Tuesday, March 31, 2009

More Surfers / Cologne weekend / more CS wall items

First I had some awesome CouchSurfers from Ireland, Yaz and Laura, and they were an absolute pleasure to host. They did my best to help my Irish pronounciation, but I just kept sounding like a scot, apparently, but Yaz did say I was "in the ballpark". For my CouchSurfing wall they left me a leprechaun and one of their cds, since they're also travelling musicians. (which I've yet to listen to.)

Yaz and Laura struggling with my keyboard

Unfortunately I left them a bit earlier than planned, as I had school in the morning and after that I started biking to Cologne. However, I had only the night before posted in the Cologne group that I needed a couch there. Usually I send individual requests but this was a last minute decision, after someone at the last Rotterdam meeting challenged me to learn Cologne dialect!
Here is where things got a little crazy.

First I took the train from Rotterdam to Blerick, where my bike was.
Next I biked to Moenchengladbach
I took the wrong path down to Immerath
When I realized just how lost I was, I biked to the nearest trainstation in Erkelenz
I called my friend, and found out I had a couch in Merzenich
So I took the train there.
The next day I took the same train back to Erkelenz
From where I biked on to Merzenich
I then (Saturday) took the train to Koeln, and the same train back to Merzenich on Monday.
From here I biked to Maastricht, where I took the train back to Leiden

All in all though, I had a great weekend, with both my hosts being really awesome. Especially Sarah, who was extremely helpful in my quest to learn koelsch.The last day was also extremely great because it had amazing weather. I biked from around ten in the morning to six in the evening across three countries, and saw many awesome things along the way.

This chapel outside Kerkrade is one of the amazing things I've seen

Finally, a bunch of new items added to the couchsurfing wall. I will edit this post when I've photographed the last two of them.

EDIT: Here they are:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Leiden March Monthly\ lots of couchsurfers

March's Monthly was a big success with over 20 people showing up to create a great atmosphere. This included my two surfers, Alex from Colorado, and Emilia from Finland (currently au pairing in Dordrecht though) It's pretty much proven that De linkse kerk is a great place for our meetings. The staff is friendly, we're easy to find because we take over the whole pub, they sell tasty drinks and there is free internet.

My camera was set to a weird setting but this is the meet

More pictures of the meet

It was quite the busy week for me in terms of couchsurfers aswell, because before Alex and Emilia, there were Christopher and his friend, who was taking a final trip before returning to the us after more than a year
Christopher had just had a blue slushie

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Surfers and new CouchSurfing Wall item.

A medical conference here in Leiden has been sending a few CouchSurfers my way, including tow polish gentlemen who stayed here last night. Artur and his friend were great surfers, who left me a bottle of Polish vodka. I'm still not entirely sure about consuming it, but I've at least put the awesome label from the bottle on my CouchSurfing wall.

Me, Polish surfers, and a bottle of zubrowka


I've done a lot of biking these past months (>1000 km) And on Monday I got busy again, basically to see how easy it would be to find/access the airport of Weeze by bike, since I'm flying from there to Norway end of April. (for only 22 euros!) Of course on the way I took some nice pictures!

Darn Germans, imposing speed limits on my tank!

Rotterdam Weekly/Delft Monthly/ Utrecht Spanish meeting

I'm not really going to blog about every meeting I go to anymore, since there are only so many times you can write a blog about the same weekly meeting, but here is my account of three meetings I went to three days in a row. Last week there was the weekly Rotterdam meeting on Tuesday, which was great, especially because of a really funny guy from Hong Kong. Then next day was the first time I actually ventured into Delft (I'd been at the trainstation getting into a car to transport a couch once, but that's it.) and found myself welcomed at the Delft monthly meeting, where I finally got to tell Lukas about how my hitchhiking trip (as he'd been a valuable source of information on hitchhiking). Finally I decided that since I'm taking spanish as an elective it would be neat to show up for one of the spanish speaking meetings they have in utrecht, and I promised Tim once I'd attend one many many months ago.

A bunch of us at the Delft Monthly