January 9, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

By Nate Wybenga

On today’s excursion we explored the region of Randstad by train.  After driving a couple of hours south of our home in Broek, we were set free to explore the country by railway.  We were paired off into “train buddies” and with instructions traveled 111 kilometers, getting off at various cities along the way.  It was really neat to explore several cities and be able to see how different regions have developed.  In Rotterdam the downtown is very similar to large cities in the US.  Back in WWII, Rotterdam was nearly completely destroyed by the Germans.  This meant that after the war the city needed to be nearly completely rebuilt.  Thus, the buildings are very large and modern as compared to the history architecture of Amsterdam (a city nearly completely intact after WWII). 

Another neat part of the excursion was learning how to use the train system.  Travel by train is so convenient in the Netherlands, and as it will be a means of transportation for our free weekends, it is important that we understand the system.  Many of the train stations are impressive themselves, and some even have multilevel train tracks.

We all met up again late afternoon in the town of Weesp.  We then went grocery shopping as a group and returned home for dinner.  In the evening we had our briefing for our next day’s trip to visit “Polder” landscapes.

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Leiden Central Station

 

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An example of the modern skyscrapers found in some of the more modern cities

 

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A church in our final train destination, Weesp

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