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Thursday, September 25, 2008

More European vacation:

So after I took my little trip to Frankfurt, I flew to Amsterdam and met Dan at the airport. It took a while to find him since the Amsterdam airport is HUGE. It has a mall attached to it and could have its own zip code.

We finally found each other and headed straight for the train station to go to Rotterdam. Dan had been in Amsterdam for a couple of days and now we were headed to Rotterdam for his conference.

On our train trip, we saw this lovely windmill in the distance:


Our train went through Den Hagg, which is what we would call The Hague, the center of international justice and law. The bicycle parking lot that we saw from the train was great. However, it was not the biggest one we saw.

Everyone bicycles in the Netherlands. I mean everyone. There are more bicycles than people in the country. The entire country is flat and the cities are fairly compact. Everyone at every stage of life uses a bicycle as their primary means of transportation. Babies ride on their parents in a papoose (e.g. Baby Bjorn) until they can hold up their own heads. Then they transition to a little baby seat on the front or back of the bike. I loved it.

More bicycles! And no one wears helmets. They don't have to really, because cyclists have the right of way and designated bike lanes in Rotterdam.

There's a distinct hierarchy of transportation in the country, but Rotterdam in particular. First, pedestrians have the priority, then cyclists, then small motorized vehicles (scooters, etc.) then cars. Cars always stopped for pedestrians and bikes, and never got mad at them. More on that later.

2 comments:

Amy said...

I can't wait to hear more. Your trip sounds fab.

The Musician said...

I remember the bikes! I was amazed to watch women in dresses and high heels, pedal through the streets on their cell phones!