I'm typing this as I sit in one of the lounges of the Stenna Hollandica. If I remember correctly I've already been through all of the details of the ship on my first post so I won't bore you with them again except to say that I have another three course dinner a couple hours in my future. It is currently 15:30 CET and thanks to a cappicino I am currently wide awake despite having a total of ten hours sleep this weekend.
I just finished a rough draft of the paper I have due tomorrow. Well, not completely. I have to add maybe three more paragraphs about empirical studies of the EITC but the papers with the information for that are back in my room. I also have to figure out how to put some graphs into this paper. I'm hoping that won't take long. Writing a paper on the go has been surprisingly easy. I used my iPod and Blackberry depending on which one had more battery power at the time. I'm scared of compiling it all into Word tonight. I have absolutely no idea how many words I have. Likely way too many.
Nijmegen was fantastic. As the train crossed the bridge into the city you get a fantastic view of the whole city. One I got off the train I headed across the street to find the hotel. I had a general sense of where it was. I knew it was to the right of the station so I headed in that direction. A block down the road I saw it... Connected to the train station. So I crossed back across the street and checked in.
The room was very nice. It had a mini bar that had, among other things, canned water which I don't think I'd ever seen before. It had a safe which I appreciated. I always get nervous about leaving my passport somewhere.
As soon as I had finished looking around the room I collapsed on the bed and took a nap before heading out. As much as I wanted to eat at a local place I wanted to get to de Affaire as soon as possible so I had a dinner of Nutri-Grain bars (packing a bunch of those was the greatest idea I've ever had) and I headed off to the festival.
I got a good look at the town as I headed to the festival. It looks like a really great place. There was a lot live music and other festivals going on last night so the whole city was alive.
De Affaire was fantastic. I saw some heavy instrumental band play, then Los Campanos, and finally The Antlers. Everyone was really friendly and helpful and the shows were amazing. I got to stand front row up against the stage for The Antlers which was really awesome. They played a new song and a number of songs from their latest album. I got a few pictures but they aren't the greatest - I decided against bringing the DSLR to the show. In retrospect it would have been fine but I don't regret not bringing it as it made sense at the time. I'm trying to take things in this summer rather than allowing myself to become distracted by taking photographs of everything.
Did I mention that I'm wearing my OBX 2010 shirt right now? Because I totes am.
After the show I eventually headed back to the hotel where I again crashed. I was up at 7:30 so that I could shower, check out, and catch the train back to Hoek van Holland. I had written down how to get back (this trip had a couple quick changes) but some of the platforms and times had just been changed. The woman at the ticket counter was kind enough to print off a time table of my trip for me.
Now I know what you're thinking. I hate interaction. What on earth was I doing at the ticket counter when there are lots of ticket machines. Allow me to explain. The Netherlands is awesome, but their ticket machines suck. They don't recognize American or British debit cards. They don't take Visa. They rarely take coins and only one machine of the probably 50 or so I checked on this trip took cash. That makes no sense! I literally put 20 euro into a machine using 2 euro coins. Ugh.
Anyway, the train ride back to the coast went well and I am not headed back to the UK. Once I finish typing this I'm going to pull out the Lonely Planet guide I bought to plan my next trip. Depending on my exam time Friday my next trip may be as soon as next weekend. Italia here I come!
Well I'm back in London and thought I'd finish this up. The meal was again fantastic, better than the first I think. I mostly sat outside on the deck for the ferry ride. Once we docked I headed to the train station to head home. The ticket office was closed and I couldn't find a ticket machine so once again I was on a train without a ticket. I had a change at Manningtree where I once again couldn't find a way to buy tickets. There was a machine where you could pay as much as you could afford for a please-don't-yell-at-me-for-not-having-a-ticket ticket, but I didn't have any of the right coins so I didn't buy one of those. I eventually made it to Stratford and got off (a station early). I didn't want to get off at Liverpool Street station because you have to go through turnstiles. On the way to the platform you have to feed your ticket through them. I don't know if that's the case for getting off the train but I wasn't about to find out. I rode the tube for what seemed like forever and made it home. Trip over.
As always, there are tons more photos online. Use that link if you want to see them, the set is in chronological order but if you go to my main flickr page they won't be in order. Dumb, I know.
A note about the photos. I haven't posted all of my pictures. Those are the ones which more or less chronicle my trip. I have a bunch more that I might consider a bit more artistic. Those I will be cleaning up a bit and posting sometime later. Probably not until I get back to the US. We'll see.