Posts Tagged With: Amsterdam

So this is goodbye?

Well, I am officially back in New Jersey so I guess this is goodbye. I could talk about what an amazing and life changing experience this was and how I grew as a person and sound as cliche as a Study Abroad pamphlet. So rather than be a redundant bore, I’m going to talk about how delicious the food is in Europe.

I actually tried snails! They were surprisingly minty and gross.

I actually tried snails! They were surprisingly minty and gross.

Spanish Tortilla with salmorejo (creamy tomato soup)

Spanish Tortilla with salmorejo (creamy tomato soup)

First, I’d like to thank my incredible host mother because home is where I had the best meals. She even taught me how to cook a few of my favorites, like Tortilla Española.

Churros and Chocolate: possibly the best thing to ever exist.

Churros and Chocolate: possibly the best thing to ever exist.

Those who study abroad and have the option of a host family should definitely do it, without my homestay, I would not have been exposed to the delicious cuisine of Spain without breaking the bank.

Patatas Bravas :)

Patatas Bravas 🙂

Pancakes from a very american brunch place in Spain

Pancakes from a very american brunch place in Spain

In Spain, the majority of the food was deliciously fried or very meat heavy. Ham and cheese croquettes was one of my favorite meals. The seafood in Spain is also beyond amazing (before going there I did not eat fish…that changed quickly upon arrival!), cod fish, shrimp, and other shell fish are popular.

Ham and cheese croquettes.

Ham and cheese croquettes.

Don’t be surprised either if you find all your meals lacking in vegetables. Coming from a home where I ate raw veggies on the daily, it was hardest to get used to having all of my veggies cooked in oil or fried. Bread is another staple at every meal. My host mother would buy bread from the bakery basically every other day and we would eat it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Pirinono (a cinnamon-bun like dessert from Granada)

Pirinono (a cinnamon-bun like dessert from Granada)

Spanish coffee is better than Starbucks. But then again, any coffee is better than Starbucks.

Spanish coffee is better than Starbucks. But then again, any coffee is better than Starbucks.

Another main difference between Spanish and American cuisine is the hour at which food is eaten. In Spain, I would eat breakfast, then snack, then lunch at around 3pm, then another snack, and dinner was early at anywhere between 9 and 10pm.

I found the best cake place in Sevilla (its near Plaza Nueva!)

I found the best cake place in Sevilla (its near Plaza Nueva!)

Cookies from Madrid

Cookies from Madrid

Besides just eating in Spain, I tried foods from eleven countries total: France, Holland, England, Morocco, Portugal, Czech Republic, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, and Hungary.

Sausage and potatoes in Budapest.

  Sausage and potatoes in Budapest.

Dutch cheese

Dutch cheese

Currywurst in Germany

Currywurst in Germany

Beef in Hungary!

Beef in Hungary!

Trying local cuisine was one of my favorite aspects of traveling but that is just because I’m an incredible foodie. IMG_4766

Fancy grilled cheese in Paris

Fancy grilled cheese in Paris

French Croissant

French Croissant

Anyways, I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone (AKA my grandma) for reading about and keeping up with my semester in Spain.

Belgian Waffle

Belgian Waffle

Adios! 

Coffee

Coffee

Fancy Iced Coffee

Fancy Iced Coffee

More Coffee

More Coffee

French Coffee

French Coffee

Coffee from an eastern european country (I forget which one)

Coffee from an eastern european country (I forget which one)

Spanish Coffee....Again

Spanish Coffee….Again

I'm not the only one who drinks coffee!

I’m not the only one who drinks coffee!

Categories: Food, Study Abroad, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amsterdam Stole My Heart

Everyone that I’ve spoken to within the past week has definitely heard my feelings towards Amsterdam. I spent less than four days there, but I immediately fell in love with the city.

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I got in on Friday night and met up with two of my sorority sisters and friends, Eva and Emily, who are both spending the semester there. We went to a cute cafe/bar and got hot chocolates which are apparently really popular there (and delicious too!).

My hostel

My hostel

I stayed in hostel next to Vondlepark called Stayokay. It was my first hostel experience and it was wonderful. They offered discounted tickets to museums and attractions as well as a complimentary breakfast and cheap bike rentals. Also none of my stuff got stolen, so that was pretty exciting too.

On Saturday I rented a bike and we went to the famous and overly crowded

“IAmsterdam” sign. From here we biked past the museum district and went to the Heinneken Brewery for a tour. Afterwards, I biked around some smaller canals and explored the more residential areas. Then I went to the Van Gogh museum. That night we got delicious Thai food and walked through the Red Light District which I thought was really interesting because it is something so different from anywhere else I’ve been before. There are lots of glass windows/doors with prostitutes in lingerie standing on the other side. These windows line the streets and each one has a red light above it (hence the name, red light district). I later learned that these women have to pay 150 euros per day just to rent their window which means they must make more than that every single day!

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Eva and I during the brewery tour

Sunday in Europe is pretty much the worst day as far as traveling because everything is closed. Always. I spent a large portion of the day just walking around, exploring the Red Light District and Dam Square again during the day. I went to a photography museum as well as the prostitution museum both of which had Sunday hours. At night, I ate french fries in a cone with mayonnaise. It was delicious, and definitely an essential food to try when in Holland (in addition to hot chocolate, waffles, pancakes, croquettes, and toast with sprinkles for breakfast).

Vondlepark, right next door to the hostel.

Vondlepark, right next door to the hostel.

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I got an early start on Monday morning and made it to the Anne Frank museum before the line got crazy long (I waited about an hour- definitely buy tickets beforehand if you ever visit). I’ve been once before, right after reading the actual book, I think I knew a lot more about Anne Frank then, but it was still really powerful and moving seeing the house again. Out of respect photography wasn’t allowed inside the house, so I only got a picture of the entrance.

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Reading all about the Holocaust made me very sad so naturally, I went right across the street to the free cheese museum and replaced my sad feelings with free samples of every kind of Gouda imaginable. It was a super cute store/museum and the management didn’t care whether you sampled every single cheese (it was more a cheese shop rather than a museum, but I still enjoyed it).

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I am so glad that I came back to Amsterdam. I had so much fun (shoutout to Eva and Emily!) and actually ended up learning a lot about the city and culture. I also found that Amsterdam, like Paris, has a very cohesive look in terms of architecture, and it is very distinct from all of the other places I’ve visited.

On a completely unrelated note, it’s already mid March which is crazy because it arrived so quickly. But on the bright side, only one more week until my birthday trip to Morocco!

Categories: Study Abroad, Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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