Along the IJssel

Cycling with my brother from our hometown to Kampen and back, along the river the IJssel — which in this season has flooded the summer dikes and is held by the winter dikes.

Such a long bicycle ride with my brother is always one of my favorite things to do when back home. 46 kilometers and the last bit is up a steep hill, and we’re on our parent’s bike, a bit small, in everyday clothes, all drenched in sweat and red-faced.

The summer and winter dikes are more clear here, shot from the bridge I must have crossed over a thousand times and back — on my way to high school and college. Compared to a picture taken last summer:

Kampen, Zwolle & Deventer are big cities (in comparison). These were distinctly not my hometown when growing up — when others and yourself label you as someone from Hattem — but when you live abroad, you also realize this is home, the place by which you compare everything else.

Perhaps it’s the river. The Romans called it the Isala, now it’s named the IJssel, and it connects all these cities, as well as our hometown.