Wow, boy did this one take FOREVER to publish! Sorry about that!
This week’s weather was not all that good, so I really did not do too much at the start! On Monday (July 24), a couple of us went into the city to meet up with our friend from school, Valerie, for dinner at Augustiner-Keller. It was a very rainy day so we did not get to sit in the biergarten. However, we got to eat in the cellar of the restaurant and it was so cool! Jayme said that that part of the restaurant had been around for 100s of years!! Afterwards we went to this really cool bar where the beer was on tap so you only had to pay a bit up front and then could serve yourself! Wednesday and Tuesday consisted of work, rain, and more work and rain. I ended up watching a lot of movies this week and German Netflix has different ones than in the US so that was cool!
Thursday was exciting because MY ROBOT COULD FINALLY DRIVE!! It was so awesome to see the project I had been working on all summer actually work! It was a really exciting day for sure. After work we went into the city to do a little bit of shopping and then headed home to pack for our overnight train to Amsterdam! We all were able to get Friday off of work, and some of us got Monday as well, which allowed us to have a long weekend in Benelux!
Jayme, Robert, and I arrived in Amsterdam Friday morning and went to check into our Hostel in the city center. We stayed at the Hans Brinker Hostel, which I will admit was not the nicest, but it was within walking distance of everything, so we never had to buy public transportation tickets. After checking in and dropping off our stuff, the three of us went to walk around the city and found a restaurant called Salsa Shop that was essentially the Dutch version of Chipotle. After two months without Mexican food, it was the best thing in the entire world. After that we walked to the Albert Cuyp market and ate some fresh Dutch stroopwaffles and my word they were so incredibly delicious! We then walked to the Bloemenmarkt, which is a huge flower market on one of the canals. There were real tulips and fake ones everywhere, and these are my favorite flower so that was so amazing to see! Most of Friday was just spent walking around the city and exploring Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and architecture. This city is so so beautiful, even prettier than it is in pictures. That evening Nick met up with us after his trip to Italy and we all went to the IceBar which was FREEZING! We only lasted about 10-15 minutes in the cold room before leaving. It was a cool experience (pun intended), but I don’t think I will do it again.
On Saturday we started the day out with some breakfast in the Hostel, and then headed out for the Heineken Experience. We got to the brewery at about 10:40 am and it was still incredibly busy! The tour was so fun — and included 3 beers — and I would highly recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in Amsterdam! We booked tickets called “Rock the City,” which included the Heineken Experience, a 45 minute canal boat ride, and admission to the A’DAM lookout tower! We had a bit of time after the Heineken Experience and before our scheduled boat tour, so we went to Salsa Shop again. We were really missing Chipotle. After lunch we hopped onto the canal boat for our tour. It was so cool getting to ride through the canals in Amsterdam and seeing the city from that point of view. The tour took us to the northern part of Amsterdam where the tower is located. The tower had such a cool view of the city. More importantly, for 5 extra euros you could ride on a swing that went over the edge of the building! It was so so cool! After the A’DAM tower, we headed home for a bit and I got to call Jenny, since it was her birthday. I facetimed in at the same time as my dad who was in England at the time so it was like the whole family was all together, despite two of us being halfway across the world. After talking on the phone we grabbed some dinner and then went to meet up for a bar crawl through the city.
We started Sunday out with some breakfast at a restaurant close to our hotel. Robert didn’t have work off on Monday like the rest of us, so he left for Munich after we ate. Then Jayme, Nick, and I went to see the I amsterdam sign and then spent some time inside the Rijksmuseum. We got to see The Battle of Waterloo, which is literally the biggest painting I have ever seen. It stretched from the floor to the ceiling, and this was not a small room. We also saw some Van Gogh paintings including Self Portrait! After the museum we grabbed some burgers for lunch and hopped on a train to Brussels, Belgium. We didn’t arrive in Brussels until quite late, so we just grabbed some dinner and went to bed. This time, we stayed in a hotel and we could not have been happier.
We woke up bright and early on Monday and headed into the city to quickly explore before leaving at 4pm. We viewed numerous churches, bought some Belgian chocolate and waffles, and saw the Grand Place, which is a huge plaza in the middle of town. It was absolutely beautiful! Every building was incredibly ornate and most of them had gold on their exteriors. From here we travelled to see Brussels’ fav tourist attraction, the Manneken Pis. This is a little water fountain statue of a child peeing. It was so weird and we thought it was hilarious. Every souvenir shop has Manneken Pis items to purchase, it really is a huge thing for the city! After that we went on to buy some Belgian waffles and then hopped on the Metro to see the Atomium. I had always seen pictures of this building but never truly realized just how insanely huge and beautiful it was! There were incredibly long lines to go up, and since we did not have much time we chose to stay on the ground. Next to the Atomium is another tourist attraction called Mini Europe. It is a park that has numerous European monuments on a scale of 1:25. It had the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, etc. It is totally meant for children but the three of us loved every minute of it. It was so cheesy and just what we needed. After Mini Europe we went back to the hotel to grab our bags before hopping on a train and returning to Munich.
It was so nice to be able to take a long weekend and explore more countries in Europe. I would highly recommend checking out this part of Europe, it is beautiful! See the pics from this week right here!