so yeah, i went to berlin, brussels, and of course amsterdam to end my travels.
those days flew by so fast.
i'll just touch up on some of the highlights of each trip.
berlin: nick, christian, and i took an over night train from malmo, sweden all the way to germany. our train went ON a ferry in the middle of the night, in which, christian and i got off of the train to go check out the scenery. there was little to none since it was in the dead of night, but it was still pretty amazing how our train was on a ferry. after arriving in berlin at 6:00am, we took a few trains to our hostel where we met up with our friend from copenhagen, drew. we dropped off our luggage, and immediately wanted to do something so the day wasn't wasted. we found a bike tour that was 4 hours long that toured allll of berlin, and it was worth every minute of it. we saw so many cool things such as: check point charlie, the berlin wall, the reichstag, a bier garden, the 'chick on a stick,' and many more. being able to ride a bike all over the city was the best way to see it and we got lucky with the weather. after the 4 hour bike tour, we explored a bit more on foot, headed back to our hostel and freshened up for the night. we went out for dinner and hit up a bar, where we tried some more delicious german beers. the next morning we slept in a bit, but then got right to it. we 'checked out' bikes for the day, and again, just biked all around berlin. by the second day we felt like we knew were everything was and that we were experts already. haha. we ended up going to a museum that had a le corbusier and bahuas exhibit. we deff. spent a good few hours there because everything inside was absolutely amazing for all of us designers. after the exhibit, we rode our bikes to another bier garden, had some more amazing german beers and sausages, and ended the day riding our bikes to the reichstag where we laid in the grass for a bit, and then went up to the top of the dome. (the reichstag is the first parliament building of the german empire). on top of the dome we got some beautiful pictures of the sun setting, absolutely amazing. after this we dropped off our bikes, walked home to our hostel, freshened up again for the night, and went walking around to dinner and a new bar for the night. the next morning nick left us at around 7am, drew left around 9am, and christian and i headed to the train station to embark on our long train trip to brussels, belgium
after about what felt like ten hours on multiple trains to brussels, we finally arrived in the early evening, checked into our hostel, freshened up, and then went out for a traditional belgium dinner. well, christian had it, aka: mussels and french fries with belgium beer. after that, we made our way to a famous bar, one that had over 2000+ beers, and was well known for being in the guinness book of world records for having the most beers in one bar. i tried a few different 'fruity' beers that were on tap and i actually really liked them. christian tried a few more than me, and they were all very interesting and different in taste. they had a book at the bar that was full of all of the beers, so you could literally just turn the pages, plop your finger down, and try a new beer each time. we also ran into a few german guys back at our hostel that night and had a few drinks with them. they were excited about drinking jägermeister because it is a german alcohol, but we had to crush their spirits a little bit and tell them that we have that in the states and that it is quite popular over there too. that night was very interesting and full of fun. the next morning we went out exploring around brussels. we went to a traditional belgium restaurant where i had, you guessed it, a belgium waffle. it was very tasty and worth the money. i also got plenty of belgium chocolates that i brought back to the states to share with the family. after that, we literally explored all of brussels, from going to a few amazing churches, to the top of a car garage, to see the 'pissing baby', and everywhere in between. the whole city was easy to explore, it only took about 30 minutes to get from one side of the city to the other side. but it was fun just being able to walk up and down the streets and experience european architecture and design and the people and the culture. after walking everywhere in brussels possible, we decided to pack up our stuff and head to the train station to take our last train to amsterdam, netherlands.
the train ride to amsterdam wasn't so bad, other than we had to transfer to a couple of trains, that's always a pain when you are carrying all the luggage around that i was. good thing i had christian with me. we arrived that night in amsterdam and decided to take it easy so we ate dinner at a restaurant and called it a night. the next morning we got up bright and early as to not waste the day again, decided to travel by bike again and went on another bike tour, this time of amsterdam. although it wasn't as lengthy as the berlin one (this one being only 2 hours), it was deff. worth it. we traveled near and far all throughout amsterdam and went to such places as: the 'i am sterdam' sign, many museums, through a few parks, went past the heineken brewery (which we went to the next day), and just through many of the streets and canals of amsterdam. after that we just took it easy for the day and just walked around and explored amsterdam. later that night we took a red light district tour where we got good information on how it started, why it's still there, and just about everything you need to know about it. we ended the tour at a bar, and that night we just walked the streets of the red light district to see what sights there were to see. it was interesting how touristy amsterdam was compared to the other places that we had been. the next day we rented bikes for the day, rode to the heineken brewery (which was absolutely amazing although we both didn't like heineken beer), rode to anne franks' house, but it was too crowded to go in, rode to van gogh museum, again that places was packed and the line was long, so we didn't go in, went to the museum of modern art (i believe), but that was being rebuilt at the time we were there, and so instead of going anywhere, we just decided to ride our bikes and get lost in amsterdam. we struck out with every place we wanted to go to, so riding bikes was just as cool. we picked up lunch, ate it in a park, cruised around the city for a bit, and then ended up at a 'dungeon.' it was a little bit cheesy, but it was fun nonetheless. after this, we picked up some dinner, and then had to drop off our bikes. christian was leaving that night to go to switzerland for the day, so i dropped him off at the train station, walked around the red light district for a couple of hours to take in europe for the last night, and called it a night. in the morning i walked to the train station, all by myself, to start my journey back to the states.
i took the train to the airport in amsterdam, waited a few hours there for my flight to london, got to london and had to rush to my next flight, and then finally got there, and 10 hours later, i was landing in chicago. it was really hard leaving europe behind, leaving my life that i lead for the past two months behind, and just leaving all of my friends behind too. i made so many new and amazing friends that i want to keep in my life, but it's going to be hard seeing all of them now since they all live in different ends of the states: vermont, new york, colorado, etc. but they will still hold a special place in my heart and i plan on visiting them all sometime in the near future. after getting all of my luggage at the airport, i had a special someone waiting for me with four roses... it was so good seeing him after being away for eight weeks.
since i've been back in the states, it's been nothing but business for me. i've had to run so many errands, worry about moving into a new place, jumping right back into school/classes, trying to get my jobs back, and just all around get accustomed to life in the states again. i can honestly say living in europe for eight weeks was co completely different than living in the states, that it is still taking me a bit to get used to everything again. of course i loved living and being in europe, but it is finally nice to be back home in chicago, sleep in my own bed, see all of my friends again, and just get back into my normal routine of being busy in the city. i'll never forget the time i spent in copenhagen, or all the traveling i did because i have so many pictures to remember it by. i do hope to be able to go back sometime in the near future, once i have money again, and do more traveling in europe. as for now, i have to concentrate on my last year of school, decide what i want to do for my future, and just live my life to the fullest. this is the end of this, for now.. unless i have time during the school year to keep updating. i hope all of you that read this will be able to see my pictures sometime in the near future, as i took over 3,300 of them, but don't worry, i plan on cutting it down to maybe a few hundred for you to see. thanks, and i hope you enjoyed my adventures in europe for the summer of 2009.