Články o tématu „Historical place”

Trip to Amsterdam and Queensday

Monday, April 30 is designated to national holiday called Queensday. The whole country goes nuts, everybody dress in orange, drink and enjoy themselves. I used the long weekend to visit my friend in Amsterdam and spend the Queensday there.

I AmsterdamI Amsterdam, source: my picture

I was in Amsterdam in July 2008, but to be honest, I do not remember much. I made a lot of pictures, because I had my camera for a short time and was really excited. I don't remember any more, where we stayed, just that the weather was not so good and I liked the bridges and canals in the city. That was 4 years ago, now I have been in the Netherlands since September 2011 (I went back to the Czech Republic three times) and I haven't been in Amsterdam. I postponed my visit until Katka (my fellow student from Charles University) went there for Erasmus exchange so I have a place to stay, a guide but mostly someone to walk thought the city and spend the time with. I planned my visit for long weekend including the Queensday. In 2012 it's celebrated on Monday, April 30. So let's go to Amsterdam!

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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
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The best Carnival? In Maastricht!

Carnival - special event when people dress up into funny and colourful costumes, drink and have fun. Exactly this happens in Maastricht every year and as I am here, I could not miss it. I experienced something incredibly cool and atmosphere in the whole city was just fabulous.

Carnival in MaastrichtCarnival in Maastricht, source: my picture

I was never a big fan of Carnival as I never had a reason to be. Maastricht is famous for holding up to the tradition so the only thing you can do to avoid Carnival is to get out of the city. Not my case. I was curious what it's gonna be. As I reported in November in article The beginning of the Carneval season, the Carnival in Maastricht changes the city. Really. And it was just a small introduction in November compared to current event. Preparations took several days – shops with big show windows put wooden boards for protection, different stuff coloured green-yellow-red decorated in the whole city. But what you could not see were the preparations made by the people – they created costumes, masks and carnival vehicles. I invited a friend who is now for exchange in Brussels to see it and she came with 5 other friends which was awesome. Happiness is real when shared Smiley :) So let's have fun!

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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!

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ESN – Maastricht City Tour, dinner and beer

City tour in Maastricht organized by Erasmus Student Network (ESN) from the Maastricht University, is one of the first action provided for the exchange students in order to organize some activity for them before the school starts.

Coctail bar DavidCoctail bar David, source: my picture

After INKOM 2011 when I spent my time with regular master students I was interested about events for Erasmus students in Maastricht if there were any. I did a bit of search and found website of Erasmus Student Network in MaastrichtESN Maastricht. This organization helps incoming exchange students and also prepares some events so those people who are new to the Maastricht University would not feel lonely and can enjoy their exchange semester. Of course anybody can join and have fun, events are not limited only for exchange students. Regular students are also new to Maastricht and not everybody joined INKOM so discovering city with group of international students is great idea in my opinion. There are of course Introduction days for regular students as well as for exchange students, but it's a bit different and I will write later about that.

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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

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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.

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The beginning of the Carneval season

Today is Friday the eleventh of November and it means, that this year's Carneval season is about to start. Netherlands is quite popular with that, so let's have a look what the fuss is all about. Isn't it all just about opportunity to get drunk?

CarnevalCarneval, source: my picture

Today is for some people special, because someone could think, that today's date is magical. Well, It looks nice I must admit that. But I am now in Maastricht and for people in the Netherlands is today also the beginning of the Carneval season. The official start was announced to be at 11:11 on 11. 11. 2011. Here in Maastricht is the central place Vrijthof, so this is also the place which was prepared for this event. How prepared? There is a big stage, kioks with beer, toilets and also fence all around.

I was not sure, what I should expect and I also didn't want to be there alone, so I met there my Czech speaking friends and we went to the Carneval together. I didn't have any costume, shame on me, but I was just curious. My housemate warned me, that I didn't want to be there, because everybody is drunk there. Well, I am in Maastricht and Limburg people are crazy about carnevals, so I definitely have to see this. When I rode my bike to the city centre, I saw a lot of people heading from the Central train station to the city centre and everybody had a costume. I parked my bike at the library and walked to our meeting point.

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