Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rotterdam Gnome

It was a gorgeous day today so we decided to ride to Rotterdam from Leiden.

(We rode to Amsterdam two weeks previously but I haven't posted about it, perhaps, because I got my directions off the internet, via Bikely, which had us going the wrong way several times and the whole thing ended up being too stressful with the raining and the wind and the constant double checking the route and so on...)

Today's trip needed achievable goals (or maybe I did), in the form of culture and beer, so we planned to see the Santa Claus sculpture by Paul McCarthy (locally known as a gnome with a buttplug) and to visit the Witte Aap bar for refreshments.

Instead of relying on a 'stranger from the internets,' I planned our route using the fietsknooppunten system.

I picked the number of my starting place, and the number of my desired destination. All the intervening numbers are mapped out and each 'point' on the map has a corresponding point in reality and another map next to the bike path. Sweet, right?

My "route" is on the orange post it note.

Lots of numbers. See below:

Until we hit 81, it was perfect... but suddenly after Pijnacker, numbers stopped appearing on the maps. Why is it not on the map? Who knows?
Apparently, different areas of the Netherlands use separate systems with the same numbers. What?
Yeah. So as well as disappearing numbers, this happens:

Bizarre! Why would anyone design a system like this? Is this like the omleidings?
Ruthless, pointless, 'suggested' inefficiency for those that like to obey?
Well, too bad knooppunten system! We know better now.
We started following the regular signs to Rotterdam centruum and had no further problems.
Here's the gnome.


  1. Weird.

    The map system and the gnome.

  2. Hi Denver Dude! Where is your blog? I bet there's lots of weird stuff in Denver... Casa bonita?

  3. It's supposed to be a xmas tree... The whole idea is weird because it's a 'santa' like the american santa, not the Dutch Sinter Claus (who dresses like the pope), yet the artist claims it was made specifically for Rotterdam.

  4. I'm certainly no expert on buttplugs, but the 'gnome with a buttplug', looks, well like that. Whatever he's holding, it isn't much like any Christmas-tree I've seen.

    I very much suspect it's a joke by the artist. I've seen such visual jokes before. There was a BBC TV childrens' programme which featured a painted snake in the set. Its head bore an unmistakably resemblance to an erect penis.