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1 June 2007 - Amsterdam, Part Deux

Posted by admin on June 1, 2007

I returned to Amsterdam this past Friday to spend the day hanging out with several ISU students who are studying in Mannheim, Germany for part of the summer. One of the students, Jesse, is a fellow FarmHouse Fraternity brother.

The ISU crowd arrived in Amsterdam early in the afternoon. I met the six of them at Centraal station and we tried to decide what sights we wanted to see. Our first destination was the Anne Frank house. When we got there the line was out the door, down the block, rounding the corner, and a third of the way up the next block. We decided that the line was too long and the ISU students might try again Saturday morning (I didn't join them on Saturday since I had schoolwork to get done).

The next item on our list was the Heineken experience at the former brewery in Amsterdam (I believe that it stopped production in the late 80's). Some parts of the tour were rather cheesy, such as the "be a coachman" room where you could somehow attempt to experience what it was like to drive a team of horses through the streets of Amsterdam. One cool section of the tour was when we got to try the wort (that's what the mixture is called before it's fermented into beer). It was very sweet since the sugars handn't been broken down into alcohol yet. And strangely enough, I liked it better than the actual Heineken beer. At the end of the tour each person gets a Heineken bottle opener, which is actually rather neat. I like functional souveniers, so this ranks above the Guinness desk ornament from last weekend.

It was dinnertime by the time we finished the Heineken experience so we found a restaurant on our way back towards the train station. This place's burgers made McDonald's look gourmet. I looked at the patty after taking a bite (key mistake) and saw that the "meat" looked like some sort of continuous matter; nothing like ground beef is supposed to look like. Luckily the company was good so dinner wasn't entirely lame.

After some more wandering in Amsterdam on the way back to the train station we came back to Delft and went out to one of the street cafes before calling it a day. The ISU students were pretty tired by the time it was all said and done, and I imagine that 8 am came too early for them Saturday morning. On Saturday morning I helped them find their way back to the Delft train station so that they could get on their way back to Amsterdam for day 2. Once we got to the train station I returned home so that I could work on studying for my exams later this month.

I'm down to my last 4 days of classes. This 4th quarter has flown by ridiculously fast! It seems like last week was Easter and the first day of the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, the end of the semester means that it's exam season, and I've got 5 to take. They're spread out over two weeks, but by "spread out" I mean that the first four are during week 1 and the last one is during week 2. At least that means that the majority of my work will be done by noon on June 22nd. I'll have nearly a week after that to study for my remaining exam, and I don't think that it will be hard one, either.

Take care, everyone, and I'll hopefully be able to find some time to get more travel stories posted in the coming weeks.