Utrecht offers refugees and asylum-seekers the means to start rebuilding their lives immediately – even before they have a residence permit. A special “Refugee Launch Pad” created with EU funding helps newcomers integrate quickly into Dutch society while also giving them the tools to make it anywhere.
Time flies if you’re having fun, but it moves even faster when you’re constantly exploring new things. as was the case again during the 4th and last week of the Atlantic Route, which saw Yldau and Fabian travel through Belgium and the Netherlands.
How to keep everybody safe on one of Belgium’s biggest and busiest beaches? The Blankenberge lifeguards showed them – and not only on the beach but in the control centre, too.
They explored the beautiful city of Ghent along its many waterways: floating nicely on solar-powered rafts, and tasting local specialities thanks to their host for the day, DJ and travel blogger Sam who brought some local beers and, well… charcuterie.. for a picnic on the water.
In Antwerp, Fabian and Yldau met up with Louis, a Road Trip traveller together with Luisa on the Mediterranean Route. Louis was their guide on a challenge to discover the five top places to go in his hometown. But before that mad adventure, he welcomed them to the place where he works: Rotonde, a centre for disabled adults. Louis’ dedication impressed our travellers, who were able to experience first hand how giving a lot is rewarded a lot in turn.
Crossing into the Netherlands they spent a day of eye-opening encounters with two migrants and their student neighbours in a unique place in Utrecht, that is showing the way to successfully welcome and integrate migrants in our towns and cities.
Then our travellers headed for the country’s biggest island, Texel. But it wasn’t all beaches and dunes, in fact the focus was on science. Three young oceanographers, David, Philippe and Victor, postgrads from the University of Utrecht, introduced them to their potentially groundbreaking project TOPIOS. If they’re successful, this could help combat plastic pollution in our oceans significantly.
Yldau and Fabian’s last stop took them to Rotterdam, the final destination of their Atlantic route: from Cabo da Roca, westernmost point of continental Europe to Europe’s biggest port. During that one month, they really have been our great explorers.
Their day in Rotterdam was a look to the near future: firstly, because they visited a couple of hotbeds of innovation (leather out of fruit waste? Not half as crazy as it sounds!) including a showcase of inventions that pretty much blew their minds, and secondly because the time had come to hand over to the next travellers and the next Road Trip.
But how will our travellers remember their Atlantic journey? You have to watch the video to the end to find out!