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Amsterdam and Sports!

by Katherine Gesoff

So this post is another double-post, consisting of last weekend’s adventures and this weekend’s adventures.

Last weekend, the weekend of November 6th-November 9th was one of the best travel experiences thus far. Excluding the fact that we almost missed our flight to Amsterdam of course. So let’s begin there.

Five friends and I were traveling together to Amsterdam on Thursday evening. Our flight was at 7:05 pm, so we decided to take a Terravision bus to Stansted airport (flying Ryan-Air) around 4pm. That gave us plenty of time, right? Wrong. We unfortunately did not factor in the lovely rush hour traffic of London, so a 45 minute bus ride turned into a 2 1/2 hour journey. We arrived at the airport at 6:38 pm, which sounds like there is still a sliver of hope to make the flight, however if you know anything about Ryan-Air, you know that they close the gates to their flights 30 minutes early. Why? I have no idea. Regardless of this information, we were determined to make our flight. So we booked it through the airport, skipped some very nice people in security, and ran to the gate. I arrived after three of my friends had already made it, seeing their faces, I thought we missed our flight. We didn’t! We got to the gate at 6:52 pm which was pretty impressive if I do say so myself. So we got on our flight and headed to Amsterdam. Once we were there we took another bus to the center and waked to our hostel which was St. Christopher’s at The Winston.

Friday was a day full of exploration. We walked all around Amsterdam just taking in the city and the awe-inspiring environment. We went to the Van Gogh Museum, which was a spectacular event in itself. While exploring we tried so many different delicacies and kept an open mind to the environment around us. That evening we had a nice dinner at one of my friend’s parent’s home, which was stunning and so homey. It was nice to be in a home instead of a dorm for a little while.

Saturday was more exploring along with waiting in line, and going to the Anne Frank House. Being half Jewish through my dad’s side of the family, this was a big deal for me. It was silencing how real it was to be in the house where they hid. If you are in Amsterdam and history means anything to you in any way, the Anne Frank House is a must.

Sunday was filled with a bike ride through the canals and all around Amsterdam! We didn’t have a plan, nor did we want one. That was the magic of that weekend: we didn’t plan much because we wanted to be able to explore the city how we wanted. This was honestly the best way to do it, we had so much fun and I certainly wouldn’t want to have spent the weekend any other way. The beauty of exploration, is the surprise that comes with it.

This past weekend, although a pretty calm one, was filled with sports!

On Friday we went to the USA vs. Colombia football match at Fulham FC stadium. This was such a fun match to attend! Much to our surprise, the Colombia fans took over the stadium and there was yellow everywhere!  It was a very good game and by both teams played well, though USA lost. It was a great experience to have been a part of – especially watching the security guards chase after the Colombia fans who ran out on the field after the match!

Saturday, my friend and I traveled to Wales for the Wales vs. Fiji rugby match. Even though it was quite a long journey, seeing my favorite rugby team play at home was incredible! It was a packed stadium with an attendance of 61,326 screaming fans. Wales did win (thank goodness) in a final score of 16-13, making it a very good game to have seen live. After the match, my friend and I walked around and explored the city of Cardiff before we caught the train back to Paddington. We walked up and down streets that were lit with Christmas lights, and found a Starbucks, a Krispy Creme, and a really cute Christmas Market, complete with delicious hot chocolate and yummy food! If in Wales I would definitely spend some time in Cardiff, it is such a cute town for some good food, drinks, and shopping!

Overall these past weekends have been a delight, and as my time here draws closer and closer to the end, I want to stay even more.

Cherish the little things, to recognize the big ones.

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