First of all, happy new year to you all. Time has been slipping by so quickly lately that I can barely grasp the fact that Christmas holidays are over, and even less that a new year has entered.
The reason I have lost track of time is because lately I have been constantly on the go. I haven’t had the opportunity to just sit back and recollect what’s been going on. Which is perfectly okay if you ask me. Sometimes life moves faster than usual, things happen and you don’t have the time to absorb them. But I am also glad I finally have the time to sit down and reminisce on what’s been going on.
So my life has gone through quite a change these last weeks. Last month I got my degree in Chemistry, and it was a fun and beautiful gradguation. The ‘student’ chapter of my life is in the past, at least for now, and I’m excited to do new things, and more importantly to start applying the knowledge I have abtained these past few years.
The day after I got my degree I set off to Italy for a traineeship. Italy will be my new home for three months.
Now Italy is beautiful, but since this is the first time moving to another country since I was eleven, it has been a bit tough on me. As are all new things. But challenges are only there for us to evolve.
A couple of days after arriving to Italy, the Christmas holidays began. So I jumped on a train and headed across Europe with a couple of friends. We started from Milan, and overall we visited 7 cities (5 countries total) in 10 days.
First stop: Bern, Switzerland.
Bern is a small little city, but that doesn’t steal from it’s magnificence. Walking around the streets is as if you’re walking in a fairytale.
The only downside to Bern (and Switzerland in general) is that it is very expensive, which resulted in us eating canned food and cheap raman at the hostel.
Next stop: Stuttgart, Germany. I have almost no photos from the city of Stuttgart since it was a pretty appalling city. It was full of construction sites, and there was nothing special to see. The only good thing was an arabic restaurant exactly below our hotel.
Because of our disappoinment at Stuttgard, the next day, on Christmas, we left urgently for a nearby city in France called Strasbourg. While in Strasbourg, we visited called an area called La Petite France, which is the historic part of the city of Strasbourg.
La petite france was also absolutely beautiful. Rivers and bridges extend like arteries between the 16th century houses. To make things more fairytale-like, swans live there.
Having not forgotten that it was Christmas, we ate our Christmas lunch in a restaurant just beside one of the rivers.
Also notable in Strasbourg were the Christmas markets, and a gothic cathedral called ‘Cathedral of our lady’.
After leaving Strasbourg we visited Cologne, Germany. At Cologne you can find the cologne cathedral, a monumental gothic cathedral towering over the city. At a height of 130 meters, we were able to climb to the top. This of course meant we had to climb what seemed like an eternity of stairs in a neverending staircase.
Next stop: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Now this is a city I could easily move to. Although it is a large city full of lots of people, the whole of it was beautiful and unique. I was surprised because, unlike other cities where there’s a tiny city center and then the suburbs seem nothing like it, Amsterdam was unique in it’s whole. It’s filled with endless small rivers and even more endless bridges. Bikers will love this city, since it’s very easy to move around by bike in Amsterdam and most people do exactly that.
Amsterdam is also the city of many other peculiar things. For example, Mariguana is legal in Amsterdam. You can find it easily in one of the so called ‘Coffee shops’ (careful: you won’t find coffee there, and if you do, it will probably have mariguana in it)Prostitution is also legal in Amesterdam. There is a whole area called ‘the red light disctrict’ dedicated to just that. In that area, we visited a very interesting museum about prostitution called ‘Red Light Secrets’.
All in all Amsterdam was an interesting, very beautiful city full of people and vitality. I enjoyed how most of the people their knew english and were friendly.
After Amsterdam came Brussels, Belgium.
Brussels I would say was the best christmas destinations of all the cities I visited. Check out this light-show they have in the Grand-Place square and you’ll know what I mean. It’s definately something I will never forget.
And finally, our final stop in which we spent New Years Eve was of course, Paris, France!
And thus Paris concluded my travels around Europe. 2018 has come and it has already been one of the weirdest and most unique years of my lifetime. I believe the best way to end this already-too-long update is with a quote:
” The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants
and discovers, along the way, what he needs.”