I posted this blog post on my personal blog, at the beginning of my study abroad, and I forgot to share it here. So this post is a little late, but here it is!

It’s only been two days of travel and it already it feels like a month! Yesterday we flew in and spent the day in Amsterdam, and today we explored Copenhagen! The flight was 8 hours long from 6 pm to 8 am with an hour long delay. A Romanian man who was trying to romance me talked the whole time, so I didn’t sleep but about 2 hours. But I’m glad I was awake because I saw us pass over Canada, Ireland, and England! I learned a lot about geography on the flight, much to the amusement of the students with me (geography isn’t my strong suit). I also had the pleasure of meeting two folks from Holland who were super nice. We spent the day walking Amsterdam then had another train ride (my first time on a train!) and flight back to Copenhagen. I was hella tired so I passed out as soon as we got back (at 1 am) last night and wasn’t able to blog. So this post is for yesterday’s trip to Amsterdam and I will do another for today’s trip to Copenhagen.

So, Amsterdam. It was absolutely amazing and somewhat ethereal! I’m in love with the people and the city. We began the trip with a canal boat tour and I don’t think there was a better way to see the city. Every street looked like it belonged on a post card. ┬áThere were beautifully eclectic boathouses all along the narrow canals, that were permanent houses. We even passed by the Anne Frank house! I tried to get a picture of how beautiful the city along the canals were, but none did any justice whatsoever.

house boat in the canal!

The tour guide informed us that the canals were three meters deep: 1 meter of water, 1 meter of boat, and 1 meter of bicycles! There are almost twice as many bicycles as people in Amsterdam, over a million!! Every year they fish out over 25,000 bikes out of the canals! The pedestrian culture was amazing to me. Everyone was walking or biking, and the buses were everywhere and really easy to use. The people seemed cheery, and stylish, and definitely threw a hipster vibe.

Heineken Brewery

After the canal tour, we did the Heineken Experience. We toured the original brewery, and learned the process of making beer. We drank wort, a part of the process, that tasted like horse feed. Don’t ask how I know what horse feed tastes like… We were also educated in the proper way to drink a

Making beer at the Heineken brewery

beer, and that sipping it actually makes it taste worse. The proper form: at least a two finger width of foam to hold the CO2 in, wide stance, head back, and take big man gulps! Apparently you get the sweeter beer this way, and not the bitter foam (who knew?). We ended the tour with more free beers in a rave style bar at the bottom of the brewery.

Amazing original Van Gogh Painting. Pic doesn’t do it justice

Then we headed to the Van Gogh museum, something I had been excited about for months! I was in awe of his varied talent and the sheer amount of work he accomplished in 10 years. Just 10 years!! His experimentation with brush strokes, and color and style made every painting so different from the other, and each one just as amazing. I could sit and study some for hours.

I didn’t want to leave Amsterdam and there was so much left to see, but sadly we didn’t have time. I wish I could have spent a few more days! It was a totally new experience for me, and I am still elated :).

By the way, it’s 12:28 am here, so that means it’s 5:28 there. We are 7 hours of ahead of Alabama. O and Happy 4th of July everyone!! Denmark likes to celebrate the 4th here, and many people had on American flag shirts. We had a lot of friendly people comment on our patriotic attire. One group of patriotic guys were even passing out little flags. I would liken it to our celebration of Cinco De Mayo. We even saw fireworks on our train ride back today! Anyway, more pics below! Much thanks to Brian, Taylor and Ross for most of the pics!!

Alex, myself and Taylor in Copenhagen Central Station. Happy 4th!!
Taylor and Patrick on the boat tour
Learning how to properly drink a beer
Beautiful Amsterdam train station
Just a small part of a ginormous bike parking lot. There were so many bikes you just wouldn’t believe!
On the canal tour
More canal tour