Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I remember Amsterdam :P

This last weekend was my last one in Europe with Anna. She flew back home Monday morning. I am so thankful for the time I get to spend with Anna in Europe. I had an amazing traveling across the continent with her. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel around with her. I am very blessed!

...but about my weekend!!!

I left Metz on Thursday, and it couldn't have come fast enough. I was really not feeling school at all last week. I'm not really sure why; maybe it was because I had a great weekend ahead of me but whatever. I was so happy to leave class and walk to the train station Thursday afternoon. My plan for the weekend was to hang out with Anna in Amsterdam on Friday and maybe go to Brussels on Saturday before meeting my family in Paris on Sunday. Anna and I ended up just staying in Amsterdam for both days because we liked it so much. I ended up taking a roundabout route to Amsterdam because August Burns Red, a favorite band of mine, was playing in Strasbourg Thursday night. I took a train from Metz to Strasbourg Thursday afternoon, went to the show, and then train hopped my way through Germany overnight. I'm really glad I decided to go see the band play. It was a great experience and really interesting to compare it with going to a show back home. The venue was tiny and the band came out and talked with the crowd before and after, although I was one of the few people who spoke English. The French crowd was a bit different from what I'm used to back at the Masquerade, but I still had fun. It was also nice just to go to a show in general since it's been forever since I've been to one.

The trip from Strasbourg was a bit rough, especially after getting sweaty at the concert and not being able to clean up. I found a fountain outside of the train station and washed up a little at least before getting on my train into Germany. I also had a lovely conversation with some random guy in front of the train station. We spoke in French, English, and Spanish. It was probably the most random thing ever, but I was quite amused. I had to transfer quite a few times on my way to Amsterdam. The most stressful time was when I only had 2 minutes to get from one train to another before it departed! I made it but let's just say I was a little worried about making it.

Either way, I met up with Anna in Amsterdam without any trouble. I will admit that I REALLY liked Amsterdam. It's extremely unique, and I think it's unfortunate that it has the reputation it does. The city is quite beautiful with tons of fun things to do. It's also great to hang out, walk around the city, and enjoy the wonderful parks. Highlights of what we did in Amsterdam are: Anne Frank Museum, Van Gogh Museum, Biblical Museum (lots of museums in Amsterdam :P), Thai food takeout for dinner, staying in a 3-star hotel (fancy fancy...although they did put is in the basement...haha), and splurging on a nice dinner and not how much or if to tip at all. It's been fun to do pretty much anything with Anna in Europe. We enjoy each other's company so much that we don't reallly have to do much to pass the time. We have become quite good at walking around cities and sitting together in parks, chatting away the whole time of course :)

All in all, I had a great time in Amsterdam and was really surprised with all that the city had to offer. Also, the city probably has the greatest number of different forms of transportation available for public use. There are the usual ways of getting around like roads, sidewalks, and metros. However, there is also a tram system, a huge network of bike lanes (every road consists of a lane for cars, a lane for bikes, and then the sidewalk), and the canals...crazy I know.

I took a high speed train from Amsterdam to Paris Sunday morning after my "see you later" with Anna.

Meeting up with my family in Paris was an awesome way to end the weekend and mark the halfway point of my summer abroad. It was also Father's Day, so what a great way to celebrate! I met up with them outside of a cathedral near Gare du Nord, and we went all around Paris for the day. Sunday was also the first day of summer, which is celebrated in France with free music festivals and concerts EVERYWHERE! Like I said, it really was the perfect day to be in Paris. The best music was at night when we went to the Sacre Coeur for sunset. There were DJs all around the area putting out techno music, while the Parisians danced in streets. I hope I get to go back sometime and experience it all over again! We spent our day exploring the Louvre and the Latin Quarter before grabbing a nice family dinner together. I got to meet a lot of the group they're traveling with too! It was fun sharing stories back and forth and laughing about stupid things that have happened (most of which happened to me of course :P). For the night, we went to see the Moulin Rouge (just the building...maybe I'll see the show some other time) and the Sacre Coeur. Like I said, the Sacre Coeur was awesome and is probably even my favorite area in Paris. It was definitely a great time with too many stories to share!

All in all, it was another successful weekend. I had a great time with Anna (no surprise there!) and was really glad to see my family. I'm definitely even more super excited about the rest of my summer here after last weekend. I have some great weekends still ahead of me: Prague, Salzborg, Barcelona, and Croatia!

1 comment:

  1. What a great family picture! You know I love that Adair family! Sounds like you are having an amazing time Josh. Thanks for sharing it with me (and others).