Netherlands' countryside visit and back to Prague

For the weekend I am going to visit Fanny - a friend I met during her exchange in Prague. Her parents have a farm, so I am excited to see everyhing and mainly a bit differnet country side.

Peat moor near DeurnePeat moor near Deurne, source: my picture

On Friday it was raining in Maastricht and I worried a bit about the weather for the weekend. On Friday afternoon it got better, for a dinner I met my Czech friends again and after having a dinner together I went to meet Mathilde for salsa evening. Well, I forgot everything but basic steps, but I was just looking forward to the atmosphere. Luckily I also met another friend I met during my stay in Maastricht, who is from Lithuania. Awesome evening with friends.

On the next day when I woke up, it was raining again, but at the time I get on the train the sun was shining and I left Maastricht again – this time to Deurne. After about an hour and a half and one change of the train in Eindhoven I arrived to Deurne. Fanny came to pick me up and drive to her parent's place – a farm.

[read more ..., total 846 words.]

The Hague, Scheveningen, Rotterdam

A friend of mine came to visit me to the Netherlands for four days and as she was never in this country I planned a lot of trips for this weekend. As this would be my last chance to travel before I leave Maastricht for some time, I also wanted to visit some cities I have never been to.

Me at the seaMe at the sea, source: my picture

Kate flew with Wizzair from Prague, so I was supposed to wait at her at the train station in Eindhoven at 8 a.m. Well, I set up only one alarm clock and switch it off subconsciously, so I woke up at half past 7 and realized that I had fallen asleep. I managed to catch a train from Maastricht at 8, so I got to Eindhoven just one hour later than planned. Kate was waiting for me already. We bought some breakfast at a nearby supermarket and then got on the train and spent slept for a while. Were we arrived at 11 a.m. to The Hague and our trip was about to begin.

The Hague

When we got off the train, it was slightly raining but stopped after a few minutes and slowly the sun was coming out of the clouds. According to the weather forecast it was supposed to be partly clouded that day. Better than any day in the last 2 weeks in Maastricht. I had only a vague idea what is worth seeing in the city, so we just walked there and there. The city was busy only in the shopping areas, but otherwise it was quiet which was a bit unexpected. The atmosphere there was nice and newly built up houses were not disturbing the old ones, like the city kept its look. Even newly built up skyscrapers near the train station are nicely composed into the overall view. We wanted to see the sea which meant walking about 3kms to Scheveningen. I should have printed this map for tourists, it would be very helpful, but my map in GPS was enough.

Scheveningen – Panorama
Scheveningen – Panorama, source: my picture
[read more ..., total 858 words.]

First trip behind the borders – Lanaken in Belgium

It's sunny Saturday, ideal time for some bike trip to explore the neighbourhood of Maastricht after our first week at SBE at Maastricht University. The one of the closest Belgian town to Maastricht is Lanaken, so let's ride there.

Crossing the borderCrossing the border, source: my picture
I've been in Maastricht for almost 3 weeks now, but I have a bike only for a week. I wanted to use the first free Saturday with sunny weather for a trip. I convinced my fellow Czech student Zuzka to come with me. Bára had to do some stuff for school, but she said that we should stop by on our way back. Great idea, bike trip and then dinner together when we could discuss our first week at Maastricht University. I was not sure which direction to take, so why not to the nort-west to Belgium? I was curious if I could spot some difference there.

We met at 2 p.m. at my place and with a simple map in hand, we started out first bike trip. Biking in the Netherlands is fun and easy. Traffic is made for that, cyclist have enough space. No the case of Belgium. First difference spotted. Smiley :D But on the other hand the only other thing that signalized that we crossed the border was the sign. Later on the buildings we different too. In Maastricht and general in the Netherlands the architecture of regular houses is very similar and simple with mostly dark colours used. The suburbs of Lanaken were on the other hand were full of large houses and each of them was different to the others. Like as rich people would live there, a bit more similar to the Czech Republic but there you cannot see any trees close by.

[read more ..., total 776 words.]

Holland trip – Nijmegen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Utrecht

Travelling and walking sightseeing of cities is more fun when you are in a group. We were five - four Czech students and one French student and decided to see the city of Nijmegen. But we seized the day and visited also 's-Hertogenbosch and Utrecht. Let's discover Netherlands!

Our Discover Holland trip group in NijmegenOur Discover Holland trip group in Nijmegen, source: my picture

I have been to the Netherlands for 5 months but during that time I didn't travel much. I wanted to explorer the surroundings of Maastricht by bike and I also visited some cities a few years ago. I like to travel, but I prefer to do sightseeing with friends, as it's more fun than just walking alone. Netherlands is not a big country and it takes about 5 hours to get by train from the south to the north. But trains are not cheap for foreign visitors, so you carefully have to search for special offers. One of them is the "Dagkaart" (Dayticket) that you can buy in some shops from time to time. As regular price of such ticket is 48€, in special offer you can buy it for 13€. As I had such a ticket and it was about to expire I was glad that we agreed on a trip. Let's discover the Netherlands!

[read more ..., total 946 words.]

