A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Who said that students from Leiden can’t go on activities in other cities? You’ve got it- no one! And when those activities involve things that you can’t do around the area? Even better!
First, a confession: I love climbing-forests. I really really do. Two reallies. If you ever want to feel the excitement of a child again while moving around doing something active and challenging- this is for you. The problem is that these kinds of climbing parks are usually expensive and far from major cities. It’s also hard (unfortunately) to find people who share the childish love of climbing like a monkey through the trees.
As my friends know, I am amazing at finding odd and unique activities to do (if I can say so myself). And it’s actually really simple. Let me tell you my secret- I find them all on Facebook. While it’s true that I’m perhaps spending too much time looking for them, you don’t have to do the same thing. Finding activities on Facebook is super easy. If you want to know how to hear about these events, look at my Pro Tip below.
So, while scouring for things to do, I found that ISN Amsterdam was organizing a day in The Fun Forest, and it was on. A friend and I decided to go, bought tickets (for which I got a discount since I have an ISN Leiden membership) and waited for the day to come. For those interested, for 3.5 hours of climbing, my friend paid 11 euros, and I paid only 9 (normal price is 24 euros! Huge discount!)
Well, because all these organized activities have a major advantage in common- they’re always cheaper than they would be if you go on your own! An additional bonus is that you can make new friends, but you don’t have to if you don’t want that. You can always come with a friend and isolate yourself from the group.
The Fun Forest is in the Amsterdamse Bos- a huge park (despite the name, I wouldn’t call it a forest) with lots of green in the south of Amsterdam. Unfortunately, it was a little chilly the day we went, so we were climbing with a few extra layers, but it was fun all the same.
The activity itself is more fun than you’d think. You mess around, laugh, fall, and try to encourage your fellow climbers. There are several tracks, about eight, each with a different difficulty level. Each track takes around 45 minutes, so you can try a few before you get too tired. Also- most of them have awesome zip lines! Just thought it was important to mention.
Since I came with a friend this time, my goal was just to have fun, and so we both didn’t really make new friends. But we had a great time with the other students, laughing at each other’s failures and trying to help from a distance at particularly difficult tracks.
The advantage of coming with fellow students to such a place is that you’re not the only adult among what consists mostly of 12-year-old kids, so we didn’t feel weird or like we didn’t belong. And truth be told, some of those tracks are really difficult! How embarrassing would it be to constantly fall and then see an 8-year-old nonchalantly do the same track?
I would definitely recommend going to the fun forest, preferably
on a nice day. It’s a perfect activity for a group of friends, especially to celebrate a special occasion. And if you want to make It better, make sure to reward yourself with a nice cup of hot chocolate in the park café after the climb. Or, on a warm day, beer.
Want to hear and know about all the cool activities in the relatively close cities in the Netherlands? Go on Facebook and like the pages of several ESN groups! For example, I follow ISN Leiden, ISN Amsterdam, ESN Rotterdam, ESN Delft, and ESN Utrecht. It’s not illegal, they’ll be happy to have you on any activity or trip, and it’s a great opportunity to meet people from different universities, all international!