After Paris, Haylee and I hopped a bus to Amsterdam. I honestly can’t believe that I just typed out a sentence where I hopped a bus to Amsterdam. It was a damn long bus trip and for the first time that week I regretted only packing my flip flops because the bus was cold and my feet were soon freezing. Haylee laughed at me when I stretched my sweatpants down over my feet in an effort to cover my toes.
When our bus stopped in Brussels, an American student who was studying in France got on. Her name was Molly and she was lovely to meet. Talking to her helped us to pass the time while our very late bus made its way to Amsterdam. It was interesting hearing about her adventures studying abroad because they were so different from our experiences. Well, except for the fact that all three of us missed food and food prices from home.
After our bus dropped us off in Amsterdam the three of us set out to get a map and find out where we wanted to go. Haylee and I bought our train tickets to go to Rotterdam and after figuring out what we wanted to do for the night, we parted ways with our new friend.
Because our bus was so late getting into Amsterdam, Haylee and I only had a few hours to spend there. We set off to explore the city as best we could. I’ve never really wanted to go to Amsterdam before, but now that I’ve been there I can’t wait to go back. We went and saw the Anne Frank House and on the way there came across the canals. I have no idea why, but I was completely in love with the idea of canals running through the city. I wish I had more time to walk along them.
Sadly, we weren’t able to find the iAmsterdam sign because of some wrong directions, but simply walking around the city was enough to make me fall in love with it. The city was alive and beautiful at night. It wasn’t like many of the other cities that I’ve been in where the lights are harsh and the air feels polluted with them. Instead the city just buzzed and the light felt very natural.
Once our time in Amsterdam was up, Haylee and I hopped a train to Rotterdam where we would spend the next two nights. The train was a double decker and we sat on the top level. It was interesting to feel like you were flying through the air as the train zipped us off to our stop.
After nearly 16 hours of travel Haylee and I checked into our hotel and collapsed into our bed.
As I fell asleep I thought about what I normally would have been doing. If I had been at home, I would normally be playing in the annual basketball tournament that my team hosts every year. When I woke up the next morning I felt a little bit homesick as I thought about the fact that my younger sister would be waking up later that day to get ready to play basketball. I missed my teammates. I was thousands of miles away from home and I kind of wanted to cry.
Then I remembered where I was and what I’d been doing all week. Not only that but I remembered that I was spending the week with one of my favourite people and closest friends. I couldn’t have picked a better person to travel with. Even though I was a bit homesick, I couldn’t help but be thankful that I was with Haylee and we were soon going to be heading out into a new city to explore it and see where the day took us. Then I realized it was barely 9am and that we had decided to sleep in that day and I promptly rolled over and passed back out.
Spending the day in Rotterdam was interesting. Rather than training to other parts of the city, Haylee and I walked around the area that we were staying in. It was nice just to be able to walk around a city and enjoy it. We were looking for the European Walk of Fame, but apparently Google lied to us (or we suck at looking things up) and it was in a different part of the city. That didn’t phase us though. We carried on exploring until we found a Lidl (cheap grocery store) and we stocked up on snacks.
One of those snacks was supposed to be a carton of chocolate milk to go with our cookies. Except it wasn’t chocolate milk. Rather than buying a litre of chocolate milk, we bought a litre of chocolate pudding. When we got back to our hotel to settle in for another relaxing night, Haylee went to pour herself a glass of chocolate milk and it came out…well, it came out as pudding.
At that point I got hungry and went out on my only solo adventure in Europe to find food and something to scoop our pudding up with. I wound up buying pizza and I got forks to eat the pudding.
The next day our adventures in the mainland of Europe came to an end. Haylee and I hopped a bus to head off to London for two days before returning to Lampeter.
I had never had any interest in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but I can definitely say that seeing both of these cities was an experience I will never forget and I can’t wait to go back to them. Except when I return I will be armed with the knowledge that chocolate pudding masquerades as chocolate milk and that VLA = PUDDING. I think this was one of my more valuable lessons that I learned while travelling.
Well, that and a whole host of other things, but I feel like knowing that pudding can dress up as chocolate milk is important.