Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday, August 9th


Today I had a lot of time to think about the trip in general because I worked all day. I am so glad to be home and to see my family and girlfriend. I think Europe would have been a lot better if they would've been there with me. I was enjoying Europe but after all of the reading I did about the laws I feel like they want to micro manage everyone. I like Europe but it's not somewhere I'd like to live, that's for sure. I enjoyed visiting but that's all I could do. I would love to bring family back and show them around Amsterdam, it was the best place in Europe for sure. I really enjoy being able to speak the language in the States, that really agitated me with the language barrier. It was a nice trip but I'm glad to be back. I learned a lot that's for sure and am a lot more cultured. I think it gave me a good idea about Europe in general, I love telling everyone about the trip.

Overall it was a really fun trip and I actually liked most people on the trip. I know I was worried about not liking everyone. I don't think I'll go on another study abroad trip though, it sure was expensive!
Wednesday, August 5th

We had class today and then went to the Iamsterdam sign to take pictures. Climbing on the sign was fun and we got some good pictures. Some of us decided to go to the market. I was able to get a good deal on an Amsterdam flag and some other goodies. I wasn't feeling well that day so I went back to the apartment to rest until the Public Health demonstration. The heroine clinic was interesting because I had never heard an in depth description of how they handle it. I was a little let down though because they said it helped them a lot but most people never get completely off of the drugs. I came back to the apartment and continued to rest, today was not a good day because I was so tired.
Thursday, August 6th

We went to the Rembrandt house today. It was a nice museum and they displayed all of his work pretty well. I liked watching the employee mixing paint and preparing the paint like she was going to start painting. I was amazed to hear that Rembrandt had over 40 apprentices over his lifetime, that's a lot of artists that owe their style to him. I enjoyed looking at his cross hatching technique, I love that style. We left the Rembrandt house and continued to Saturnino for lunch. Their food is very good but the service is amazingly slow. I'm ready to go home because I just like the way we do things. I ordered the spaghetti carbonara and it was delicious. Lunch took a while and we were finally on our way back to the apartments. I decided to go look for souvenirs and found a lot of good stuff. Made my way back to the apartment and packed up and chilled out the rest of the night. I wanted to make sure I was rested up for the travel Friday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tuesday August 4th

Today was the day I've really been looking forward to. We went to the flower auction early this morning. Got on the trams to Leidseplein and then took a bus right to the Flower Auction, FloraHolland. The building is gigantic, its the largest commercial building in the world. It has 243 acres of ground space inside. This is all in one floor! I thought the visit here was the best group thing we did, it topped everything else that we were required to do. It taught me a lot about several automation functions as well as basic ideas to offer the winery. It was crazy looking over the transportation floor, where they move the flowers from one place to another, there were hundreds of small almost segway type transporters that would hook on to a cart of flowers and then go zipping across the building. The tour was really interesting and I didn't feel rushed, I could've watched the auction floor all day. It was amazing to think that this is where all the world's flower prices are determined. The auction room was neat because they just flew through he flowers, stopping for no body. I liked the idea with the headphones wirelessly connected to the tour guide's microphone so we could all hear without having to be near her and her being able to talk quieter and save her voice. All in all I thought it was awesome and future classes should definitely go to this. After the tour was done, we took the 30 minute bus ride back to the apartments and I took a nap. We had to get up at 5:30 for the auction. We had to be ready by mid day and we were going to the hash, hemp, and marijuana museum as well as Our Lord in the Attic. I liked Our Lord in the Attic, especially with being Catholic. I thought everything was very well restored but I was surprised at how small it was. I thought it was going to be a much more grand museum. The hash, hemp, and marijuana museum was a little bit of a let down because it was pretty small and most of the info recordings weren't interesting. I did like the video they showed, strangely enough it was made by the USDA in the 1940s. Today went by a lot faster than I was expecting, we all thought it was going to be super busy and take forever. Around 6 several of us headed to an Ajax (EYE-Axe) soccer game. Ajax is Amsterdam's team and there sure were a lot of people there. The stadium holds 50,000 and it was definitely at that mark. I have never been to a pro soccer game before, even though I played soccer for 12 years. It was a lot of fun but Ajax lost. The defense was playing on their heels. It was very hype when Ajax scored, the whole stadium went wild. Today was a good day! Did a lot of things but I definitely am ready to get back. I'm not looking forward to the flight back. And I miss my girlfriend.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday August 3rd

