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Atmospheric pressure

04/29/2013

I have been rather bad about new posts these last few weeks, due in no small part to a broken camera and many midterms due.  It is a pity, as the late blooming spring has been kind to Amsterdam.  This made the long bitter winter and all too fleeting bouts of spring like weather all the more worth the wait.  Trees are in bloom full of birdsong, proving that humans were not the only ones waiting for better weather.  Herons have been conspicously busy, flying to nests in high branches with long twigs.  Boats abound on Amsterdam’s canals, full of people enjoying the spring weather.  I hope it all bodes well for a gorgeous summer, I think Mother Nature owes us one after that awful long winter.

The only disappointment is that academic work has found me chained to my desk, rushing to fulfill assignments.  In prioritizing, I have often had to choose between a much needed trip to gym or a long walk amidst the city in its gorgeous incarnation of spring.  The long walks often win out, due to the fact that I will be returning to Ireland soon and wish to see as much of the city as I can before then.  I have recently found myself visiting the Rembrandt Park, which takes me through parts of the city I had not visited before.

The strange thing about the canal belt is that it can seem rather surreal at times.  The gorgeously preserved seventeenth century buildings are visible from my window, with the turqoise dome of the Town Hall visible in the distance.  The towering figure of Atlas looks down over the city, as clouds drift against the sky above.  The white clouds are often tinged with grey or yellow shades, a foil for the bright light against the blue sky.  It is a constantly changing picture which I look out on, but unlike any city in which I have lived.  My Dutch friends constantly remind me that a place on Prinsengracht is something to be eminently grateful for, however a change is oft times as good as a rest.

In such cases a visit to another part of Amsterdam is often a tonic, and seeing traffic and skyscrapers makes one feel as if one lives in a “normal” city again.  It is not as if I am complaining, however a trip out of ones comfort zone is often a good thing.  With that in mind, I have returned to Dublin for a weekend, to see how easy it might be to reacclimatize to the city.  These past few months in Amsterdam have found me making endless comparisons between the two, and I have been a little worried how my easy my return will be.

With that in mind, I boarded the plane from Schipol, and the rapid ascent soon found my ears pop.  It was certainly quicker than my trip to the Netherlands by bus, and just over an hour later I found myself standing in Dublin airport.  Later that afternoon I was safely ensconsed in Isaacs hostel, which is where I spent my last night in Dublin, and went to Brewdock for a few pints, where I also spent much of my last night in the city.  The convivial atmosphere soon found me having a wonderful time, as it often does, and the great craft beer flowed freely.  It was good to see old friends again, and I soon felt assured that my return to Dublin in July will no doubt be a very enjoyable experience indeed!

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