Made it to Nude 23-A in Wageningen, the Netherlands, bright and early Friday morning. I unfortunately was stuck with a middle seat and a ton of energy throughout the 9-hour ride, thus being unable to sleep and staying up over 24 hours, but I watched a bunch of movies, including one of my childhood favorites The Green Mile.
It is good to be with my college friends again, despite the cold snowy weather. Hard to believe that not long ago I was lounging on a beach in my bikini, sweating buckets. Now I am bundled up in winter clothing trying to retain what little heat I have. My body has definitely been confused about the time, date, temperature, and location of where I am.
Wageningen is, from what I’ve been told, in the middle of bumblecrap nowhere. It seems that this has been a trend on my trip, since I’ve been to bumblecrap Georgia and bumblecrap Costa Rica as well (ok, I don’t necessarily think that Drake Bay was bumblecrap nowhere, but some folks told me it is). Anyway, central to this town is Wageningen University, so it’s a college town of sorts, which in Europe means that it is a ghost town on weekends since most students go home during this time. You can read more about Wageningen here. Perhaps one of the most interesting things I’ve learned so far is that the Netherlands exists essentially because of all the dikes that were built to hold the water out–approximately 27% of the area and 60% of the population is located below sea-level. How wild is that??
The rest of this entry will be based on photos:
This is a Dutch parking lot. Bicycles are abundant in Wageningen, and the preferred mode of transportation for most. There are tons of bike lanes, cars yield to bicyclists, there’s a fine for cycling without front and back lights at night, and the bike lock systems are a lot easier than in the states. I’ve had my first “side saddle” bicycle rides since being here, which is a little scary since my balance is less than stellar, but it’s quite fun.
Yesterday (Jan 9), we took several busses and trains out to Den Haag for the Cool Haus (Cool Event) ice sculpture viewing and had a drink at the Holland Casino ice bar. It’s a tented area that is -10 degrees indoors, and truly has sculptures, a bar, and a mock hotel room (the Royal Ice Room) made of huge chunks of ice. We spent an hour admiring the art work, sliding down an ice slide surrounding an igloo, and had a shot of Jaeger at the ice bar. It was chilly, but well worth the effort. See more ice bar/sculpture photos here.