Planes, trains and pedal power…

We may have only been in the Dutch province of Friesland for a week but what a week it has been. Introduction week threw us in the deep end but we will get to that later. First let us introduce ourselves and explain a bit about where we are and why we are here.

We are Danielle and Ivy, two 3rd year Marine Science students from SAMS UHI and for the next 6 months we have enrolled in an erasmus exchange to the Hogeschool Van Hal Larenstein. Whilst here we will be studying a minor called ‘Sustainable Island Management’ within the Coastal Zone Management Course. The university is located in Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland. Located in the north of the Netherlands, Friesland is a small but patriotic province, with their own flag and language.

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Off on our travels!

After a very short flight we landed in Schiphol, and went to catch our direct 2 hour train to Leeuwarden- which we soon discovered that due to Sunday constructions was going to be a a manic journey consisting of a train, bus and another train (maybe this wasn’t going to be so unlike home after all). The only thing which distracted us from the fuss of hauling our bags across the country, was the discovery of double-decker trains. As we sped along, one thing was for certain… this country was very flat.

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The view out of the train window, Glencoe? Ben Nevis? Hello?

Eventually we arrived in Leeuwarden and settled in to our new flat, all we wanted to do was go to bed, but our grumbling tummies forced us out for an evening of exploration.

The smell of food lured us down to a canal side restaurant, and with the help of a lovely waiter (who we asked to pick anything off the dutch menu) finally got some food in us- even if we weren’t 100% sure what we were eating.

Chatting, eating and and an early night welcomed us, little did we know about the crazy week which was about to unfurl in front of us….

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Until next time
Ivy and Danielle x

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