The Netherlands

Also, this will be a quick update .  Nels, Jenny, & I went to the Netherlands and visiting den Haag and Amsterdam (Shannon had two friends coming into town and Kallimonster went to visit Her-mannes – her boyfriend Johannes).  It was great – we didn’t actually do much in the way of touristy things, but it didn’t really matter.  It still was an incredible trip.  We started the weekend in Frankfurt on Friday with IUSP, then traveled to the Netherlands (leaving at 06:00).

In den Haag, we hung around the city center before then walked to the ocean, sticking to the beautiful canals for guidance and the scenery.  There were so many parks and roads bordered densely with trees it almost never felt like we were in a city of 500,000.

On our way to the beach, we walked in a bike lane so we could be next to a canal.  It was a beautiful walk and well worth the hour trek, because we suddenly reached the end of a street with only a beach and ocean left in front of us.  We hung around for a bit, had a picnic, and after a quick toe-dip into the North Sea and some public urination (to be explained in greater detail in a second), we headed back into town.

LEGAL public urination! This is the most amazing contraption in the world.  These should replace the porta-potty for guys!  Only in the Netherlands…

We got back to the city center around 17:30, and the rest of our time in Den Haag was spent eating, drinking, and generally hanging out.  The decision was made to go to bed early (around 21:00ish) so we could get to Amsterdam early the next day.  Luckily, there was a huge bus load of people arriving at the hotel when we got back, so it made our job of sneaking 3 people into a 2 person room all the more easier.  I don’t exactly remember why we were all so tired, but it was one of the best nights rest I’ve had since arriving in Europe.

Amsterdam!

The hotel was relentless in their screening of breakfast, so I opted to stay behind and listen to a podcast while Jenny and Nels went down to get food.  They were gone for a long time, but when they came bursting back in, it became clear why:  they had not only gotten breakfast for us, but they had managed to make something like 8 sandwiches for lunch/dinner.  Us – 2, Hotel – 0.

The train ride to Amsterdam was lovely, and we listened to a bunch of older women speak the ridiculous language that is Dutch (Ikka ikka mar mar mar).  Amsterdam was much cleaner and prettier than I had imagined.  We spent several hours wondering around the city, dropping in Cathedrals, cafes, and various monuments.  On a whole, I really really enjoyed the city and look forward to visiting it again in the future.

Amsterdam has really an absurd number of bicycles.  I don’t think it’s any more bike friendly than Den Haag, but it definitely has more of them.  Next to the main train station, there was a huge 3-story bike parking lot with a ton of overflow around it:

In my closing thoughts, I would like to introduce to you one of my new favorite words (regardless of langauge):  Drempels!  I means bumps, or something like that.  Here is a picture of the best sign in Amsterdam:

Let Op! Drempels (Translation:  Watch out!  Bumps.)

Well that’s it volks.  Sorry this took so long to post.  Wait…no I’m not.

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About nlovin

I'm just a guy - I brew beer, host a radio show every Wednesday, and am completely obsessed with the German language.
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