Day trip to Nijmegen!

Trip Start Sep 11, 2008
Trip End Dec 19, 2008

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Flag of Netherlands  , Gelderland,
Thursday, September 18, 2008

                Before my trip to Amsterdam, Amanda and I took a quick day trip to Nijmegen to explore another city in the Netherlands.  It only takes about an hour on the bus, so it made for a perfect day trip!

                We had such a nice day there!  Again, we got really lucky with the weather-it was super sunny all day!  We didn't really know anything about the city-we just decided to go there and explore the town.  Little did we know that it is Holland's oldest city and was the first to be taken over by the Nazi's in World War II.  So, you can only imagine the kind of history that it has there!  There's a whole street there that wasn't bombed in the war, so it was really cool to walk down it and see all the original buildings.  There's also a bunch of castle ruins and towers from the 12th century and 15th century just spread out in different parks throughout the city.  Amanda and I got to climb up a tower from 1420 that this artist now owns and he runs an art studio out of it-it was so cool and we got a great view of the city from there!  We also saw the castle ruins in another beautiful park from 1150.  It always blows my mind to see anything that old because that was waaay before Columbus even sailed the ocean blue...
                One of the coolest places in the city is the cathedral and the marketplace right next to it.  It is really interesting to see the difference in the architecture between Holland, Italy and Spain (I would say and the rest of Europe, but I haven't seen it all yet!) because a few of the buildings in the marketplace are from the 1600s.  So, from what I saw, the architecture there is pretty dark and heavy-with lots of dark red and black stripes and lots of big, metal black bars and heavy shutters over the windows (and of course, everything's brick). 

                Anyway, it was a really cool little city and a nice day over all!  Hopefully I'll get the chance to see other cities in the Netherlands before I go...
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