Monday, January 18, 2010

Leiden

Saturday January 16:  As part of the DLC program we all had to split up into groups and go to a museum in a different city in The Netherlands.  I picked Leiden because I knew Aaron (Goldberg) was there and he could show us around.  It's also been way too long since I've seen him!

Although the majority of us guys were all going to Leiden, Evan and I got an earlier start than the others so we went on our own.  We had lunch at the train station in Utrecht and took the 30 minute ride to Leiden.  Aaron met us at the train station and we walked to the Antiquity museum.  They had a bunch of exhibits on ancient Egypt and Rome.  It was relatively interesting but nothing I hadn't necessarily seen before at other museums.

After we just walked around Leiden for 30-45 minutes.  It's a pretty small town and we covered the majority of their main-street.  Definitely "cute" with a bunch of different stores and eateries.  There were tons of people out shopping and there was a farmer's market.

As we were coordinating with all the other kids in different cities on going to Amsterdam for the evening/night it started raining.  That just killed the mood and nobody really wanted to stay out later than needed, so we all ended up going home.  Saturday night was another night of pregaming at my place with the other Americans and then going out to clubs/bars.  I decided to not "go out" afterward and took it easy for the night.

Today, Sunday, was just a very relaxing day of catching up on sleep, talking with people back home, and some homework/reading for the DLC.

We're watching a movie at school tomorrow after class and then have to make a powerpoint presentation of our trip to Leiden.  Then our final test is on Thursday so it's going to be a busy week.

The plan right now though, is "Great American Challenge" on Thursday night, which we all can look forward to.

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One thing I wanted to talk about was biking in The Netherlands.  I understand that the Dutch, of course, have a reputation of riding their bikes everywhere (they have the highest bike/population ratio in the world) but this reputation is greatly understated.  The Dutch bike EVERYWHERE.  Pedestrians have no right away because whenever there aren't cars driving on the street you'll be sure to find bikers around.  There are bike paths everywhere and huge bike parking lots at all the train stations.  People bike to bars late at night... in the snow... in the rain... commuting to work.  It's truly amazing.

I'm definitely going to get a bike but not until I go down to Maastricht.

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