Friday, April 22, 2011
This week has been both busy and beautiful. What weather we are having! Mid summer would be hard put to equal this week's continuous sunshine, mid twenties temperatures and cloudless blue skies. I'm slightly worried this is going to be it for the year though. The last few years have delivered the best weather a tad too early for us to really benefit from it in the usual holiday period.
Anyhow, the start of this week took me to Amsterdam. I've been going there quite frequently recently as I've been giving what is known as blended learning Academic Writing courses for the University of Amsterdam. This type of programme involves a combination of face to face and online teaching, although for the courses I've been giving, there are only two face to face sessions in the eight week programme. I'm not sorry about this as going to Amsterdam for a two hour session uses up pretty much an entire day. It takes me two hours to get where I have to go, two (and some) to give the class, and then another two (and a bit more) to get home again. Nearly 7 hours.
Still, I enjoy these excursions into the heart of the country's capital, the place where the intelligentsia and the tourists congregate. The vibe is so different from Rotterdam. Amsterdam feels like a city of poets, artists and literature. It feels like the city of intellectuals. Rotterdam, by contrast, is the city of action. It revels in its soaring modern architecture, its industrial buzz and reputation for keeping the pulse of the country beating. Two totally different cultures, often at odds with each other, but equally exciting to me.
That being said, this last Monday was glorious and I took my camera with me to capture some of what gives Amsterdam that special something. Here, then, are the results: