While Christine was visiting Amsterdam last week we took it as an opportunity to visit a couple of the museums here. Because we ran out of time and were busy doing other things as well, we only ended up going to the Rembrandt House Museum, Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk. I feel like I didn’t take very many photos (and no photos at Rembrandt’s) which makes me kind of sad. However, because I now have a museumkaart I can go as much as I want to all of them so I think you can expect some future posts on these museums as well. :) Continue reading
Last weekend I was invited by one of my classmates to go to IJ-Hallen, the biggest flea market in Europe. I have been trying this new thing where I actually say “yes” to all the opportunities that I can get my hands on, so of course I couldn’t refuse. We met up at central station along with a couple of her other friends and headed out via ferry to the market.
The market takes place in two big warehouses filled to the brim with stalls selling an assortment of things from clothes to old tins. It occurs only once a month so if you are visiting Amsterdam and want to take a peak you’ll have to time your trip accordingly. The next market is on February 28th but you can find more information about it here: http://ijhallen.nl/en/index.php
I unfortunately didn’t buy anything because every time I thought about purchasing something I would convince myself that I didn’t need it. Stupid brain! The one problem with exchange is that I will inevitably collect a random assortment of things and not have enough room to bring it back to Canada. Better to stay frugal I guess. Its a good thing I am already good at that.
My favorite part of the market was looking at all of the graffiti on the walls of the warehouses. I am beginning to notice just how much graffiti there is in Amsterdam and I love it! I’ll have to make a post solely on that in the coming weeks.
I definitely enjoyed my first time attending this flea market and think I might go again (and hopefully buy something…). This made me excited to visit other markets in Amsterdam, so you may be seeing some more posts on those :)
Until next time x
A couple of days ago I ventured out of my dorm with a mission to see Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam. Thanks to a couple of mishaps and my not liking classes, I now only have two courses this semester, which means I have a lot of free time on my hands. I have no idea what I am going to do with myself! I really need to get a new hobby… But until I find that new hobby, I have been trying to busy myself with touring Amsterdam.
I started my day by taking the sprinter from Diemen to Amsterdam Centraal, and then went by foot to find Oude Kerk. Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get lost once or twice on my way there, but I made it eventually. It was actually rather shocking because I think that Oude Kerk is right next to the red light district, so I found myself once again trying to hide my camera and get out of there as fast as possible.
Oude Kerk is the first cathedral that I have ever visited and it was stunning! I could have probably spent hours standing in there looking at the columns and stained glass windows. My personal favorite thing to look at was watching how the sunlight shone through the windows and made intricate shadows over the rest of the church. So beautiful.
The craziest spiral staircase I have ever seen. Insane.
Until the 29th of March there is an installation in the Cathedral by the video artist Tony Oursler. It was very strange to see an 800 year old building paired with a video installation. I actually didn’t like it very much to be honest. It ruined the serenity of the place, especially because the recordings and videos were so haunting to listen to.
Rembrandt’s wife Saskia’s grave.
After my visit at Oude Kerk I thought I might wander the streets of Amsterdam until I found a nice cafe to sit in, drink hot chocolate and write. Instead my plan was diverted when I saw a fry stand (I don’t really know what they’re called..). I had yet to try these vlaamse frites, but every time I am in Amsterdam I see hoards of people eating them, so I knew I had to try them. They are just simple french fries covered in a sauce of your choosing. I opted for Belgium mayonnaise because I think that might be the traditional sauce so I wanted to try that first. And oh. my. gosh. They are amazing! I am seriously craving some write now… I know that every time I go into Amsterdam now if I see one of those stands I am going to have to test my will power to not buy more.
Afterwords I planned to walk around more, but it was so cold that I ended up going home. Some Canadian I am, eh? I hope that everyone likes this new idea for a post. I decided to make a “daily diary” series to share the places and things I get up to on the days when it is something interesting.
Until next time x
A few months ago I made a blog post titled The Amsterdam List, all about the things I want to accomplish while I am on exchange there. One other European city that I am dying to visit (but who isn’t?) is Paris. When I used to dream of going on exchange I always pictured it as less school and more traveling.Yes, yes, shame on me, but I have always felt that traveling teaches you so much more about life than school ever will, which makes exchange the perfect opportunity to accomplish both at the same time. I have never been to Paris, so this list of wants and go tos may sound very touristy to some, but I hope you enjoy nonetheless.
