Hope you enjoy the recap of our first couple of trips!!! More to come.
We fit in with our new family right away, we are comforted by Shalina's mother like tendencies, forcing Elliot to take us out. Per usual the tripsters made friends and had a good night (considered low key for these crazy hollanders).
We woke up the next day, ready for adventure. Shalina once again assumed her position of cooking everyone breakfast while chain smoking her cigarettes. Time in Holland is non-existant. Its unreal to our American mindset how people live without schedules, rush, and worry. Acclimating to the Amsterdam life style, we finally left the hotel at around 1pm to get some broccoli soup. Passing by numerous coffee shops, we soon discovered there was no coffee to be found. These infamous shops are scattered throughout the city and are always bustling with regulars and newbies.
Amsterdam is the perfect spot for twenty-something around the world. It is small enough to feel like you can explore the whole city, at the same time it is vast enough that you can never run out of things to do. If you are lucky enough to find an amsterdam family, you will enjoy this place as much as we did. Or you can borrow ours and go stay at the Liberty Hotel. It won't be for everyone, but if you are someone who wants to be immersed into the city you are in, and open minded to a different lifestyle, then you need to check this place out. Shalina and Elliot made us feel at home like family, took us out like friends, and made us laugh like comedians. Thank you Hotel Liberty for making our experience in Amsterdam what it was, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Drinks with Micha turned into a couple of hours at a cool Berliner bar. Although we enjoyed our time, unfortunately we had to wake up 40 mins after going to sleep in the Hostel X Berger. Thankfully, we made it to the plane on time and landed in Amsterdam at around 9am. We booked a hotel the night before, as we needed a break from waking up next to random spaniards in a hostel. Arriving into Amsterdam we were first amazed at the quaint city, with its canals, warped buildings, and bicyclists but soon our amazement turned into confusion as our hotel was locked. After walking down the street in an enigmatic state, we noticed an angsty boy hurriedly unlocking the front door and running upstairs. Thank goodness some of us were runners in high school (cough cough Mcella). We followed him the tiny spiraled staircase into what appeared to be a kitchen/lobby/tv room. He didn't waste anytime lightening up a cigarette and telling us about his move from Manchester to Holland. There we waited, unsure of how to handle the situation seeing as our reservation was on the computer which happened to be at Elliot's house. Next we were joined by a slew of Belgium hotel guests.
The slender, suave Shalina entered, scolding Elliot in a mother like manner for being too drunk and stoned the night before. She began cooking breakfast for the Belgium folk while chain smoking and ranting about the overbooked rooms and telephone ringing off the hook. Were we in a haze from lack of sleep or were these people just characters in a hallucinogenic dream? After sitting there for 3 hours and enjoying conversations about prostitutes, drugs, and the sites of Amsterdam we finally got let into our room. We then began our exploration of Amsterdam. Only being outside for 30 mins, we witnessed an undercover cop arrest, a pimp yelling at his hoe, and a trippy carnival. Making our way to the red light district, we encountered the bakery with "the best apple pie" in the world: Winkel. Unfortunately due to our troubling addiction to chocolate, we passed it up for a piece of cold and spongey chocolate cake. Both not wanting to admit we made a mistake we consumed the entire slice until we discovered our mutual disgust for this dry and bitter sad excuse of a cake.
We finally wandered into the Red Light District, where we were surprised to find how many families with their children seemed to enjoy the attraction. These hollanders are pretty wild. A women for every type of sexual appetite, these couple of streets shocked our core into disbelief that this was real life. After thankfully not being "taken" by the pimps that were cat-calling us, we roamed into the Amsterdam Flea Market. One woolen sweater later, we decided to head home as the weather had had enough of us. Through intermittent rain and hail, we strolled back through the streets only stopping for stroodwaffles, and hamster stores. We got back to our cozy hotel in hopes of taking a nap but instead we were greeted by a stoned hollander, Elliot, Shalina, and a bottle of Vodka...so the night begins.
Its 6 am, and all I can hear is the sounds of swiss girls yelling down the corridor. My hair smells like cheap cigarettes (thanks Hollanders) and my mouth tastes of stale beer. As I unglue my eyelids, bright orange and pink walls come into focus, and I roll over to find an unknown Norwegion girl in a bunk next to me. Yes America, this was our first night in a hostel in Berlin. We arrived at Hostel-x-berger in the evening to find a bunch of seemingly unwelcoming travelers. We grabbed some AMAZING Indian food, then of course, picked up some booze to give us liquid courage to approach our soon to be best friends. It began with an awkward encounter with a strange Spaniard, an artist ( of childrens drawings, or mangled bodies, were not too sure). Soon enough we invited a Mexican boy and his cousin to join our broken Spanish conversation ( sorry Tammy we tried really hard). The night really began when we forced a relationship 4 incredibly amazing Hollanders, Frank Jeppe, William, and Bert, we love you guys!! After a night of shennanigans and drinking in the streets of Berlin ( that's right, in the streets per request of the Hollanders, it's legal), we woke up in the morning only to remember theres no shampoo in hostels.
After finding a solution to our shampoo snafu, we traveled to see the Berlin wall. Thank goodness our Hollander's joined us because Mcella would have been taking pictures of the wrong wall. Its embarrasing how much other countries learn about World History compared to American students. