Groningen - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

June 28, 2013

Groningen

I found a good café in the street round the corner from the university. It had a map of the world on the wall with the coffee regions labelled and the owner claimed that this week the coffee came from Columbia, a special coffee that I didn't need to take milk in he said when I asked for milk. So I had it black and it was good but I would have preferred a drop of milk.

I sat with the Netbook open on the bench in front of me. Still the photos wouldn't upload to the CGOAB edit form. Then the computer closed down and restarted and I found after that, the picture uploading worked. Though only for six photos, then Is back to the "THE PAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED" page popping down. So I thought if I rebooted the computer, it may work. It did, for six more pictures, then Is back to "THE PAGE CANNOT.......". I rebooted again, twice more ontil I'd all the photos I wanted uploaded.

I was in the café until after midday when the place filled up with people at lunchtime. When I paid and stepped out the door, I found my bike where I left it leaned against the window, completely blocked in by other peoples' bikes. I thought I'd take a photo, because there are so many cyclists here which means outside shops, it can be hard to find a wall or railing to lean your bike against. And one thing to remember is to look when crossing the street. I didn't when I stepped out to get the café-window and the bikes surrounding my bike into the shot, and just saw a cyclist speeding towards me in time to duck out of the way.

I came out of a café and found my bike blocked in by other bikes. I took the camera out to take a picture and moved out to get everything in; in which, I stepped back into the street and all most got run over.
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I found a place to park outside the travel-shop that sells maps. This time, before taking a picture, I looked before crossing the street having learned my lesson.
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Riding around the city unmolested my motor-vehicles was a joy. The only thing to watch are other cyclists. I still didn't have lunch but I needed a few things. I'd already bought a map of north west Germany and I thought I may as well go back to the shop and buy a map of Denmark. Again I found the last space to lean my bike against railings outside the travel shop which sold maps. The man whom I paid for the map told me the whereabouts of an outdoor shop. I wanted to go there to find alcohol for my stove. I'd already seen a one litre blue bottle with "Brandspiritus" on the label in a farmacy which was eighty-five per cent prove, but I didn't want to buy it until I saw wether I could find something better.

The sales assistant in the outdoor shop said yes I could use the blue bottle marked "Brandspiritus" but it doen't burn as well. I bought instead what they were selling, a clear liquid labelled "Methylalcohol", cost five Euros for a one litre bottle as against one Euro something for the same quantity of Brandspiritus.

I found the last parking space outside the outdoor-shop. The woman standing in the shot, after telling her, usually at home it's cars that have difficulty finding a parking space, was in agreement with me, that cycling was quicker and better for getting around the city.
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In the outdoor-shop, I found a two person version of my tent: the Hellsport Stetind.
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Saturday turned out sunny after the rain Friday evening. I found my way back to the Gazelle bike-shop I'd passed on the way into town the day I arrived in order to buy cable-outer and cable, plus bar-tape so I could repair the front-gear-change.

On Sunday morning I did the repair and gave the bike a bit of a clean. Then went around with allen-keys checking no nuts had worked their way loose.

Now it's 10.17 and I'm more or less ready to set off again. I've first to stop in town at a café to save and edit this page and another. By evening I should be close to crossing into Germany. Thankfully for The European Union that won't be a hassle and the only change I'll notice at first will be road-signs, then lauguage. I plan on riding more towards the coast on this next stage. I read "The Riddle Of The Sands" by Erskin Childers a few years ago and it would be nice to pass-by the coastal backdrop of that book.

Another computer problem I've now is the spelling check has not been working, so if you read any unusual spelt words here, you'll know why.

Passing Groningen rail-station.
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A Dutch bike with a built-in buggy at the front to carry small children, or shopping.
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Nine PM. I found a café with a power-point to charge the computer.

Looking out on the rain soaked pavement at all the bikes and cliental arriving and leaving on bikes, I was reminded of Belguim, where, on a weekend evening, young people cycle to a cafe for a drink, then cycle on to the next place.

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Friday's total: 60 Euros 20.

Café: 5 Euros.

Map: 10 Euros 50

Methylalcohol: 5 Euros.

Supermarket 7 Euros.

Second Café 4 Euros 70.

Campsite for three nights: 28 Euros.

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Saturday's Total: 32 Euros 40.

Café: 4 Euros 60.

Cone of Belguim chips with mayonnaise: 2 Euros 80.

Bike-shope: 20 Euros.

Second Café: 5 Euros.

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