01. Have a picnic (with baguette and all) in front of the Eiffel Tower.
02. Wander the streets of Paris with no destination at all, simply soaking up the culture, architecture, and history.
03. Visit the Louvre and (hopefully) see all of it.
04. Try to also explore the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Rodin, Musée de l’Orangerie, and Centre Pompidou (I doubt this can be accomplished without an extended stay, but who knows).
05. Walk the the Seine banks
06. See the Arc de Triomphe.
07. Go to the Shakespeare and Company Bookshop.
08. Visit the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
09. See the the love locks on Pont des Arts and Pont de l’Archevêché
I am sure there are a ton more exciting things to do in Paris that I have not come across or thought of yet, so hopefully this list is not yet complete!
Until next time x
One thing that has always been on my bucket list is to go on a road trip with friends. I have been on numerous adventures along the west coast with my family which were beyond amazing. However, I have always felt that traveling with a friend would be very different, and fun in a new kind of way. Last week, I was lucky enough to discover the fun of road tripping with friends!
The travelers were me, Kimberly, and Tiana (our trusty driver). We headed out early on a tuesday morning, excited for this mini getaway together. Our destination? Vancouver. It’s only a four to five hour trip but no matter the distance its its own kind of adventure, right? Our reason for this trip was to see Danielle for her birthday and then she would come back to Kelowna with us to party it up.
I have always found that the drive to Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and makes me love British Columbia even more. It was made even better this time around by sing-alongs, good company, and of course the fun of getting lost an x amount of times even though we had a GPS. I would like to note that Vancouver is known for terrible drivers, which somehow made the experience more fun? I don’t know, I might just be a little crazy, but taking wrong turns a few times made the trip even better.
I unfortunately did not take very many photos as I looked at this mini getaway as a time to relax and not worry about if I’ve taken any good photos and the like. Instead, we relaxed in the sun by the pool, and went down the water slide like a bunch of elementary school kids. I did however take a ton of photos of going down the water slide! I am hoping they turn out as it was a disposable camera. If they do I will of course post them here. ;)
Along the way we met a ton of people and were lucky enough to hang out with Danielle’s friend Anna for two days as they snuck into our hotel room for a couple of nights. Shhh don’t tell anyone!
This was such an unforgettable experience I can’t really put any of it into words. What kind of blogger am I? All I can say is that there was tons of laughter, smiles and frozen yogurt all around!
P.S. Looks like this is bucket list item #2 crossed off! Whoop Whoop!
Until next time x
Something that has stressed me out for years, and especially the last few months, is going on exchange. Since I was in middle school I have dreamed of going abroad to study. Soaking up culture and earning an education at the same time sounds like a fairytale to me. Once I entered university I knew I had to apply to go on exchange.
I spent the first two years of my university career fighting with my self over where I should go. I didn’t want to screw up this once in a lifetime opportunity by picking the wrong destination. It started with Japan, then moved to Germany, maybe Scotland. My friend wanted me to go to South Korea with her while my professor told me the best schools for my degree were in England. I researched and researched different schools, surrounding areas, where I could travel and learn more about the culture. Then, one day my professor told me about Amsterdam.
I had never even thought of visiting Amsterdam, it was not on any list I had ever made of places I wanted to travel. But I chose it. I chose the University of Amsterdam after only looking at a few course listings and some photos of the beautiful canals. I knew this was the place I wanted to go. After choosing my destination the fight wasn’t over. I constantly battled about whether or not I would be accepted, if my essays were good enough, or if my grades were too poor. Then, one afternoon I received an email. It told me that I was accepted into the University of Amsterdam for the January 2015 semester. All those months of misery were for nothing, I have been accepted. I expected relief to wash over me, but it didn’t. The fight still isn’t over. I have never traveled on my own before, never lived away from my family. But its an adventure, and one I am willing to take. I am nervous and more than a little scared, but more than anything I am excited.
I came up with The Amsterdam List as a way to prioritize the things I want to do while on exchange. Its a mini bucket list of sorts, and one that I am not done adding to yet.
- Visit the Anna Frank House
- See the Van Gogh Museum
- Take a cruise of the Canals
- Get lost in the streets of Amsterdam
- Take a polaroid every day while there
- Go on a bike tour of Amsterdam
- Go to Rijksmuseum
- Meet a lot of new people
- Get straight As while attending the University of Amsterdam (lets keep dreaming for this one)
- Explore the street markets
- Try something new (get out of my comfort zone)
- Try Dutch cuisine
- Be bold, be adventurous
- Try to learn as much Dutch as possible