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Journey to the East 东游记|Departure & First Week Review 启程&第一周回顾

Departure from Amsterdam Middenweg, on my way to Middle Kingdom, and everything in between.


Day 1, 2024.02.01

Amsterdam - Zuid Amsterdam


Visiting the birthplace of soccer player Johan Cruijff who spent his whole career advocating the importance of the midfield as the zone that decides success by balance.


Crossing the Limes, the ancient border of the Roman Empire, entering a cultural zone that will extend thousands of miles of this journey, well into Persia, providing a coherence of an historical legacy that is important till this day


The river Rhine is the Great Provider of The Netherlands. Without Rhine and its Delta, no fertile land, no defense, no central position in trade and logistics. So I started to cross the Rhine/Lek at Wijk bij Duurstede. The Vikings knew it. The Romans knew it. A node in the landscape, capturing the energy of the nation. Hence Jacob van Ruisdael’s tribute when he painted that windmill under Dutch skies.


Crossing the River Waal, from where the high waters of the stream was very clear, showing how the Dutch have been able to cope with high tides. Also the border beyond which Catholic Netherlands begins.


Visiting the Den Bosch cathedral, in particular the west entrance church window with the depiction of the attacks on WTC in 2001, representing the most evil zone in a powerful image of the Last Judgment.

Visiting the Den Bosch cathedral, in particular the west entrance church window with the depiction of the attacks on WTC in 2001, representing the most evil zone in a powerful image of the Last Judgment.


First night stay in Huize Padua, home for mentally challenged people, designed among others by Aldo van Eyck, who tried to give interns daylight, openness and sense of community. Very grateful to my friends who accompanied me this first part of the journey.


Day 2, 2024.02.02

Zuid Amsterdam-Waterloo, Belgium


Huize Padua


Journey to the East, encountering Dunhuang restaurant along the way.


The Lion's Mound at the battlefield of Waterloo, Belgium.It marks the site of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated.


Cycling for 7.5 hours, 132km.


Day 3, 2024.02.03

Waterloo, Belgium


The Waterloo Museum now advocates for a generic message pro-peace, but when that lion was put on top of an artificial hill, it was to watch France never would go to war again.


The lion is not pro-peace, it is against the empire. A message that will come back many times on my journey to the East.


Never to embark again on the imperial ventures that marked the Napoleonic era.


First lecture in KU Leuven with some of the attendants, including host professor Martine de Maeseneer of KU Leuven.


Day 4, 2024.02.04

Waterloo - Rendeux, Belgium


If you think that cobble roads are a matter of cycling history, carefully preserved for Paris Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, try Komoot to cross Belgium. Just a kilometer off Waterloo and this was the offer of this navigation app.  


Encountered a restaurant called Heaven of China


Not often you see religious imagery that synthesizes Old and New Testament. Here is a good example of how stories from the old, in this case the story of the Ark, prefigures the new, presenting Mother Mary as a mental renewal of the old idea of religion as a refuge.

I hope to pass the Mount Ararat in Türkiye where the Ark ultimately landed, as well as countless places before, where Maria is worshipped by people who refuse to give up on the Good.



Encountered another Chinese restaurant. 


Day 5, 2024.02.05

Rendeux, Belgium-Trier, Germany


Look at Chateau Rendeux, that was my Bed&Breakfast for the night.

看看 Chateau Rendeux城堡,那是我当晚的住宿及早餐酒店。

Crossing the Ardennes is one big reminiscence of the critical phase of World War 2, when the Germans one more time pursued a turn of events before the allied forces moved into Germany.


Entering Germany between Luxembourg and Trier.


Arrived at Hotel Porta Nigra, Trier, Germany, ordered scrambled egg with tomato as dinner. 


Day 6, 2024.02.06

Tier, German- Feilbingert, Germany


If there is one single person who has managed to be relevant for both East and West, and who through the universalism of his ideas is understandable to mankind in general, it’s Karl Marx. Born in Trier, he is acknowledged as a beloved son of the city, while being commemorated by countless visitors. This sculpture was a gift by the Chinese government, made by WU Weishan, thanking Trier for the origin of an alternative idea what really counts in political affairs, in either Western way or with Chinese characteristics;)


reached the highest point of the day, 790m, and found a bench the perfect place for a sandwich. 


I expect to run into more and more sites and people who I won’t understand and even didn’t know they exist. But here in Germany I see many places I know, although sometimes still don’t understand. Imagine a cold February day, stormy, icy, and longing for some signs of Spring, when you are confronted with the German “Vergangenheitsbewaltigung”(coping with the horrible past),  trying to make a sense of the senselessness of KZ Lager (Concentration Camp) Hinzert where many found there last station in the most inhuman circumstances. Jews, Russians, Polish, and many others. A message of the ultimate consequence of feeling superior.

我预计会遇到越来越多我不理解,甚至之前不知道存在的地方和人。但在德国,我看到很多熟悉的地方,有时依然感到困惑。想象一个寒冷、暴风雨交加、冰冷刺骨,渴望春天迹象的二月日子,当你面临德国的“Vergangenheitsbewältigung“(应对可怕的过去),尝试理解希因策集中营(KZ Lager Hinzert)的荒谬,那里许多人在最不人道的情况下结束了他们的生命。犹太人、俄罗斯人、波兰人等等。这传递了一种自认为优越的极端后果的信息。

120.5km,7.5 hours.


If there is one journey that has reverberations over centuries, it’s the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Here we n Germany this Journey to the East crosses this journey eu to the West (that is the European version).


Martin Luther is a seminal figure to divide European History, almost literally. He believed in finding the truth in yourself, not in what the clergy says. When he brought up his ideas, obviously the clergy what’s not happy. So they tried to silence him, which he rebutted by expressing the classic phrase of personals independence: here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. Once the city of Worms was the scene 🎬 for prosecution. Today it can not be more happy with the “crime”.

马丁·路德是划分欧洲历史的关键人物,几乎可以说是字面意义上的。他相信真理要自己去发现,而不是仅仅听从教士的话。当他提出自己的见解时,显然遭到了教士们的不满。因此,他们试图让他保持沉默,他则以一句经典的个人独立宣言作为反击:“我站在这里,别无选择。” 曾经,沃尔姆斯城是他受到起诉的现场🎬。然而今天,这个城市对于那场“罪行”反而感到无比自豪。

like a painting.


Journey to be continued


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