Notes from the Netherlands

Notes from the Netherlands #5

Note from the Netherlands

Notes from the Netherlands is my feature where I discuss my time studying at Leiden University. I want to blog about this amazing experience as much as I can!

It’s been a little while since I last blogged about this. Since I last shared my experiences with you at the beginning of the month, a lot has happened!
  • 3rd October was ‘Leidens Ontzet’, which is a big celebration every year to mark the occasion that the Spanish siege of the city was stopped. It basically means a HUGE two day city-wide party and fairground. Rides and food stalls everywhere in the streets – it was impossible to cycle, let alone drive, through the streets because of the crowds. The festivities started on 2nd October, and we spent that day wandering around the fairground. My friends seemed to rather enjoy the skeeball… and I spent 20€ on an archery game to win stuffed toys. GUYS I FELT LIKE KATNISS. Except, you know, a lot less skilled.
  • Just a rollercoaster in the middle of the main square, as you do.

    Just a rollercoaster in the middle of the main square, as you do.

  • That evening we ended up at a party on a boat (AMAZING) and then trying (and failing) to get into other parties. Too busy! So we ended up eating currywurst and going on the dodgems at 2am, which was also super fun!
  • 3rd October was a later start, to recover from the night before, and we went to watch the ‘Polstokverspringen’, which basically involved people trying to pole vault over one of the canals. Three of my friends signed up, and it was amazing to watch! Then there were fireworks later that evening (and lots of alcohol…)
  • Leidens Ontzet at night.

    Leidens Ontzet at night.

  • My grandparents came to visit for a weekend halfway through the month, and it was lovely to see them again. I cooked them a meal one evening, which was certainly a challenge in my little student kitchen with few facilities! We went to visit Delft one day, a pretty place that reminded me a lot of Leiden – much more than somewhere like Rotterdam.
  • Once they’d gone home, it was pretty much just revision revision revision for nearly two weeks. My Archaeological Theory exam was HORRIBLE and I’m convinced I’ll have to resit, but we’ll see. Museum History went a lot better I think. BUT EXAMS ARE ALL DONE NOW YESSSSS
  • Me and some of my friends went to a museums conference (‘for experts’ apparently!) which was really fascinating. They also provided free food and drink afterwards, which is always a bonus. There were also free drinks at the archaeology faculty an hour later so… we made the most of both situations.
  • Wednesday night was a big celebration since we’d all finished. Our usual spot until 2am, then onto one of the societies until 4.30 or so. I didn’t get home until nearly 6am, and it was wonderful to be able to lie in and not worry about wasting time. I’ve spent the last few days being lazy and doing whatever I want: watching TV shows, reading, playing games – although I need to write my thesis proposal some time today… Just want to relax before lectures start again on Monday.
  • I’ve also found a love for the gym. I’ve been trying to go most days and I’ve kept up with it, until now! I haven’t gone since Tuesday (it’s Saturday as I’m writing this), but I’ll be starting again tomorrow or Monday. I feel really great after each session and I need to get healthier.

I’m finding balancing blogging and all this a little more difficult than I thought, but that’s probably because exam season has just finished. I’m sorry I haven’t been commenting on your blogs too, hopefully I’ll find some time soon.


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