The exchange Sobreda-Uden 2010 was once more a very rewarding experience. Both Portuguese and Dutch groups were really nice and had a wonderful team spirit. Since the warm welcome they interacted very well and some of the partners did have a wonderful relationship.
The Portuguese programme was successfully accomplished. The planned activities aimed at getting to know a little bit of the Portuguese culture, history and landscape.
Sintra was one of our choices as well as modern Lisbon. The didactic visit to the Knowledge Pavillion in Parque das Nações rose the enthusiasm of the students as they were able to do a lot of amazing experiments.
We also travelled to Cabo da Roca and Cascais and had some funny time in Badoca Park where the students could enjoy a safary trip and learn about some animals.
We have to say that this first part of the exchange was a great experience for everybody and good relationships were built among the students. Therefore the excitement of meeting their friends again in Uden was huge and their expectations about The Netherlands and about their host families grew till the day we departed.
This time the weather was fantastic and riding our bikes was invigorating and really fun – despite some “minor/funny accidents” with the less-proficient Portuguese riders…
Talking about “rides”, going to the theme park Eftelling was quite an experience. The moment we entered the forest we saw some of the most famous fairy tales being brought to life thanks to the ingenious designs by Anton Pieck and all the romantic, nostalgic and fantasy atmosphere, alongside with the fabulous roller-coasters and other high-quality rides made us feel as if we were children again – fantastic!
Before visiting the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, we went by ferry to the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM) area on the north bank of the IJ, in Amsterdam. This place was a huge shipyard in the old days and now it is a center for underground culture. This area contains the NDSM hall, the Docklandshal and two ship slipways, housing workshops and artists’ studios. It’s really an amazing place!
The day before leaving was a bit stressing for us (well, the students were very, very relaxed…) because we weren’t sure we would have our flight back due to the volcanic ash cloud. But everything turned out quite well and when we arrived we already missed our fantastic Dutch hosts.
We want to thank Inge, Margriet and Karel for their warm hospitality and friendship. See you next year!
Fernanda and Lurdes