Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Day 1: The start of a new adventure (aka Matt's Eurotrip 2014)

I don’t like the TTC.  I mean, I REALLY don’t like it.  I bought a Bixi membership to avoid the subway, and that’s the best part of Toronto’s crumbling transit infrastructure. However, when I’m taking a bus from Kipling subway station to the airport after a day at work….the TTC isn’t so bad.  I guess it just needs context – kicking off a new adventure!

I’m flying to Iceland first, then on to Amsterdam tomorrow.  Sadly, my stopover in Iceland won’t be long enough to do anything more than take advantage of a washroom that’s bigger that a shoebox! Here’s to an uneventful and restful flight.  I sure could use the sleep.

Once in Europe, priority #1 is to race the Rotterdam Marathon on Sunday.  That’s right – after a minor deviation this past fall, I’m back to planning trips around sporting events.  Most often races.  As a result, it looked pretty dicey when I realized a couple of weeks ago that I HADN’T registered for Rotterdam.  I started the process back in December…..then got busy, distracted, or just plain dumb. I pleaded and begged with the organizers, and it worked!!  I guess the Dutch still like Canadians.  Or I’m just that good-looking.  Over email.  In any case, I got an exception and I’m getting a bib.  Phew! J

Priority #2 in Europe will be to spend as much time as possible in as many cool places as possible.  Pretty loosey-goosey, and not usually like me.  I haven’t booked anything past Sunday; I just have a list of cities I want to see: Amsterdam, Brussels, Luxembourg, Prague, Budapest…. There were originally a couple of cities in Germany I wanted to check out, but so many places and so little time…I decided that Germany deserves a trip unto itself, and I might be able to swing an overnight train from Luxembourg to Prague this way.  I also might check out Vienna!

Back to Rotterdam.  My brother Paul filled me in on the good news earlier this week that the six fastest marathoners in the world will not be at Rotterdam this year.  Great news for me!  I might win Rotterdam now…right?  Maybe?  London Marathon will be incredible, and Rotterdam will be stuck with a bunch of measly 2:05 marathoners.  Ho-hum.  Truth be told, I’m still willing to allow myself to be humbled by their presence.  There’s something pretty fantastic about seeing a runner pulling away at the outset of a marathon, and knowing I’d have trouble keeping pace for 2km.

Alright, I've gotta fly!

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