Belgium, Europe, The Netherlands

Amsterdam and Bruges

I’m writing this on my way back to London. I just went back through the chunnel from Calais, so I’m about two hours from London.
I decided to do a trip to Amsterdam this weekend and I signed up with a student bus tour. It was actually one of my best ideas, except for the lack of sleep. I went to Edinburgh two weekends ago and it was ok, but I didn’t talk to a single person. On the tour, there were lots and lots of students, mostly American, which meant that in my free time I could still travel around on me own and see what I wanted, but I had people to hang with in the evening. Definitely going this route again. So my trip…
I left Friday night at around 8 p.m. And arrived in Amsterdam at 7:30 in the morning. We got a tour of the main city, had breakfast together and had a bit of time for souvenirs. Then we were taken to the museum area and set free. I toured the Van Gogh and the Heineken brewery, which I apparently can’t spell. We then had a boat cruise on one of the canals. After going to the hotel to shower and get ready, they took us down to the red light district and let us go. Definitely had a full Amsterdam experience!
This morning we went to this tiny little town outside of the city and watched a clog making demonstration and visited a cheese factory. I bought 13-year-old Gouda and fortified wine. I’ve dipped into both already… They are delicious. I then toured a working windmill. It makes dye. Let me just tell you, the blades travel fast.
After leaving Amsterdam, we spent the afternoon in Brugge or Bruges, Belgium. It’s this medieval looking town, where all the buildings are about 500 years old. It’s all preserved. I bought lots of Belgian chocolate and Belgian beer. Very excited to break them open. I’m going to have a feast tonight.

I’ll let the photos of my trip speak for themselves:

Europe, Scotland

In a hostel in Edinburgh

So I decided earlier this week to make an impromptu trip to Edinburgh. I’m sitting in the lounge of a hostel, using a borrowed computer and watching a rugby match between Ireland and South Africa.

I forgot to that Edinburgh is a fair bit colder than London… and gets dark about two hours earlier… and has already started their rainy season. Basically it is disgusting outside. But I got a fair bit done today.

I caught the train from King’s Cross station at 7 a.m. this morning and arrived in Edinburgh about 11:45. My hostel was only a ten minute walk from the train station and it’s actually a very nice place. They have free wireless, free computers, free laptops and free breakfast. Honestly, it’s nicer than the place I’m staying at in London.

I mainly spent the rest of the day wandering around. I walked to the top of the castle and got the view. I visited several souvenir places and managed to find a scarf in the MacAulay clan tartan… so I bought it. I ate dinner at the Elephant Cafe… famous for being the place that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. (She would sit there for hours writing and did some of the first manuscript on their napkins.)… all in the pouring rain. Oh well.

I also managed to piss of a cab driver by trying to pay for a five pound cab ride with a 50…. they’re meaner here than London.