We had class today and cancelled the Hemp Museum. Everybody was pretty happy with that because they all wanted to go to the beach. I wasn't feeling it so I went out and rode my bike. I went down the the Albert Cuyp Market and bought a few things like a watch and a stroopwaffel. The man at the watch stand was very nice. I continued to ride a around for a while and then came to back to get a snack. Took a small nap and headed back out to buy a few things as gifts, next stop: the flower market. I bought a bunch of US certified bulbs to bring back home and explored the city some more. I'm beginning to feel more like a local now because navigating the roads on a bike isn't scary anymore and I can do it more fluidly than a lot of people. I finally made it back to the apartment and went to get sushi with the guys. The sushi at the first restaurant we went to was awesome but they hardly served us. We got one round of our all you can eat sushi, about 5 bucks a person worth. We paid 26 euro however and that's not including beers. We only had an hour to eat and didn't hear from anyone working there for half an hour so we left and went to another sushi restaurant. 20 euros for all you can eat for 5 rounds and it was delicious. Fast service and good quality. We finally made out way back to the apartments, it's pretty warm outside. The apartments are hot and stuffy and we don't have air conditioning, this will be a fun night. I'm missing home more than ever now. Most people are ready to go back, Amsterdam is fun but its hard to be a tourist for three weeks. You run out of things to do.
Sunday August 2nd

Today I decided to be lazy for half the day. I slept in until 11 and then researched things to do until about 2. I got cabin fever and headed out to rent a bike. Mikes bike shop of course! I got it until Thursday and it was only 36 euro. At first they gave me a bike that brakes when you turn the pedal backwards but I don't like those so I switched it out for another. I ended up riding all the way through Vondelpark. I wanted to ride sound to burn some time so I went all the way down to the business district, over to the football arena and over to Dieman. I was starving so I went to a local cafĂ© and tried bitter Ballen, they were really good. Had a sort of gravy taste to them. I also had. Spaghetti carbonara and a Heineken.  I finally made my way back to the apartment and watched movies the rest of the night. I was exhausted because I rode my bike for about 3 hours non stop!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Saturday August 1st

Today we woke up late and walked around. The beds were extremely hard, I didn't sleep well. We went to get a late breakfast and then walked to the Cathedral to get our tickets for going inside. The whole tour was only 4 Euro for students which as a nice relief. We first walked around the treasury and saw hundreds of priceless Catholic artifacts and then made our way to the top. There were over 500 steps to the top and most people in front of us had to stop or climb slowly which was pretty annoying for us. There was only enough room for a single file like going up the spiral staircase. The top was really neat because you could see all around Cologne, I was able to get some great pictures. We made our way down quickly because we didn't want to miss our train. We were scheduled for a 7 o'clock departure but everyone wanted to get back for the Gay Pride Festival in Amsterdam. Thankfully we were able to hop on the 2:45 train back. We finally made it back to Amsterdam and got ready to go out for the Festival. It was a lot of fun but there were tons of people so it made getting around very difficult. We all got back late after having a few beers!
Friday July 31st

Today we had class and then we packed for our travel to Cologne Germany. We chose Cologne because of how cheap the train tickets were and we wanted some authentic German food. We made our way to Centraal and got on the German ICE train. They aren't as nice as Thalys and aren't as smooth as a ride. That's probably because Thalys has dedicated lines. It took about 2 and a half hours to get there but we finally made it. It felt like a long ride. My first impression of Germans is they are very cocky and think they're better than others. I see how people think Americans are the same way but at least in the south, we're a lot more friendly. We made it to Cologne finally after several stops and walked through the train station. As soon as we came out the exit we saw the massive Cologne Cathedral. It is the dominant feature in the skyline of Cologne. We couldn't believe how big it was, we noticed people were going up in it and decided we have to at some point but we had to plan well because we were only there for a day. We walked about 15 minutes to our hotel, checked in and then rested a little and went out for dinner. We went to an authentic German restaurant, had several tiny beers (who knew they had small beers in Germany?) and a lot of us got Schnitzel, basically fried pork tenderloins. It was delicious, I was very impressed. We walked around and came back to the hotel to pre game and go out. I'm starting to get anxious about going home. Europe is nice but it's not Kentucky. I miss my family, girlfriend and friends a lot.