Sunday, December 18, 2005


Yesterday I visited Nol van't Riet in his pretty 17th century house in Gouda, the Netherlands. Yes, that is where the famous cheese originated. I did even eat some Gouda in Gouda. Together with Med Samraoui, the new ICCF president, Alan Borwell, and Michael Millstone we discussed the future of the server.

The trip back to Bonn was an adventure. I took the train from Gouda to Utrecht, where I was supposed to change into the ICE to Köln. However, the train from Gouda was too late, and I missed the ICE. At the station in Utrecht I got a stamp into my ticket, confirming that the train was too late, so that I could use any other train without a valid ticket. I was then told to use the train to Eindhoven instead.

That train did not go further than St'Herthogenbosch, because there was an accident with a car on the track ahead. The passengers then had to use a bus to continue to Eindhoven. In Eindhoven I was told to use a (very slow) train to Venlo, the last city before the border.

When I arrived in Venlo, no more trains were going there. There were four passengers on the way to Germany, who had all been late because of that accident. The Dutch railway organized a taxi to Viersen, the first city in Germany behind the border. The taxi driver first did not find the station, because he was in the wrong part of the city. In Viersen I was able to catch the latest train to Mönchengladbach. It was already midnight, and I had to wait another hour for the train to Köln.

All the previous stations were already closed, because of the late hour. That was all different in Köln. The station there has opened 24 hours, with some shops, a Burger King, and a McDonalds open around the clock, including long queues of hungry lunatics.

I then took the train to Bonn, where I finally took a taxi to arrive at my apartment close to three in the morning. What a trip, six trains, two taxis, and one bus.