Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Holy Krabbensplaat! I'm back!

Okay. I have finally got off my duff and done a whole bunch of updates in a row to summarize my European experiences. I thought for a while about organizing it all. But that way lies procrastination. So I'm just gonna do a stream of consciousness series of updates, unorganized as they may end up being.

So first. Amsterdam! Coolest city I ever saw. But first, as an adjunct to my previous post about Amsterdam, here's proof of the made-up language-ness of Dutch:

Hee hee! That just cracks me up! It sounds like Ren of "Ren and Stimpy." "Steek kaart een you stooopid eediot!"

Of all the cities that Lisa and I visited during our stay in Europe, I think Amsterdam was our favorite. You get a bit of everything. Elegant architecture:
The beauty of the canals:

Breathtaking museums, including the Rijksmuseum, which houses a ton of paintings by folks (or is that "volks"?) like Rembrandt and Vermeer:

And of course, kick ASS public transport. Everyone rides bikes because the city is densely populated, compact, and also extremely flat, having formerly been at the bottom of the North Sea. But there's the added convenience of being able to take your doggy with you!

Getting to the city from other major cities in Europe is a breeze, because you can take the Intercity Express, or ICE. Here's what it looks like from the outside:

Here's a shot of the futuristic cockpit. I never really saw anyone "driving" the thing, although one crew member shut himself in to have some lunch.

Which is a bit scary considering the speeds at which the train travels:

That translates to about 180 mph.
Lisa may end up studying her post-graduate linguistics at Amsterdam or at Utrecht, a Dutch city about half-way between Amsterdam and Germany. If that happens, I think it will be okay by me!

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