Friday, December 31, 2010

City Life

From what I've noticed, the Dutch don't mind living in apartments and condos. Even with the smaller amount of space they still manage to decorate well. These balconies have bird feeders and other woodsy ornaments.

A lot of them even hang dry there clothes out here in mid winter!

My room

Here is the lovely place I will be staying before I am offered a room in Student Housing. It is very close to the city center (state street of wageningen) and offers a nice view. I am also a 2 minute walk from the nearest coffee shop!

This next picture is for my roommate Thomas back in madison:

Hoegaarden is a belgian brewery. This is their winter witbier (wheat beer). Very tasty!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My first full day

Hello fellow Americans,

Today was my first full day in Wageningen! It was a foggy and pleasant with temperatures around 30 degrees. This is the second white christmas in a row for the netherlands, which is very rare. They usually spend winter with almost no snow.

My first activity was a morning stroll to the Wageningen campus to meet with Jim Van Laar, one of the exchange coordinators.

On the walk, my first picture opportunity occurred when I saw one of the local daycare centers. I smiled as I thought of my girlfriend Kasey and her interests in child care. This is for you KC!

-Random Picture of the Street:

Finally, I had made it to campus. 

-Picture of a house on campus, This is not for students:

Here is a random creek next to the house. The netherlands has many water ways. A lot of their land was formed by dams created hundreds of years ago so a lot of water is still present:

After meeting with Jim and learning about the campus, he showed me the building where my first class, Meteorology and Climate, will be. The name of the building is Forum. An interesting side note: Instead of taking 4 classes for 1 semester, I take 1 four week class, 4 times. 

Here is a photo of Forum:

This building is where a majority of the environmental science classes are. I building looked amazing from the outside and inside. At ASU and the UW, I found myself walking from different buildings to perform activities such at lecture, studying, eating, registering for classes. Forum contains all of this and more! The first floor has student services and a cafe/dining hall that serves 4 different tap beers! the second floor has tutors for foreign language and a library/computer lab and restaurant. The rest of the building is filled with lecture halls and offices. How convenient!!

Here are other random photos of campus:

-Note that was posted on a random wall in the Gaia Building:


-Random rose and birds in between the lecture halls on campus

-Cool tree I found on the walk back to my room

-Cool bush I found on the walk home as well

Thats it for now!
Hope all is well with everyone! and Have a great New Year!

The Train Ride

Here a picture of my ticket:

Utrecht was the first city we hit outside of Amsterdam:

The train ride was filled with creative art!

The more I saw, the more I realized how densely populated the country really was. Before my trip I learned that there were 60 million people in a country the size of indiana but it did not hit me until the ride. I do not want to create the image of a tightly packed country but rather a country containing modestly sized cities and rural farm areas in between. That sounds familiar... oh yeah that sounds like Wisconsin! The Netherlands is similar to Wisconsin in that very way but instead of traveling through 50 miles of farms to get to the next city you only had to travel 10 or so. 

Upon arrival I took a taxi to the Brink Residence and proceeded to take the best 5 hour nap I've ever taken :D