Awesome video a friend of mine found about Amsterdam!
“An adventurous life does not necessarily mean climbing mountains, swimming with sharks, or jumping off cliffs. It means risking yourself by leaving a little piece of you behind in all those you meet along the way…”
When my best friend from home came to visit, we decided to go to Paris! We both were so excited to see the Eiffel Tower, prance around to beautiful street music, bring back some fashion forward french style clothing and stuff ourselves with amazing pastries. Well, we were surprisingly a little disappointed. Let me first start with the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it is beautiful and is pretty jaw dropping when you see the size of it. However, the tourists and gypsies really do ruin the ambiance of the area. There were SO many people and it was in the middle of winter. Every time we moved a few feet someone would walk into us or a gypsy would hassle us to buy some of their junk. Nonetheless I did get a few really good photos of the tower…
Now on to the French people themselves. I have friends that are French that are very sweet and friendly. However, the French people that we encountered while in Paris were nothing but rude. I speak enough French to be able to get by, but they would still treat us horribly even though I only spoke French to them. It was unfortunate, but thank you to all my French friends who are not like this!
I had a macaroon for the first time in Paris from the famous Laduree bakery (21 Rue Bonaparte). They were delicious! It was the one thing that did not disappoint me on this trip. I would definitely recommenced getting them from this bakery since they actually invented the dessert. They also have a huge selection of flavors, other desserts as well as a cafe.
While taking photos of the Notre Dame, I accidentally deleted all of the photos on my camera, but here are some photos that I managed to go back and take again! If you are going to travel to Paris, which is a must do even though I will probably never go back, I would recommend renting a flat so that you can cook your own meals. Everything is very expensive here so if you do not have money to spend this is definitely the way to save money!
In 2008, my parents agreed to host a foreign exchange student. It was a really cool experience because I had never met someone who was from outside the United States. I really gave me a different perspective on Europe and the differences between Europe and the United States.
In March, I was finally able to see my foreign exchange student, Marit, again for the first time in years! I stayed at her parent’s house and was able to finally picture the description of her town she provided us with all those years ago. They live in Münster, which is a small city in Germany about two and a half hours from Amsterdam. It is a beautiful place to visit, although there is not much to do in the winter months. It is really cold! There is however a beautiful canal a little ways outside of town as well as a lovely park in the middle of town. There is also a nice market, plenty of beautiful churches and tons of shopping. It never was a place filled with tourists, yet it is starting to become more touristy against the will of the locals. It is still less touristy than some of the other cities in Germany so it is worth seeing in my opinion. It was so great to see the city as well as spend time with my long lost sister!
The photos above are from my visit to the Heineken Experience here in Amsterdam. I was so excited to finally go, even though it is VERY touristy. Nonetheless, it was really fun. I even went again when my parents came to visit. I’m not going to tell you exactly what it entails because I don’t want to spoil the fun!
However, what I can tell you is that it costs about 18 euro to enter, which is a bit pricy, but you receive a small beer during the tour, as well as two large beers at the end of the tour. I thought it was definitely worth it because it is a fun thing to do with all of your friends.
What I have noticed about the Heineken brand, whether you like the beer or not, is that the company’s marketing strategies are impeccable. The logo or the brand name is plastered all over the city. It sponsors hotels and bars all over as well. It is impossible to not know the Heineken brand. One day there was even an old fashioned horse drawn carriage with the Heineken horses and beer barrels wandering the streets of the city.
Has anyone else noticed their marketing tactics!? Their beer isn’t great in my opinion, but boy do they have the best of the best working in their PR, advertising and marketing department.
These letters, perfect for a photo, can be found at the Amsterdam Museum (Kalverstraat 92, Amsterdam, Netherlands). They are a smaller version of the large letters in museumplein. I like these small letters better because there are less people at this museum and you can get the whole phrase in the photo! The museum is really interesting as well :)
I have been so incredibly busy with uni work and traveling! I will finally be doing some spring cleaning and clean up the cobwebs on this blog since it has been forever since I last posted. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for blog posts on some awesome things I did in Amsterdam while I had visitors and weekend trips to Paris, England, Prague and Belgium! It has been a crazy month of April, but amazing nonetheless! Be back soon I promise!
One of foods the Dutch do best are pancakes. They aren’t like American pancakes, fluffy and sweet. They serve both sweet and savory pancakes. They are very thin, similar to crepes. The pancake flavors are endless in the Netherlands. Today I had an apple bacon pancake. Boy was that delicious! I had to share because it pretty much made my day today, well besides the beautiful weather…
The past two days were a short preview of what spring and summer will bring; it was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit! Yesterday was sunnier than today, yet today was still beautiful. The sun energized me and I took it upon myself to adventure out on my trusty bike, map in hand. For the most part I didn’t need the map, which made me feel like a local. Before I left I looked up a few places that I have been meaning to visit. The first place I found myself at was the beautiful courtyard near Spui called the Begijnhof. It is one of the oldest courtyard in Amsterdam. When you walk through the gate a sense of tranquility overcomes you. The courtyard is surrounded by houses and churches. A must see in Amsterdam! I also visited the Amsterdam Museum, located right next door. This is a really neat museum that is really interactive and gives a great history of Amsterdam. It is a very large museum; I was there for over an hour and didn’t even see half of the museum!
Next I went to Vondelpark, which is a little south of the city center. I wasn’t totally prepared for the park since I didn’t even pack a picnic! It was really great to check it out and will definitely spend more time there as the weather warms up!
I then stumbled upon a few various markets. One of them was the Albert Cuyp market, located a few streets south of the Heineken Experience. This market was huge! It was way more extensive than the Dappermarkt near my flat, the least expensive market in Amsterdam. I didn’t purchase anything though, only a freshly made stroopwafle of course!
In the last of my adventures, as the sunlight dwindled, I headed over to one of the few windmills in Amsterdam (moved from its original location) called the De Bloem. It looks completely out of place between all of the modern building surrounding its base. This is a perfect location to see a windmill because it is the closest windmill to the city center.
Spring, please come soon!