I like the Netherlands for several reasons but one of them is that the whole country is bike crazy. The number of bikes or bicycles i the country exceeds the population! Most people have 2 of them, one for work and one for ordinary chores. It makes you so mobile. I have hardly used the bus here since I came 2-3 months back. It is perhaps because the land is so flat here all throughout the country that the bikes are so popular. But what is really great is they have these separate red colored lanes everywhere for the cyclists to ride uninterpreted by the regular traffic on the streets. Its such a pleasure to ride the bike then.
The traffic rules can be rather confusing here as there are separate signs and signals for regular vehicles, pedestrians and for bikes. And the cyclists have the right of way almost all the time. But pedestrians beware! Just because it is a bike lane does not mean one can freely walk on it. These people ride really fast (most of them with their hands off the handle bar ) and they can silently come for behind and knock you down! I once had that misfortune! (Though in my case I knocked someone down..:D) The scary part for me though is this scooter that whooshes down these lanes at top speed and with a deafening noise! eeks! But rain or shine, wind or snow, the Dutch people determinedly use their bikes non stop.
Aah! the biggest peculiarity (there is always atleast one :) ) is that the typical Dutch bike does not have hand breaks, one has to reverse pedal to stop. This took me quite a while to get adjusted to. I would jump off every time I had to stop...:D (Another reason why the mishap happened! ). Now I am doing better though!
I could imagine the love the Dutch people have for bikes when my supervisor told me that he and his wife would take up tours on their vacation in which one had to ride from one spot to the other all day! He said they covered 50-60km everyday by their bikes!! Wooow!!! I don't know if I would do that on my vacation...:D
Though I do ride around the city when the weather is nice. It is indeed such a pleasure!
This is perhaps the landmark symbol of the city of Eindhoven - Bowling pins -
These two are pictures of the University at the entrance -
De Zwarte Doos or " The balck box", a popular restaurant, theater and conference hall at the TU/e-
A peculiar site to anybody who enters the University, they are solar cells and the energy created should be enough to levitate a Buddha statue in the tube placed at the center, but apparently it din't work ( turned out to be big joke, ours being a Technical University and all that..:)) -
The Dutch IND office where I got my Residence card, called the "Hooghuis" -
A lake close to the campus - Karpendonkse Pas -
My beautiful bike:)(this is actually the department's bike. Will be getting my own soon) -