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Today is one of the first fine spring days. Great weather for a long walk. The pilgrims’ path meanders partly through the ‘green heart’ of Holland. Near the city of Gouda a socalled ‘polderpath’ has been established. Over  a distance of 3 kilometres the path crosses the long, narrow fields of at least 15 farms. Of course every farmer raises their own cattle and they want that seperated. Therefore every field is warded off by a metal fence. Nice fences, as well. That must have cost a substantial amount of money, I think. I estimate the cost of every individual fence at 1000 Euros, which brings the cost of the path of 3 kilometres to 30000 Euros. That would mean 10 Euros per metre, is my quick calculation. Is that worth the the trouble and the money?

A bit further down the pilgrims’ path I walk on becomes a cycling path and a narrow road. I am overtaken by cyclists, runners, cars and motorcycles with a chat, a roar and a thunder. A nice day is a busy day in the green heart. The walker is obviously the slowest, especially in my case, and they all pass me by. Everyone is busy and no one sees anything but the air and the road.

But on your own on the polderpath you can smell the fresh grass, the dark water and the moist earth. You can hear the seagulls, the ducks, the tits and an occasional peewit. You can hear the frogs leaping into the water but they’re too quick for you to actually see them. What you do see are the blossoming willow and the budding flowers. Maybe on reflection a polderpath like this is worth its cost after all. Even at 10 Euros per metre.

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