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University Groningen, the Netherlands

Blog entry 4 - Winter is coming…

Wed, 18 Nov 2015 | Universität Groningen

The first term is already over - incredible how fast time flies by when you have a lot of work to do and you gain new impressions all the time. The exam period is over and I could enjoy my reclaimed free time in Friesland with a good friend. So, I could gain an insight into the Frisian family life and simply relax with a hot Chocomel. The warm and cordial way, with which I was greeted and also said goodbye with, has made a lasting impression on me. To be honest, I don't want to think about leaving the Netherlands. Even if there are still 3 months left, I know exactly that I could already start to count the days. But there is no time to mope! I would rather tell you something about my exciting student life:

The fact that Groningen with its 200.000 inhabitants even has a small airport is quite remarkable and who can refuse such an unbelievable offer: a flight to Gdansk for 10 Euro and 20 Euro there and back, respectively!  That's exactly why I sat relatively spontaneously with a good friend in the "vliegtuig" to Gdansk after our exam period. Unfortunately, the weather was really bad, but nevertheless we spent four awesome days in Gdansk, Sopot and Gdynia. Gdansk is a cute town with many impressive buildings, winding alleys and cute bakeries, whereas Gdynia’s harbor (see picture) is much lovelier, rather than its working-class districts and industrial zones. Since it was Independence Day, our host advised us not to spend this day in Gdansk, as many hooligans and right-wing radicals are trolling the streets. Sopot impressed me and my friend especially at night, because we were able to see the numerous lanterns that were floating on the sea.

Besides the cultural sightseeing we decided on Friday the 13th to take the train to the peninsula HEL, which has a beautiful sandy beach and endless hiking trails. But maybe you shouldn't go there in November for hiking, because in fall, there blows a really nasty wind in Poland and the temperatures are not pleasant anymore. It was one of my craziest week trips, but it was definitely worth it!

Gdansk said goodbye with a wonderful rainbow and Groningen greeted us with rainy weather. :) Welcome back to the Netherlands!

Slowly, it is notable that winter and Christmas time is soon to come, because the whole city is already decorated for Christmas. The Dutch celebrate Christmas already on 5. December with Sinterklaas and the zwarte Piet. In the Netherlands there are no real Christmas cookies (apart from the Pepernoots), but Pepernoots come in about 20 different varieties. Whether coated with chocolate, Irish coffee, forest fruit, Stroop waffle or strawberry, I am sure that there is something for everyone. I'm definitely addicted to it!

On Sinterklaas day there will also be a small parade in the city center and I am already very curious how my pre-Christmas time in Groningen will be. This weekend I will go to Belgium to the city of Gent. So to speak I switch from pepper notes to finest Belgian chocolate. I am curious!

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