In the summer of 2018 Mandy and I made a journey by bicycle. Self supported, we had everything with us on our bikes. We closed the door behind us near Utrecht and cycled to the arctic circle in Norway. Here the idea took form of covering stories by bicycle. There is something magical about traveling slow. You keep the connection intact with the landscape you travel through and the people you encounter. Traveling by car just goes too fast.
One of the things that exited me enormously was that I learned that some roads we used are very very old. The oldest routes go back to the stoneage. These routes came to be without any planning. They just followed the most effective geographical rout through a landscape.
Above you can see two images taken from the same angle and place. One image depicts a earial photo of a modern highway crossing over the the higher ground of the Veluwe. The second picture is using technologie to see through organic material and distinguish small variations in ground height. You can see parallel lines running through the landscape alongside the modern highway. These paralel lines are old roads running through the same landscape. If a road became bad from frequent use, they made a new one beside the old one. Generations of feet, cards and animals made these long paralel lines in the landscape that are still visible today from the Skye.
The old ways
Alongside some of these old ways you can find barrows. (grafheuvels) Small bumps in the landscape, about a meter high. They were made in the copper or brons age (2800-1000 before christ). The newest research suggests that the people who made these graves came from the Russian steppe in a great migration wave. The number of known barrows is rising every year. There are now about two thousand known barrows on the Veluwe alone. Not everyone was placed in a barrow after they died. Research suggests that there lived thens of thousands of people on the Veluwe, maybe even a hundred thousand. This beautiful quiet area was ones a crowded place.