Visit of Eindhoven on the way back to Maastricht

Detailed description of my flight from Brno to Eindhoven and than my own special Eindhoven city tour and shops sightseeing before taking the train to reach my destination of Maastricht.

I went to Brno on Thursday to make sure I get on the airport on Friday on time and also to visit a friend of mine. We didn't plan to do sightseeing of the city, as I already know it a bit, but just to have a chilled and relaxed day. Actually, for me it was also better to arrive a day earlier to Brno so I had enough time to get to the airport and not miss the plane due to some travel complications.

Brno Airport

Sleeping girl at the airportSleeping girl at the airport, source: my picture

I was a bit worried, that they will cancel my plane as not many people want to travel on Friday the 13th. But for me were most of those Fridays in the past just normal days. Ok, I missed the first tram, but I got at the Airport one hour and 40 minutes before my flight was scheduled Smiley :D I took some photos after crossing a very icy road and then entered the airport. Hm, not many people there, but at the security check funny thing happened. A blond girl, young (about 20 years old I guess) was travelling obviously for the first time only with the hand luggage as I do not have any other explanation. She had in her bag several big bottles of cosmetics like liquid soap, hair spray etc. and the small ones not in a plastic bag. I know that this security rule is a bit strange, but anyway it's a rule. She was very surprised, that the security guy threw her stuff away and put small bottles into separated plastic bag. And of course, a bit latter when I was sitting in the departure hall, she came in and phoned some friend describing him, what such a terrible thing happened to her and she could not understand why. Nice distraction of the day Smiley :D

[read more ..., total 1100 words.]

Second trip back home – Christmas and holidays

As most of the students from Maastricht University, I went home for Christmas leaving Maastricht empty. I used four different means of transport including a rented car. I got home fast and and in a comfortable way.

Goodbye rented carGoodbye rented car, source: my picture

My plane to Brno was scheduled to leave Eindhoven at 8 a.m., in order to check the luggage, we had to be at the airport at 6 a.m. For this purpose we rented a car from, so we didn't have to spent the night somewhere in Eindhoven. At this moment, it's convenient to mention the point, that Airport in Eindhoven is closed from 22 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. According to Google Maps, Airport is located about 90 km from Maastricht, so we decided to leave before 5 a. m., in order to be sure that we have some extra time in case something happens. Why I didn't fly to Prague? Well, it was cheaper to fly to Brno and as I live in Náchod, I am almost indifferent between these two airports.

From Maastricht to Eindhoven

I picked up all my passengers – 3 girls and we left Maastricht at about 5. I was really glad, that we got a big car, because it was comfortable and girls had really big luggages. I put the Airport location as target for GPS navigation on my smartphone, just in case. The way is easy to follow – just drive on highway A2 and after we reach Eindhoven we will follow the signs. After a bit playing with the car computer, I managed to switch on the tempo-mat. The roads were empty, we had time so I decided to save some fuel by setting the speed to 110km/h. We didn't managed to turn off the display of the radio, which was a bit annoying – it was to shiny, but nevertheless the trip was smooth. We talked and I enjoyed driving. We took exit 31, so we could refuel the tank in order to return the car with full tank. I put there 7.55 l, which I expected to be less, as my consumption on the highway was usually 6l/100km or lower. Whatever, not that bad.

[read more ..., total 770 words.]

Trip to Brugge – popular city full of tourists

It's Saturday, ideal time for some travelling. My friends sugessted that Brugge would be nice place to see, to we agreed on trip to Belgium by train. Brugge showed up to be nice city that attracts a lot of tourists.

BruggeBrugge, source: my picture

And and two of mine czech speaking Erasmus friends agreed to meet at the train station at 8 a.m. We couldn't buy the tickets before, because there train people on strike in Belgium. But in the morning looked everything fine. There is really good offer for young people – younger that 26 years – one day return ticket to Belgium costs only 15€, but because it was bought at the cash desk it cost 50 cents more! I do not know why, but next time I will buy at at the automatic machine.

I also met a friend from Canada – I have the Antitrust course with her, and guess what, she also wanted to go to Brugge! I offered her, that she can join us, as I would be more fun. Now we were group of 4 people going to discover Brugge, we had no exact plan, no map but a nice sunny day and open mind. There is no direct train from Maastricht, we first had to go to Liege and there change the train. It was the first surprise and nice begin of today's trip for me.

[read more ..., total 851 words.]

Back from Prague to Maastricht

My 5 days long visit of my home country is at the end. Time to get back to Maastricht to pass my exams and continue with studying. This time I fly and then go by train. Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?

Let's flyLet's fly, source: my picture

The main reason for my short visit of the Czech republic, was my bachelor graduation ceremonial that took place on Wednesday 26th of October 2011 in Prague. Not only I finally got my diploma (I passed the exams on the 14th June) but I also had a chance to meet a few of my friends in my home town Náchod over the weekend and than some of my friends from the Charles University on Wednesday evening and on Thursday morning. The only thing, that a bit ruined the relaxing atmosphere of my visit what the fact that my first exam was scheduled to be on Friday, October 28. But let's move to the description of my journey from Prague to Maastricht.

[read more ..., total 718 words.]