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The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague

The Netherlands far exceeded our expectations and is, according to Dan, his favourite country in Europe and the “only one he could live in.” The country is simultaneously modern and historical, while being extremely organized and efficient. And it’s not just one city; the whole country is like that. My only dislike of the infrastructure design would be the insane crosswalks throughout the country: crosswalks often consist of two or three portions crossing bike lanes (which are everywhere, not surprisingly, and mopeds are allowed to use them!!), tram lines, and car lanes. Continue reading

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Entering Continental Europe via the Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel is one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Modern World’ selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It connects the UK to continental Europe. I remember thinking: wow, you can drive across the English Channel. Of course, being in England and on our way to Belgium, we wanted to go across the Channel Tunnel. The high-speed train is the obvious choice, until you see ticket prices. We went with Megabus (a coach bus company) and expected it would take the ferry and we would miss the tunnel altogether. So, when we arrived at the Channel Tunnel Border Crossing we were slightly surprised, a little excited and vastly disappointed. There was a train stuck in one of the tunnels and we had a minimum three hour wait ahead of us. Continue reading