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A Dutch, and then some, Treat: In Photos

Sixteen Notre Dame College faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the College traveled eight hours across the Atlantic for eight days in Belgium, the Netherlands—where they called on an international alum—and Germany as part of the 2015 academic educational travel program.

This slideshow of photos, courtesy mostly of student Courtney Chambers, truly makes for an, albeit, retrospective Dutch—and then some—treat.

 

Danke Schoen, Darling, Danke Schoen...

Danke schoen, ACIS, for those handy breakfast boxes. That German Capri Sun almost took the edge off of getting up so early for the long flight to Newark. 

Danke schoen, Marcus, for another wonderful tour. We hope to see you soon. Whenever we do, we know things will, again, be nothing short of "wunderbar!"

Danke schoen to everyone that works at the Berlin airport. Who knew customs officers could be so nice?!

Ich Bin Ein Berliner

"All—all free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'" These words, by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, were on the minds of many in our group today as we embarked on a whirlwind tour of WW2 history sites. 

Willkommen! -or- Say It Ain't Snow!

We started our day on ICE—the Inter-City Express—from Hamburg to Berlin. Per usual, we hit the ground running once we arrived to the capital and largest city in Germany. 

The group enjoyed lunch at local cafés (Who knew Berlin would have such stellar Vietnamese food??) before braving the city's metro (subway) system for the Reichstag. 

Guten Tag. Hash Tag.

Our long bus ride this morning was rife with rainy skies and cars zooming past us on the Autobahn. #solongamsterdam #heytheregermany

We stopped for fuel at a gas station and rest area near Bremen, where some of our group enjoyed our first hamburger on the way to Hamburgat a Burger King. #classyamericantourists #holdthepickles #holdthelettuce

Little Town, It's a Quiet Village...

...every day...like the one before. Little town, full of little people, waking up to say... Hello! Hello! Hello, hello, hello!

<Blogger's Note: Yep, "hello" in Dutch is typically just "hello." Not quite the same punch as that Disney intro; apologies.>

A Day At the Museum

Though the weather is still cooperating for us (just a brief shower this afternoon), today was spent mostly inside for touring the best that Amsterdam has to offer.

Medieval-era traveler Ibn Battuta said, "Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." There are no truer words for today; the sights left us speechless, slack-jawed and more than a little reverent—but we'll be telling friends and family about all we did today for years to come. 

A Grand Dam Time

One would never guess, today, that Amsterdam was founded as a small fishing village in the 12th century.

Now the capital and most populated city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is full of hustle and bustleand lots of dam bicycles! Truly, there are over 600,000 bicycles in the city. Where we have parking garages, they have bike decks. While we look both ways so as not to interfere with auto traffic, they risk life and limb at the turn of each street corner. Those dam cyclists take no prisoners!

Blondes Have More Fun

Many call Bruges the "Venice of the North." One walk through winding cobblestone streets, one glance up at the tower of city hall and especially one boatride on a canal later... and many in our group feel the same.

Known for lace, medieval architecture, chocolate (no, we still haven't had our fill) and Stella Artois (Blonde #1), Bruges has cast her spell. 

Waffles, and Chocolates, and Kriek! Oh, my!

Rudyard Kipling once said, "The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it." If this is the case, this group of Notre Dame College globetrotters thinks that Belgium is pretty, well, sweet. 

We left frigid Cleveland, Ohio, on the morning of Thursday, February 26, and landed in Newark, New Jersey—basking in the balmy 21-degree weather. Our group of 16 settled into a layover lounge reserved for McLeod, enjoyed snacks and sat wondering what we'd forgotten to pack (an umbrella, in my case—well, NOT in my case!).