25 October, 2009

A Day Trip to KZM - Karlsruhe

The best part of living in the Netherland is we can always go to the neighboring countries without our passport. And the best part of living in Maastricht is we can always go to Germany in an hour and Belgium in twenty minutes.  

Maybe that's why MA Media Culture class has an annual day trip to Karlsruhe, Germany, to visit the famous Media Arts Museum, KZM or Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe. It is one of the largest and important media art museum in Germany.

It takes around 4 hours from Maastricht to Karlsruhe. So we were told to be in front of Maastricht Central Station around 5.30 AM, where the university has prepared a bus big enough for the entire MA Media Culture. Good thing the bus has large seats that comfortable enough for us to take such a long journey. Not a good thing was the person I have chosen to sit next with. 

10 October, 2009


On a Saturday I took the train with Rajee Kanagavel --an exchange student from India-- to Utrecht. Utrecht is the fourth largest city in the Netherlands and home to the country's largest university, Utrecht University. 

It was not the first time I stepped foot at Utrecht Central Station, one of a very few places in the Netherlands where we could find a nice Starbucks Coffee :). When I went to Den Haag with a group of Indonesian students from Maastricht during the Id Dul-Fitr day, we stopped at Utrecht Central for a transit. Utrecht has one of the largest (again?) Central Station in the Netherlands which holds several stores and restaurants. 

Rajee and I decided to go early on a Saturday morning so we could enjoy our time without being in a rush. We first strolled around the Centrum area and visited several stores selling unique souvenirs like beautifully designed postcards and matchboxes with a picture of Frida Kahlo which I could not help purchasing. 

We also found this cute store on Utrecht shopping district, the name is a slank for "congratulation" or "be safe" in Indonesian.

Then we walked by the Oudegracht or curve canal where there is this unique wharf-basement of interesting stores where I got a pair of Converse for only 3 Euro. Hmmm...

It's felt like a unique experience when we stumbled to this newly married couple. It seems in the Netherlands people often do a simple yet beautiful wedding due to Europe's classical vibe and surroundings. 

Oh, we also tried to take nice picture in front of the tallest architecture in Utrecht, Dom Tower, but without success. It just too tall! Or we just don't have the right camera (we both only brought old model pocket camera) to do it right.

After strolling down Centrum area we took the bus and went to see Utrecht University, a large complex about 15-20 minutes from the city's central area. Utrecht University definitely a lot bigger than UM, but I like my Uni better. Although Utrecth University Library is one of the largest library I've seen so far (it's nice too!), I still like UM University Library -the one in the centre area-- more.

We did not spend much time in the University complex since we had not have lunch yet and were starving. So before returned back to Maastricht we had a very late lunch in an Indian restaurant near the city centre. Only then, after our tummies were full and happy we crossed the street back to the Central Station. 

Groetjes Utrecht!