Friday, February 10, 2012

The last Friday JAB...

My last JAB, I really can't believe it! It seems like it was just a couple months ago, not nearly a whole year, that we were talking about this and thinking about when to start! I was still writing my thesis and completely freaking out about how I would ever finish... and now it's a year later. I'm really going to miss hearing from you guys each week. It's become an engrained part of my weeks, reading what you've got to say each week. :)

Let's see, nothing too eventful happened during the actual week, but I did go to Amsterdam last weekend with my friend Beth, so I can talk about that!

Amsterdam at wintertime
Amsterdam was beautiful during the winter. I arrived by train on the day which, most likely, will have received the most snowfall all year. As the train was approaching Amsterdam, I watched the level of snow slowly build up until there was about five centimeters on the ground. It was very pretty (especially on the first day when it was still perfect and white- see photo above), but also very cold and wet. I'd love to go back to Amsterdam in the spring or summer when it's sunny and warm and it's easier/more enjoyable to ride bikes around the city.

I've been to Bruges, Belgium twice now and the architecture there reminds me of the architecture in Amsterdam. The main difference I'd point out, though, is the height of buildings. Belgium has the same distinct, side-by-side buildings, but the ones in Amsterdam are about two stories taller than Belgium's, from what I noticed. I love how each building is a different color and has a slightly different appearance. And they all have so many windows!

Pigeons and snow 

Some of the places Beth and I went included the Van Gogh Museum (which I LOVED, but couldn't take any pictures in- this is probably actually for the best since it really puts you in the moment), the Amsterdam Museum (which was slightly informative and very much weird), the Anne Frank House (which was very moving and sobering), and the Cat Cabinet (a museum dedicated entirely to cats!). The Cat Cabinet was so much fun; it was full of cat statues, paintings, posters, and anything else you could think of involving cats really. And also: real cats! There are six cats living there, according to the website, but we only saw two while we were there. There was also a cat who lived in our hotel (who had a cute little stubby tail) and cats in two of the restaurants we ate in. Amsterdam loves cats, apparently. And I love cats too, if I hadn't made that clear.

We learned that Amsterdam has over 200 bridges, here's one of them.
We were definitely in Amsterdam during its off-season for tourism, it was very easy to get in everywhere we went- museums, restaurants, etc. We also stayed in a more adult hotel, so we didn't see the traditional college students there to partake in Amsterdam's... delicacies, so to speak. Though they did just pass a law that you have to be a Netherlands citizen in order to partake, so we wouldn't have been able to even if we wanted!

All in all it was a really nice trip and one of the best parts was getting to spend the weekend in Europe with one of my best friends!

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