Posted by: benj2919 | May 1, 2010

A Walk Around The Blogosphere

In my search for a blog to examine, immediately one describing a person’s cycling journey through Amsterdam and the nearby towns caught my interest. Frankly, buses, trains, and planes are only good for going from one tourist destination to another, and as a traveler, it is impossible to interact with the local people while confined to the faster modes of transportation.  So what better way to explore the “space” of Amsterdam and the surrounding countryside?

The blogger first notes the change in landscape as she traveled from the city center to the less densely populated areas. First, she passed the crowded urban center of Amsterdam and then slowly found herself in a more open environment, described as the “slums,” or less picturesque outskirts of the city.  Eventually the surroundings turned from narrow streets and city buildings to large motorways, open spaces, and factories spewing smoke into the sky.  This gradual transition from urban metropolis to freeways, factories, and open spaces seems to be a pattern for major cities – something noticeable from a bicycle but not necessarily from a train or plane.

The blog also describes encounters with locals at a street side market, on the bicycle path, and in the center of Amsterdam.  This is a particularly rewarding experience of traveling by bicycle, especially since stopping and asking for directions is unavoidable. Although not mentioned in the blog, I would bet that encounters with locals would be much different in an urban environment, like downtown Amsterdam, than the open spaces of the surrounding areas – another consequence of differences in space.

In this case,  “play” could be the act of traveling. Since, the blogger is on bicycle the destination is not as important as the adventures she experienced bicycling to the destination.  This imparts meaning to the act of traveling. In contrast, moving about by trains, buses, or planes may not carry any meaning other than getting from point A to B, and could not be considered “play.”

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