an aquarium and the kids where quite going fast which means that we were out again fast as well. But there was an interesting section about veninous sea life and also about the canadian seal... and its hunting!
After this, we get to enjoy the beach just a little and try to get rid of my white belly, ice cream and getting back to the tram where we scarely though of having lost some of the child who would have board it without us... hopefully it wasnt the case. Back with the train to Leiden, I found out that the kids had been eating my chocolate... which must have been quite a threat has it was 6 bars of dark belgian chocolate.
We improvised a meal of rice and I was deadly hungry. Later, when the parents got back Laura and me started planning our trip and went to do some grocery for on the way. Then, the packing and hop getting to sleep before the grand day!
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!