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Archive for the ‘The Netherlands’ Category

My Fiets: the Batavus Entrada Spirit

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The Dutch love their fietsen, or bicycles. It’s been said that there are more bikes than people in the Netherlands (around 16 million), and with nearly 85% of the population owning bikes, it’s certainly a biking culture… No wonder that I became infatuated with Dutch bikes during my study abroad in Delft. 😉

When I moved to California, I decided that it was time to get a decent bike that I could use to commute to work during the week and for rides along the beach on the weekends. After my experience in Holland, I knew that a Dutch bike would fit the bill perfectly… You sit high on a them, which allows you to see over traffic. The splash and chain guards keep you clean in your work clothes, and the front and rear lights help keep you safe when riding in the dark. I ultimately went with the 7-speed Delft Blue Batavus Entrada Spirit – it has all of the above “Dutch features,” in addition to internal gears and rollerbrakes, a dynamo that powers the front light, a built-in rear wheel lock, a rack to carry groceries (and sometimes friends who need a lift), and of course a bell. Also, for Christmas I got a nifty little Cateye Micro Wireless bike computer and have since logged 238.4 miles.

Yes, I’m quite fond of my fiets, and since it’s my main means of transportation now, I figured it was worth a post on the ol’ blog. Now I just need a Breakfast Machine like Pee Wee, and I’ll be all set…

My Fiets: a Delft Blue Batavus Entrada Spirit.And again...No Dutch bike would be complete without a bell (that I've been known to ring liberally on occasion).

Winter in Delft

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

The student life has kept me busy throughout December finishing up work for my classes. As such, I haven’t had much time to update my blog, and with three days left until Christmas, I’m going to have to postpone the finale of Eurotrip II until I return from Eurotrip III. I leave tomorrow for Germany to spend Christmas with Carsten and his family in Leipzig. After that I head to Munich to visit Verena and witness Andi and Huyen’s wedding. And after that, I fly to Spain for New Years to visit Ramón in Madrid and Bakio.

Today presented Delft residents with the perfect winter photo op. It was really beautiful, so before I leave again, I wanted to share some photos and a video. Have a very prettig kerstfeest en een gelukkig nieuwjaar (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year)!!

Delft’s 600-year-old Oostpoort (Eastern Gate).

A partially frozen canal.

The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church).

Delft’s Christmas tree in the city center, in front of the City Hall.

The Oude Kerk from the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk.

Rotterdam Q-Santa-Run

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Yesterday was the Q-Santa-Run in Rotterdam, where 2,000 people dressed up as santa and ran a 5K. Naomi, Alex, and I ran the race decked out in the provided santa suits; the hardest part surprisingly involved staying warm and managing to run with the oversized santa pants. 😮

2,000 santas ready to run a 5K.

Alex, me, and Naomi after the race.

A festive winter scene near the finish line.

Sinterklaas

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

There are Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes) everywhere, and that can only mean one thing: Happy Sinterklaas Eve! Today’s the traditional day for giving presents in the Netherlands, and we plan to celebrate it by cooking up a feast of potatoes, sausage, bread, cheese, and stroopwafels.

Home Sweet Delft

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

After Bruges, all that separated us from Delft were three more train connections, including another “impossible” connection in Ghent. Calling upon our skills learned on the way to Gimmelwald, we caught all three.

Eurotrip I officially ended once we made it back to the apartment on October 6. John and I spent nearly the entire time from Bruges to Delft reminiscing about our 11-day journey, and we both agree that it couldn’t have been much better.

Back in Holland.

Inspiring graffiti outside the Delft train station.