Monday-Wednesday: I started Gossip girl on Netflix…bad idea. I’m addicted! I only had class one day this week. I’m not enrolled in the other class that was scheduled for the rest of the week.
Thursday: Roxanne drove us to Amsterdam this morning; It’s about 5 hours away from Nancy. What’s crazy is that’s how long it take to drive from Jacksonville to Miami and here we are crossing 3 countries in 5 hours!
We drove through Luxembourg and Belgium to get to the Netherlands. I wasn’t really sure what to think of the Netherlands. I’ve seen pictures of Amsterdam but I didn’t know much about it either. We stayed at Hotel Casa. It’s super nice and about 10 minute drive into the city center.
After checking in the hotel, we met Roxanne friend Jeanne (who is from the Netherlands; She studied at UCF last fall with Roxanne) at city center to walk around. We ate a Dutch pancake. It’s thicker than a crepe and thinner than the usual pancake we’re used to. I got the cheese and bacon.
Amsterdam is absolutely beautiful. I loved it the moment I arrived and I had a realization that I am definitely a city girl. The people are so beautiful and nice. The best part is, they all speak English and have Uber!!
Being the shopaholic that I am, I went to every shopping area. On the road, Kalverstraat is where you can find every store and every brand possible. The Magna plaza is an inside mall. In De Bijenkorf is where all the high-end brands are. Around the road, Wijde Heisteeg and Herengracht are thrift shops and vintage stores (it’s also an AWESOME place to take pics of the buildings and canals).
Marijuana and prostitution are legal in Amsterdam, it’s a different atmosphere to see people smoking weed openly and see sex/porn shops around town. “Coffee” shops rarely sells coffee, it’s mostly a place to have alcoholic beverages and smoke weed. Yes, I did go into them. Yes, I did tell my parents.
There is more bicycle than people here. You have to pay attention when you walk because you WILL be run over by a bicyclist, car, or tram. They will not stop for you. Alex was looking at google maps for directions and got ran over by a bicyclist; he made her drop her phone!
Friday: We visited the Van Gogh museum this morning (17 Euro, no student or group discounts). It’s right next to the “I Amsterdam” sign which is in front of the Rijks museum. Surprisingly, the majority of the paintings there were bought from the US. I was disappointed to find out the starry night painting wasn’t there. It’s actually in New York!
Saturday: I did more touristy stuff today like go to the Heineken experience brewery (18 euro per person). It was pretty cool, they show the process of how the beer is made then you get a sample. You get a bracelet with 2 pins, at the end of the tour you go to the rooftop and exchange the pins for beers. I only used 1 because I wanted to keep the other as a souvenir.
I went to the Butcher for lunch. It’s a burger place that everyone on TripAdvisor raved about. Idk if it was my taste buds that wasn’t feeling it or what but I didn’t think it was THAT great. What’s good is french fries with different type of sauce on it. The classic is the light mayo. Another delicious place is “Jacketz” they sell 1 pound potato with any topping you want. The potato is actually mashed that they put back into the potato skin. I got the pulled pork with cheese and bacon on top. Soooo good !
We found out Drake still had his concert tonight so we decided we might as well go. After struggling with Ticketmaster online we finally just went to the box office at the Ziggo Dome an hour before the show and got tickets for really good seats! The show was great and I was so happy we went.
Sunday: I traveled from Amsterdam to Cologne, Germany by train this morning. I got a ticket on Goeuro.com for 29 euros. It’s cheaper to go there than straight to Nancy from Amsterdam. Roxanne met us there to walk around and then drove 3 hours back to Nancy. Cologne was basically ruined by the war and what’s left is this beautiful Cathedral. Everything else around it is super modern. Bratwurst and Currywurst are a must eat when you come to Germany. The street vendors sell them from 2-4euros. It’s sooo good!
The highway in Germany has no speed limit which is great except it didn’t have any street lights or reflectors on the road. Overall, this weekend has been amazing. Going from French, to Dutch, to German. It was all so great in different ways. The only downside is in the Netherlands and Germany, you have to pay to use the bathroom everywhere!