Long Study Tour Recap

After a long, exhausting, but amazing week in Rotterdam and Amsterdam with my European Sustainable Development class, and a weekend in Brussels with friends, I am so glad to be back and hyggeligt in Copenhagen.  Here are some memorable moments from the past week!  (p.s. My iphone was unfortunately stolen in Brussels and most of the pictures from my trip are gone with it.  I’m uploading a few pictures that I instagrammed and borrowing a few from my classmates.)

1. Architecture Walking Tour of Rotterdam

Rotterdam, the 2nd largest port city in the world, is unique in that it does not have the beautiful old buildings, castles, churches found in many other European cities.  Rotterdam was bombed during WWII and the city started over from scratch in the 50’s.  I enjoyed the architecture tour because it was interesting to see a city still in it’s development stages.  Rotterdam is trying to incorporate sustainable planning and transportation measures into the car-oriented city design that happened following the war.

Elevated bike/walkway around Rotterdam

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Sunshine in Rotterdam

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Urban garden on a rooftop in Rotterdam

 

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2.  Amsterdam Cat Museum

My roommate Joanna and I are both big cat lovers, so we obviously jumped at the chance to visit the “Katten Kabinet” in Amsterdam.  There we found 3 real live cats that we chased around and cuddled with along with tons of cat-related art ranging from Picassos and Rembrandts to old print advertisements with cats on them.  It was an inexpensive and interesting place that I would definitely recommend to anyone who has some free time in Amsterdam.

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3.  The Sun and the 30 F degree difference

One of the highlights of the trip was the amazing weather.  Feeling the sun and not wearing a jacket made Amsterdam seem like a magical wonderful fairytale land and also made me super excited for spring in Copenhagen!

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4. Bike Tour of Amsterdam

We did a really informative and entertaining bike tour of Amsterdam that covered everything from the history of the city to the legalization of marijuana and prostitution to the amount of dead bodies taken from the canals each year.  Biking in Amsterdam is a little less regulated and a bit scarier than biking in Copenhagen, but I managed to survive without falling into a canal.

5. Food

Food sustainability was the theme of our trip.  We visited an NGO called Fairfoods International, took a culinary workshop, attended a “raw food meditation dinner,” and ate at Jaime Oliver’s restaurant in Amsterdam called Fifteen.  I also ate delicious Indonesian and Indian food on my own time in Amsterdam, and got a waffle in Belgium.  As a formerly picky eater, I would like to take this moment to publicly declare that I ate and enjoyed every single meal.

Lunch at Fifteen

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Indonesian

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Culinary Workshop

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6. Van Gogh at the Hermitage Museum

In our free time, we were able to visit one of a few museums in Amsterdam.  I chose to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Hermitage museum.  I learned a lot about Van Gogh’s life, mental instability, and artistic genius.  Very worthwhile museum to visit.

 

Overall, I had a wonderful trip and Amsterdam is already on my “cities I must absolutely return to” list.

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