Day 11 – Ben Spotts

Today was a very active day, since we had our bike tour! We got to ride through a section of the port of Rotterdam, amounting to approximately 10 miles. It was great seeing the city from the bicycle. I felt as if I were practicing some of their culture as a high percentage of the Dutch use bicycles as their main mode of transportation. Prof. Tanoos showed some of us where thousands of bikes are stored for the city’s residents. 

Before we did this, a smaller group of us went to see The Hague. What was interesting is that we saw some of there politicians (who were the Netherlands’ equivalent to cabinet members), and they had limited to zero security! We all thought this was astounding, as our government is much more protective of our public officials. We also went to an art museum, and saw a painting worth 80 million dollars (I was scared to even sneeze). 

We had to evening to ourselves. Some chose to stay in Rotterdam to watch the big soccer match, but four of us decided to catch a train to Amsterdam. I’m glad we went, because Amsterdam is the most beautiful city I have been to. The buildings all had the nice old styling, and we got to see the Royal Palace. The whole city was breathtaking; my friends needed to drag me away from the scenery to finally eat something. I completely forgot about dinner, thankfully they did not! Since only four of us went during free time, we had to navigate ourselves. I liked this part once we put together a plan. Using public transportation is like a puzzle: we need to put together pieces of different modes to get us to our destination. I enjoyed connecting the dots on our journey, and now I understand the convenience of it. I’m used to just being able to drive everywhere I go, but public transportation eliminates the need for parking and the annoyance of traffic. I still prefer my cars, but now that I understand more about getting around this way I like it as well. Tomorrow is our last day, and I’m hoping it’s a great finale!