I made it to Saint Peter's! Check out the Baldacchinno!
Not really, actually I'm months away from Rome and the Vatican. The photo is real though. I'm standing in a 1/3 scale copy of St. Peter's in a small town called Oudenbosch about 9 kilometers north of Roosendaal. This morning I looked over a map with my host in Willemstad. Matthijs informed me that a town that was about 6 kilometers off of my route to Roosendaal had a replica of St. Peters. I thought I might skip past it, but once I saw the dome in the horizon I was drawn towards it. I have to say, if you are a small Dutch town that I have never heard of, and you build a cheesy 1/3 scale replica of St. Peter's, I will run 6 km out of my way to see it any day...and I will take a deservingly awesome photo with an awkward grin and a thumbs-up too. I hung around the Basilica for a while, and payed 50 cents to go up to the cupola. It was surprisingly awesome. It is this kind of random discovery--like a giant ball of yarn in the desert--that makes this kind of journey interesting for me.
I arrived in Roosendaal in the late afternoon, with my forehead burning. It was hot today, and I'm sure that when my skin starts to peel in a few days I'll be asking for places to stay while looking a bit like a leper. I think I need to get some sunscreen in the morning.
I met up with my host Edwin, who I met via couchsurfing. We spent most of the night eating a great dinner and talking about techniques of travel and living. We went on a short trip out to a nearby town called Bergen op Zoom and had a drink. I had a great evening, spent talking about what was behind me and looking forward to what is coming. I still don't know. I know that I've had some awesome hosts this week, and that this trip is coming out to be a pretty sweet adventure. I also know that I'll be in Belgium in the morning (goodbye Netherlands).
30 May 2009