Walking through Holland

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I've just finishing reading A Long Walk South by Sean Rothery. It's all about Rothery's walk from Holland to the south of France. It should be fascinating, but it's all a bit dull. Rothery is obsessed with his feet and the surfaces he walks on. Understandable, I guess, but I tend to read travel books to learn about other places.

Two observations stand out - on seeing the tightly packed little weekend retreat bungalows in Holland, he muses that the Dutch are so used to living in densely populated cities and in tall apartment blocks that just being at ground level at weekends, close to their vegetables and flowers, must be their way of connecting with the earth.

Later he encounters a group of people at a hotel - mainly retired - who are taken on coach trips into the countryside where they were given basic meals and then a sales talk for all sorts of household goods.

Overall, though, it all seems quite pedestrian. Certainly, Holland seems nothing like it does in this great video.