Amsterdam/Prague Day 1 by Brett Barnard

Our first (technically our second) day of La Lu Prague was incredibly eventful, and bore a rather unexpected fruit. Due to a slight delay in our original flight from Chicago, we were detained in Amsterdam for an additional twelve hours, forcing us to alter our plans. However, always being the opportunists, we saw this incident to be an opportunity rather than a hindrance and chose to see some of the sights and enjoy some of what the Netherlands had to offer.

We started our adventure by touring the city on foot and viewing some of the more notable of elements within Amsterdam’s culture, including a replica sailing ship which was built solely for the purpose of providing employment to Dutch workers, and an entire line of houses built on the water. Among other fascinating facts, we learned the truth about the construction of Dutch dikes (not all of them are saltwater), and discovered that large buildings in cities such as Amsterdam require special winches installed on the outside to assist in moving large pieces of furniture to the upper floors. We then enjoyed some tasty Dutch French Fries (served with mayonnaise), took a cruise along the river (a great way for 20+ jet lagged Americans to catch some sleep) and finally boarded our flight to Prague, arriving at roughly 11pm Prague time (6pm Chi-town).

I personally found my favorite part of this trip thus far to be our experiences during our travels through Amsterdam. The one thing I found to be the most amazing during today’s excursions were the attitudes and personalities of the Dutch people we encountered. Everyone we ran across, from the servers at the airport coffee stand, to the people at customs, to various pedestrians we asked for directions, were some of the nicest, friendliest people I have ever encountered during my lifetime. I can say without a moment’s hesitation that the widespread warm welcomes instituted towards us by the Dutch people have yet to show themselves back home in the United States. This is something that I surely want to bring back with me, and spread out as much as I possibly can.

Despite the delay at the beginning, I have to say this trip has started off with a smashing success, and I have high expectations for the rest.

In the days to come, I shall blog about bone-churches AND operas AND Kutna Hora, oh, my! I can tell you this, regardless of what we see, it’s going to be fun, fun, fun!

Nashledanou!

Brett Barnard
Class of 2013

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