Ride Me is dedicated to the lifestyle and culture of living Car Free in Portland, Or. Traveling only by bike and public transit is a great way to get around the Rose City.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm not sure it ever gets dark here...

After slightly more than a week in our new apartment in the Hague we are slowly becoming accustomed to the long days this time of year. The first few days, just after the solstice mind you, there was somewhere around 18 hours of sunlight. No kidding. It took us a few days to realize that just cause it aint dark yet doesn't mean it aint 10:45 in the evening. The sun pops up bright and early around 5:15 or so. Just to be sure you are awake. The first week was a record heat wave with temps soaring close to 100 F. We quickly found some fans at a local store, and commenced to sitting directly in front of them.
Casey and I have met some of the local kids and we are playing soccer in the nearby park almost every evening. We faced down a couple of pretty tough looking 8 year olds last time. I did OK, until one of the kids kicked the ball point blank into my groin (we'll save that story for another time). That's when I retired to the adjacent cafe for some water.
Well, we are off to see the Hague's Rembrandt collection today and then our second Dutch Language lesson tomorrow. That is as long as I can avoid those 8 year olds at the park.
(I will post some pics of our apartment and neighborhood in the next installment)
Clark W. Griswold

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The night train to Dortmund

"Take the night train to Dortmund and I'll meet you at the station..."
If you have never done this please read the next words carefully. For Casey this was the most exciting part of the trip. A small compartment with 6 bunk beds and a narrow aisle in which to enter. He was in heaven. For Carolyn and myself it was a little less spectacular. I mean I'm a big guy, so if I wanted to take off my shoes for example, I practically had to stick my foot out the window and stand in the hallway to have enough space. But with little sleep and even less of an idea of where we were going to stay, we arrived in Dortmund around 6 AM. After a bleary eyed hour or so of milling around the train station we located a place with rooms, 40 minutes back in Dusseldorf. So we grabbed our bags, boarded a local commuter train and headed to our Hostel to sleep for a few hours. We awoke in plenty of time to make the game back in Dortmund, plenty of time that is if we had taken the right train. But we didn't. Long story short, a 40 minute train trip took about 2 hours. We made it to our seats maybe 2 minutes before the start. The game was awesome. Brazil vs. Ghana. Poor Ghana didn't stand much of chance, but they never gave up. Brazil's early goals secured the game quickly, but we still enjoyed every last minute of it.
More soon from The Hague...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New Gallery uploaded

A few remaining pics from the last few days of our trip are posted here

Swiss lakes and Bavaria..

In our last episode; our heros were heading north to the Swiss Lakes.
After 2 sun soaked days in Lugano, Switzerland walking the open air markets and floating on the lake, playing "street chess" and stuffing ourfaces we head north to Garmich Germany to absorb a bit of Bavarian Alpine culture. The day we arrived Germany had just beaten Sweden in the 2nd Round of the World Cup, in Munich. You would have thought they had won the Cup itself. The streets of this sleepy little Hamlet were packed with Teenagers, Tourists and Football freaks all waving the Germany flag and chanting "Wir fahren nach Berlin..." ( We're going to Berlin). The bus drivers rode around their routes honking their horns, Trains in and out of the station blew their whistles. It seemed that we were the only ones not going totally bonkers. So, "when in Rome..." or in this case Bavaria; we quickly bought a German flag and Casey sported it around as a cape until I had to insist he leave it in his backpack while went hiking the next day. A quick trip up the local Alpine Gondola gave us beautiful views into Austria and Lichtenstein and a nice hike down to a mid-mountain cafe where we rested long enough to make it back to the gondola stand for a return to our hostel. The next day we stopped in Munich for a walk around Marienplatz then boarded the night train to Dortmund.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

NEW Gallery and post update

I have added a new gallery of pics and also updated some of the previous posts with pics. I am working on more posts from the pasts week's adventure to Bavaria and a World Cup match with Brasil and Ghana.