Day 10 – Ben Spotts

Today we made it to the Netherlands! I’m posting a little late since I wanted to get some pictures from my peers to post. The train ride was quite eventful; we had three stops and had to hurry to our connections! It is crazy to me that this such thing is normal here with travel. I’m used to just piling into the car and road tripping when we go to different states (not far enough to fly). I would not like the inconvenience of the waiting, and I enjoy driving too much. I find this as a difference in culture. Americans mostly all have cars, as they are a necessity. But many Europeans do not have them since they mostly use public transport. I would rather have a car, but that often is not smart for people here. The subways and trains are very well developed so that it is not a necessity. Also, depending on the country, obtaining a drivers license may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars (including training and testing fees). Because of this, if the public transportation can work, the price of a license, vehicle, and other associated expenses do not make sense. 

Once we arrived in Rotterdam, we had a food tour. Our guide, Rob, was great and shared many stories regarding Rotterdam’s history. The entire city (except for approximately three buildings) was flattened from German bombings during the second world war. Therefore, much of the city os modern in styling. This was interesting, because the German cities that were bombed (München, for example) replicated the old structures during the rebuilding process. I think taking the chance to modernize is good, but I cannot help but fear losing the roots of the city and it’s culture. To maintain this, there were some sculptures and memorials but they were hard to spot. Overall, the city was well laid out and a great place. Plus, the people spoke great English! I’m excited for tomorrow’s events:)