So we were tortured this week with one day of class! From 9-6 we were in our Intercultural Communication class which is being taught by a Dutch professor. She is extremely nice and knowledge about different cultures around the world. This class seems really interesting and we are all very excited to learn more about how different cultures do business.
But in class everyone’s mind was on our 4-day weekend! My friends and I were planning to go the Keukenhof Tulip farm, near Amsterdam. We actually found a really awesome deal online that included train, bus and entrance for a very reasonable price. Once we got to the fields, we were all quite surprised to see that this attraction was kind of like an amusement park with tulips in it. It was so beautiful, different colored flowers filled the spaces between the sidewalks and it was a perfect sunny day for the occasion. Finally, we got out to the main field where there are apparently rows of tulips. But little to our knowledge, they already dug up those fields so we didn’t get to see that section.
My favorite part of Keukenhof was the authentic Dutch singers. We heard them throughout the park as we were walking through. When we got to the section we walked up and saw a group of realistic dressed Dutch people singing their favorite songs. There was a crowd gathered and the people who knew the lyrics was singing along and everyone was swaging from side to side with the music. It was my favorite part of this whole day!
That night we headed to Cologne, Germany! We took a train there and it was an adventure finding all of our different connections! Thank goodness for the friendly Dutch people who helped us find our way around. When we were leaving the station, we walked out and was overly surprised by how close the cathedral was to the station. We walked out at 11:00 at night and all was astonished by the sight. The first words out of our mouths were, “OH MY GOD!!!” I couldn’t believe how tall, big and beautiful it was, especially at night!
After roaming the streets for a couple of minutes we found our hostel, which was pretty nice! We actually ended up meeting fellow French students who were in town to study architecture. That night we stayed up till 2 in the morning just talking and getting to know each other. It was a great experience to hear about their life in France and share some information about the United States.
Friday was filled with sightseeing! The morning started off with a typical European breakfast, a pastry and coffee. I have to say I don’t mind it at all! Around noon we took a boat tour of the Rhine river. With our student discount we got an extremely good deal! On the boat tour we saw the Lindt’s Chocolate Museum so of course that was next up on the list! However, it was pretty much like Hershey’s Chocolate World with more history, so we were a little disappointed we picked that over something else. but it was still fun. After the tour we had sausage and fries, which was a wonderful German meal! That night we just explored the night life of Cologne!
Little to our knowledge, Cologne has an unbelievable amount of stores. Which with a group of four girls lead to a lot of shopping. That night we met up with our new French friends and enjoyed a night out on the town which was a lot of fun! There were a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties which incurred a lot of funny task. Its hard to believe but we called an early night in the European culture and went to bed around 3. In Europe, unlike the United States, people go out to the bars late and stay out until 6 am. Its hard to believe that people can actually get up the next morning but they do somehow. This might explain why people take such long lunch breaks during the day because they are so tired that they can’t work too hard. I also had an amazing German meal that night of Sausage and potato salad, it was to die for!
Sunday we headed back to school, which was an interesting trip. We were on what we thought was the last train before our stop. However, we got off at a wrong station in the middle of no where. At this point we had no idea if were in Germany or the Netherlands…. It was just us four girls at a single platform train station not even knowing if any more trains were coming… Thankfully more trains had passed by but not in the direction we needed. FINALLY, after an hour wait, a train was headed in the right direction. But of course with our luck, one group member just went out to the bushes to go to the bathroom because it was a very long day, so of course we couldn’t leave without her.
So there we were once again just siting at a train station hopping for another train to pass by within the next hour. About 30 minutes later a train finally came and we got back to Maastricht!
This weekend was so much fun and it has made me not want to do any homework. After today’s class, we are all feeling the stress of completing a course in 3 weeks. Tonight was dedicated to LOTS OF ENDLESS reading and booking our next trip to London!