A couple of times a week, I commute to my part-time job in Leeuwarden, in Friesland province. Sometimes I drive, but as much as possible, I like to take the train. I start by bicycling to the train station in the center of Groningen, parking the bike and boarding the train.
The train trip takes about 35 minutes if I catch the express; otherwise it takes about 50 minutes. In Leeuwarden, I finish my commute by riding my second bike, which I keep parked at the station, through the historic center of Leeuwarden to my workplace. (Factoid: There are more bicycles in the Netherlands than people.)
Through the train window, the scenery is beautiful: pancake flat, usually green, and dotted with bucolic farms. I have time to appreciate the passing images, and occasionally I think to snap a picture or two. Usually I don’t have my camera with me, so I use my phone.
The train windows can’t be opened, and are varying degrees of dirty, which adds a slightly grey patina to the photos. To me, it matches the weather: grey, more often than not.
It occurred to me yesterday on my commute home, as I gazed absently out the window of the train, that I’ve taken lots of pictures of these passing scenes, yet I’ve never shown them to anyone. I decided it was time to go ahead and show you some.
As you can see, they’re not the highest quality because a) I used my phone’s camera, b) the window was dirty, and/or c) we were moving fairly fast at the time. Nevertheless, to me they have a certain atmosphere: a muted quality that matches my meditative mood as I commute. It’s a time to pause, a moment of suspension, and a time to think between two bursts of bicycling activity.
Speaking of bicycles, the photo below was taken at one of the stations along the way. (Another factoid: Bicycle theft is one of the most frequent crime in the Netherlands.)
The sun does occasionally shine, however, and on those days the mood on the train is always more lively.
How do you get to work? What is your commute like? Do you see beauty along the way? Add a comment below!