That was the common answer when asking for directions in Holland and I did, I followed many dykes, some where the right ones and others took me nowhere. To start with I didn’t even know which were the dykes but soon got it and all was well…
Route finding is time consuming but satisfying, each of those ‘wrong’ turns bring surprises, a lush garden, unexpected conversations, peaceful countryside, a fairground inside a nuclear power station. Slowly, following the wrong turns I’ve made it to Koln.
The first night I stayed with the most wonderful Warmshowers hosts. They were incredibly open and generous, they gave me not only a place to sleep but great tips, sound advice and human warmth. Exactly what I needed on my first day. It was a good omen.
I have been through some very beautiful places already but as ever what makes it all worth it is the people. The students I stayed with on the second night, the fleeting conversation with the young couple in the ferry crossing the Rhine, the two cyclists on their way to Rome, the 68 year old French woman who cycles over 70km a say, the young woman in the youth hostel who invited me to her house, the German CEO of an international company with whom I talked about dreams and Séneca under a bridge in Dusseldorf and the young gypsy (his words) lad who gave me a plateful of sausages last night in the campsite because I looked tired.
And now, I am sitting by the cathedral in Köln soaking up the atmosphere and listening to soothing classical music. This is the life!!