It was 31st of January 2012, the time when I landed in the land of Europe for the very first time. It was the Netherlands, to be exact. Along with 30 kg of luggage, I tried to sweep the winter chill away. Although I was already prepared with the long winter coat and winter boots, but still it was indeed a shocking experience. Especially due to the temperature in Indonesia always ranging from 20 to 39 degrees Celsius, and meanwhile the temperature in the Netherlands at that time was minus 20 degrees Celsius! So, I might experience the temperature differences almost 40 degrees! Bzzzzt..
Anyway, thanks to “Negeri van Oranje” book, therefore I discovered how to get to Wageningen city (and Wageningen University) from the Schiphol International Airport.
Why Wageningen University?
It was because I get the scholarship for 2-year master program in Wageningen University.
(If any of you have some thoughts to continue your study in more Life Sciences area, then Wageningen University might be one of best choices. As we are positioned as the first rank University in the Netherlands for 10 years in a row. Plus, we got second rank in the world for Agricultural science subject. Here is the link of WUR).
Okay then, sorry for the intermezzo, shall we go back to my first trip? :p
It was due to snowy days, apparently some railway had a problem. Therefore no direct train from Schiphol to Wageningen during that day. By the way, for those who might be curious, to go to Wageningen from Schiphol, you need to take NS trein heading to Nijmegen direction. You can go there directly or you need to change the train in Utrecht Centraal Station, depends on the train schedule. It will cost you 14.20 Euro (normal fare, without discount) for one way.
Quite expensive, right?
Oh, another thing is, due to Wageningen city doesn’t have any train station, then make sure that you hop off at Ede-Wageningen Train Station. Ede is the capital city of Gelderland province, which is including Wageningen city, Bennekom. Later on, continue your journey by Bus 88. It costs you 3 Euro for one way and it will take like 17 minutes from Ede-Wageningen station to Wageningen University (bus stop at Droevendaalsesteeg).
So, back to the first impression of the Netherlands. In the middle of euphoria of having the first snow experience, I strolled around Wageningen city, which was at that day was brightly sunny! I went to the Rhine river which turned completely frozen!! Therefore, many people took advantage of it by doing the ice-skating. I was so impressed! As I knew later that the Rhine river is actually one of the longest European river! It begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the Rhineland and eventually empties into the North Sea in the Netherlands.
So, here I gave you some photos to show you how beautiful (heavy) winter in our small city; Wageningen.
From top to the bottom: 1) the view of bicycle park in front my student housing. Despite the falling snow from the sky, sometimes we are left no choice except cycling to the University. 2) It was Taathorst street in Wageningen. There is a supermarket C1000 nearby. I must say that this supermarket is my savior as it is also sooo close to my student housing. 3) Just random mailing box in front of a house. 4) Dutch typical house. I heard it is soooo expensive. 5) one of the frozen parts of Rhine river.
From the picture above, it might seem pretty, but probably you might have heard it somewhere, that winter in 2012 would be the extreme cold winter that ever been experienced by Europe. Not only caused the minus 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of Northern Europe, but also caused death for quite many people. I also heard from some Dutch people, that they seemed to forget when the last time they had such a white winter in the Netherlands.
However, it is quite true. To me, I also felt the same impression. As the winter in 2013 and 2014 were not even come close to my previous winter experience. I only had a few days of snow, but then days later, it has been melted and cleared away. The rest was just flurries. It was good as the temperature didn’t fall extremely, but you know, deep down inside, you always have the kid’s spirit for having the snowball war or creating snowman.
Anyway, I keep feeling grateful, though. As I finally experienced snowy winter in the land of Europe. One of my bucket list.