Monday, September 23, 2013

Amsterdam & Bruges

This weekend I took my second trip out of the UK! I went to Amsterdam, land of weed, prostitutes, and canals, and Bruges, home to the excellent movie with Colin, Brendan, and Ralph... my good friends. It was possibly the most fun I have had yet! Both cities were beautiful and I had my fair share of touristing (per usual).

Amsterdam was just a big ball of fun! There are bikes EVERYWHERE, everyone is tall and gorgeous, and people aren't above making fun of your touristy ways. We began our day with breakfast by the flower markets and then headed right over to the "I AMSTERDAM" sign to be obnoxious, and we took full advantage! After we were given free time from our tour. My group headed over to Anne Frank's house which was surreal and so moving. I don't even regret not having more time for museums because it was just so worth being in there and absorbing the reality of her situation. After our cultural education of the day, we went on a lovely cruise of the canals. That evening we toured the nightlife.. ahem... red light district, which was, well... prostitutes. Not much else to say besides the fact that they are very skilled at stage makeup. They do not hold back. Then we went to dinner and so commenced our day in Amsterdam!

A trip to Holland seemed incomplete without a visit to rural, traditional Holland. In Zaanse Schans, there are windmills, wooden clogs, the most amazing cheese you will ever eat, and many animals. It was peaceful, quaint, and we got cheese... I was certainly a happy girl!

I was very excited when we booked the tour to see we would be going to Bruges in Belgium. Why? Well, because of the movie In Bruges starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as hit men answering for a mistake and waiting to hear their fate in Bruges from their formidable boss, Ralph Fiennes. The town is just as picturesque as it seems in the movie and the waffle I had was capital-A AMAZING.

Some tips for traveling on weekend trips:
  • Life is so much easier when you're traveling light - I operate with a backpack and maybe a purse.
  • That being said: layers and neutrals! I bring a sweater or two, tees, and jeans. Spice it up with a scarf.
  • Say yes! Just go on adventures! Option to go to a village you never would have seen? Yes! Climbing a bell tower? Yes! Trying new food? Yes! Just get out of your comfort zone.
  • Your camera should be like a second set of eyes that you use as frequently as your real eyes.
  • Prioritize. You might not be able to see everything, but if you plan well, you will see a ton!
  • Have fun! Cheesy? I don't care, it's true. Get off your butt, out of your room, and set the world on fire.

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