Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ice Skating on the Canals

I was walking home from trying to find the open Saturday market and the canal bridge I cross to get to Hugo de Grootstraat, which is the street I live off. I saw a man skating on the canals! I mean I read about this and they weren't kidding, they really do this! It was really cool to watch him skate back and forth down the canal. I am hoping to go ice skating in the next few days, just need to find a rink they create on the canals where they provide skates.

Holland is known for its mild winters but this winter imparticularly has been very bitterly cold. Most of the locals have said this is the coldest winter they had experienced. The base temp has been 30 or below the last week I have been here. At night, the warmest it has been is between 19-25 degrees F. So its really really really cold here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The First Night Out

I went to an Irish pub near my school in Leiden with the only other person here (Dustin) before the other Webster students arrive. We have 2 pints each and sampled a few of the different beers they offerd. I had a cider beer as well as a London brewed beer. The drinking age in the Netherlands begins at 16 but for "harder" drinks it is 18 which means rum and vodka, or harder liquors other than beer. I am having a great time but I need to catch some ZzZzZz. I am missing home but I am thankful and blessed I have this opportunity. Dag...Em

Sick on my First day!

My first day of travel...was tough! It was hard saying good bye to my family and friends but especially to my mom and dad. (MISS YOU!!!) Another downer is that I caught a head cold. It's the worst being sick and trying to sleep on a plane. Well its 10:41 AM here in Leiden, Netherlands and I arrived at 7:15 this morning. I have a nice studio loft dorm room/apartment. I do not have a shower or sink in my room I have to share the facilities with BOTH women and men...yeah co-ed really happens in college just in other countries. I am completely exhausted and I know I shouldnt sleep but I need a slight nap just to get this headache to leave behind my eyes. Its 32 degree F here and it was snowing when I arrived but it has stopped now. On my way in from Amsterdam to Leiden it was pitch black so I didn't see much of the city but I did see many cars (traffic jams almost reminded me of New York City) and bikes...lots and lots of bikes. On a side note when I got into the taxi it was a mercedes benz and also techno music was playing found that pretty interesting. Well I am beat I am going to curl up in my tiny loft and take a nap. Until I write again...Dag! (goodbye in dutch) (I will post photos later in the slid show that plays on my right corner of my page. If you click on it I believe is will become bigger and play like a slide show.)