This post is coming to you from Leiden! After about 16 hours of travel, I have finally arrived. It's 9pm here, and I'm super tired, but super excited too.
My flight left Minneapolis last night at 6:40pm. It was supposed to be 6, but because of the snow, the plane had to be de-iced which took a while. I arrived in Chicago at about 7:45. My flight from there, which was supposed to leave at 9:35pm, was delayed until 11:15 because of some diagnostic tests or something like that. So about 11:45pm we are finally up in the air and on our way to London, with an arrival time of 12:45pm. I was lucky enough to have no one sitting next to me, so I was able to sort-of lay down and sleep for basically the whole trip.
Because of all the delays, there was no way I was going to make my 1:40pm flight out of London to Amsterdam. Luckily, British Airways was super helpful and rebooked me for a later flight while I was on the plane. When I got off the plane, a woman in a purple vest was there to greet me and instructed me on how to get my new boarding pass. After taking care of all that business, I walked around London Heathrow looking for something to eat, but all I could find was Dior and Gucci and perfume shops. No fast food. Sigh.
I arrived in Amsterdam at about 5pm and after going through customs and baggage claim and all that jazz, I bought a train ticket to take me to Leiden. But I forgot to listen when the man told me which platform my train would be taking off from, and after some frustrated tears I returned to him and he was extremely helpful. Once I got to Leiden it was a whole other ordeal tracking down a taxi, but with the help of a friendly guy working in a convenience store on the platform, I was able to get one. I arrived at Central College's abroad office just minutes after everyone had left for a pancake restaurant, so I had some time to rest and wait for them to return. My program director gave me my keys, itinerary for the next few days, and ordered a taxi to bring me and my luggage to my dorm, and here I am now.
My room is very nice. I don't have a roommate, so I have this very large space all to myself. There's plenty of storage space, and my bed is even up on a loft! I think that's pretty cool. I did have to go out and find an ethernet cord, however, because the rooms here don't have wifi access. Almost all the shops here were closed by 8pm, but I did manage to find a store selling phone accessories and the man working there sold me an internet cord for 5 euros. It was a huge relief. I also bought some tangerines from the supermarket. Fun stuff.
We start our day at 10:30 tomorrow morning with some introductions and informational meetings and stuff like that. I plan on getting up pretty early to do a little grocery shopping and track down a towel, because I forgot to pack one and I seriously need a shower.
That's all for now, I need to unpack and get some sleep.