Hey friends!! So as you may know, I did take a mini reading break vacation to the Netherlands back in February. For the most part, I stayed in Amsterdam, but because the country is relatively small compared to Canada (hahah, duh), I was able to see surrounding cities as well, including Leiden, Utrecht, and Rotterdam. I can’t give you guys a complete travel guide for each city since I wasn’t in each location long enough, so I decided to write a journal about what I did and things I saw that might help!
If you’re more interested in reading about Amsterdam, you should probably read this blog post instead: All the Cool Stuff I Did in Amsterdam 🙂
Also, I’m playing around with new Lightroom filters for my blog posts, beginning with this one. Let me know if you like them or if you have other ones you would suggest. I’m trying to evoke a different ~*mood*~ for each photo, instead of using the same standard filter on each one the way I do on Instagram 😀
I tend to overlook smaller cities. Along with so many other travellers, I tend to think that the bigger the city, the better it is. But Leiden was full of surprises in every nook and corner!
Some cool stuff to check out in Leiden:
1. The Waag: Right smack in the center of Leiden lies the Waag, which used to be a place where people used to weigh goods for sale. Now, it’s a hot spot for great food and the Netherland’s amazing beer (second only to Canada, of course, but I might be a tad biased 😉)
2. Windmill tours: If you don’t do a windmill tour while you’re in the Netherlands, did you even go?
3. Burcht van Leiden: The Burcht van Leiden is one of the oldest forts in Leiden. It was built in the 11th century on top of an artificial hill, and has an incredible view of the city.
It seems I can’t get away from school completely, even when I’m on reading break. (It was supposed to be reading break sans reading 🙄) I spent a few hours at the university library catching up on group work. Afterwards, I had a lot of time to explore and check out the main shopping district at charming Utrecht, aside from Hoog Catharijne, a mall at Stationsplein.
Utrecht is quite popular for its restaurants right in front of the canals and its shopping, of course. They have something for everyone – everything from antique stores, to elevated labels. Plus, there are so many cute little cafes you can have a cappuccino and people watch at!
I only spent a few hours in Rotterdam and I used that time to do 4 things:
1. Use the restroom at Subway, lol. I didn’t know they charge you 2 euros to use the 🚽 ?!
2. Saw the Erasmusbrug (“Brug” is the Dutch word for “bridge” but pronounced “Brookhhhhhhhhhh”), which is famous because it connects the south and north areas of the city. It was a lot less tourist-y than I thought it would be, since the Snapchat location filters all have the bridge as their main identifier for the city!
3. Cube houses! These incredibly bright, innovative houses are based on the concept of “living on an urban roof”. The architect, Piet Blom, designed each house so that they look like a tree individually, but when you stand further back and view the entire collection together, it resembles a forest. Cool, huh? I remember thinking to myself that if I had stayed in Rotterdam a little longer, I would want to stay at one of the cube houses, if anyone had listed them on Airbnb or something, haha.
4. Ate everything in sight at Markthal: If you’re feeling hungry (and honestly, even if you aren’t), you should probably check out Rotterdam’s famous fresh market and food court in the city centre . This is where I ate a “stroopwafel“! 10/10 would recommend.
I have big, big news!! This July, I’ll be living in Montreal for a few weeks to participate in a French language program called EXPLORE. I’ll make to document everything I see on that trip, too, so stay tuned! Until then, I’ll be posting makeup and fashion-related stuff until I’m on the road again.