Články o tématu „Bike”

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.

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SBE Introduction day for Exchange Students

There are a lot of exchange students at School of Business and Economics every year and in order to present the Faculty of the Maastricht University and to provide people with contact with other exchange students, SBE organizes Introduction Day.

My groupMy group, Source: www.facebook.com

As I mentioned in the last article about SBE Master's Introduction Day, I kind of took this introduction day at SBE twice. But I am really glad as each of those two days provided a bit different experience and as a result, I know more and I also had something interesting to do and I met a lot of people. Obviously I made the same mistake twice – I can't find any any pictures of the day, but I definitely took some Smiley :( and there are only a few provided by the University so the description has to be enough.

Introduction day for Exchange students is compulsory – you have to be there to get your Student card and let the UM know that you arrived and also to get all necessary instructions. And you also get a plenty of additional stuff including quite useful student handbook. You can also find it online, but printed version is more handy.

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End of sunny weather – rain attacks

Weather changed. Last few weeks, we had almost summer – warm, no clouds, no wind. Quite an exception for Netherlands, but not any more. Rainy and windy autumn has arrived.

Rain behind the windowRain behind the window, source: my picture

I was really lucky (and everybody here in Maastricht) that the mother nature was so kind to us until now. For about 3 weeks, I could enjoy sun and ride a bike every day without getting wet. I made some bike trips around Maastricht but not to another cities, which I now regret a bit. Today, for the first time, I had to ride my bike in the rain. It's not pleasant, as my fingers and ears are freezing and then I sit in wet clothes in a cold room for several hours. As autumn is there, also wind gets stronger, which makes riding the bike really difficult. Combination of cold, wind and rain is exactly what I dislike.

Somebody told me, that the rain here is usually very strong and short. Well, It seems to be true, but I got really unlucky because it rained only in the time I had to ride on my bike to another part of the town. Great. But I do not want to be complaining only about the weather, because I was aware of that before I came here.

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Maastricht university libraries

Library is a place where students in Maastricht spent their time stuyding, working on group assignments, actually most of them spent there so much time, that the library is their second home. This topic definetelly deserves a few more notes from my side.

There are two libraries where the most of the studnets of Maastricht University spent their time – Inner city library (close to the School of business and economics and Law faculty) and Randwyck library (Health faculty). As I take part in experiment taking place in Health faculty, I also spent more time in the library there, as it makes no sence to bike somewhere else to spent my time.

Library there get's really full after first block of lecutres – at 10:30. Since than until about 4 o'clock, it's not that easy to find a free place to sit. As everybody has a laptop and connect to internet via Wifi, the network is either very slow or it's almost impossible to get any connection to internet. I even have problems to connect to university website with portal containing course materials. That's annoying, but I cannot do anything about that, only prepare for that.

As there are a lot of students, it's obvious that everybody needs to do something else, has different wishes for study enviroment and to satisfy this demand there are some rules and also specific premises. Spending whole days in the library is quite common here.

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Exploring Maastricht – my first days

City of Maastricht in Netherlands become a place, where I will spent next months. It's time to explore the neighbourhood and the city itself. We are lucky about the weather, so we have spent in the town not only the day, but we were also curious what the city looks like in the night.

Maastricht – right shore of MaasMaastricht – right shore of Maas, source: my picture

We arrived on Saturday afternoon, when we also made the first visit of the city. Maastricht's population is about 120 000, which is not that much actually, but the city is believed to be the oldest town in the Netherlands. It lies on the river Maas, so there are 5 bridges over the river. Two of them are for everybody also for cars in both directions, two are for bicycles and pedestrians only and one has restricted traffic. The oldest bridge is now in reconstruction. River itself is quite big, bigger than Moldau in Prag I would say. I also see quite a lot of ships there, so the river is used for transport.

I like historical places and the historical buildings all over the city are amazing! There are two main squares – Market and Vrijthof. Vrijthof is often used for concerts and festivals, there are every Wednesday and Friday markets on the Market. Smiley :D How convinient name for ths place in the city centre. There are also a lot of churches in Maastricht, but some of them are used for non religion purposes – like bookstore, kindergarden or place for celebrations. Quite a good idea, because the building itself is kept in a historical condition and the place itself is used very often by everyone.

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