To Scandinavia, we go!

Last week, I finally made my way to Sweden to visit my love, Allie (her study abroad blog is here) via bus from Eindhoven to Copenhagen. Travel time took about 12 hours…yup. Let’s just say I can survive anything after taking a night bus across 3 countries.

Upon arrival in Copenhagen, Allie “Copenhagen Expert” Woodward took me around to show me the best a few hours in the city could offer. We shopped, walked through Christiania (really cool hippie community) and got Nutella-filled crepes (which I proceeded to spill all over myself, so I ended up wearing the nutella…I REGRET NOTHING).

Other highlights include a glass of wine while were serenaded by live music on the canal, as well as some in-ground trampolines near the water, which made for good pictures.

 

After a day in Copenhagen, we took a train back to Allie’s humble abode in Lund, Sweden where she is on exchange at university there. We nommed on some dinner and got ready to go out to the Nations! They don’t really have bars in Lund, just Nations which double as bar/clubs in residential buildings. It’s a big student scene with lots of typical techno and well-dressed Swedes, drinking pricey beers and ciders. One big difference was that everyone dances when they go out there! The Dutch don’t seem to be into dancing as much as the Swedes (which is not a problem for me. I prefer a good chat on a night out, usually).

Our night at the Hallands Nation with Allie and her French friend, Jennifer, was enjoyable though!

The next day, Allie and I did a BIG brunch…American style (eggs, bacon, OJ, coffee, toast & cream cheese…the works). It was nice be able to indulge in American things and talk about stuff from home, after spending so much time without that luxury. I haven’t actually had that much contact with fellow Americans during my study abroad experience.

Allie showed me around Lund and we bought some Swedish snacks at the grocery store to prepare for our trip to the spa the next day! We went a spa in a small town, Ystad, which is ON THE BEACH. The spa was so relaxing and beautiful. The food was amazing as well (although we had a bit of trouble ordering at first…oh, language barriers).

Overall, the trip to Denmark and Sweden was one of my most fun and relaxing trips yet. Sometimes its nice to just enjoy the days slowly instead of sightseeing all day, like a typical tourist.

She’s starting early…

 

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Allie’s Visit/Another weekend in Amsterdam!

Writing a bit late on this, since Allie left on Monday, but I am so glad my lovely friend decided to come all the way from Sweden to visit me! Allie came into Eindhoven on Saturday, so I showed her around my town. We went shopping at the Saturday outdoor market in Woensel (and bought some awesome America shirts…while we were in Holland…haha). We ate lunch in the center, so Allie got to try the fries with mayonnaise. Allie is now a converted fan of the mayonnaise 🙂

We also did a bit of additional shopping in the Eindhoven center and then picked up some “Chinese” food- I use quotation marks because every outside food in the Netherlands has a bit of Dutch style to it because apparently, the Dutch are picky eaters. Also, their Chinese food is just different than the Chinese food you’d expect in America. Still very good though!

After a bit of rest, I took Allie out in the Stratum (street of pubs in Eindhoven’s center) to meet up with some friends. Highlights include being some of the only people dancing, as well as watching lots of karaoke in the karaoke bar- always entertaining.

On Sunday, we took a trip to Amsterdam! It was actually helpful that’d I just been there a week before, because I was much better at navigating the city this time. First off, we went to see the Anne Frank House. Like I said, it’s very powerful to be in the Secret Annex, where the Frank and Van Pels families hid during World War II. Everyone should see it at least once!

After the Anne Frank house, we walked through the flower market, where they sell pretty much everything, with a focus on tulips. After getting some snacks (fries and croissants, mmm) we went on a Canal Tour through the city, which was perfectly timed on the cusp of nightfall, when all the lights around the canal bridges look beautiful. The canal tour lasted an hour. I also highly recommend doing that at least once!

Of course, a trip to Amsterdam is incomplete without walking around the Dam and the Red Light District, so we made some excursions to those parts of the city as well. After lots of walking and a bit of dinner, we went to the “Xtra Cold” Amsterdam Ice Bar! We had to wear huge puffy jackets and gloves so that we could drink our beverages out of entirely ice glasses. Talk about cold drinks. The walls and the seating arrangements were also made out of ice- pretty cool. The eskimo bartender also apparently knows someone in school in Atlanta. He asked us what state in the US we were from before we made that connection. Talk about 6 degrees of separation.

After that, we took a late train home to Eindhoven. Monday I had to go to school to work on some projects, so Allie came with. We double-biked (the word I have devised that refers to someone riding on the back of a one-person bike). Allie has a picture of this in action. It’s pretty hilarious. Wish I could post it here!

Anyway, it was a great weekend. Now all I have to do is plan MY visit to Sweden to see Allie 🙂ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage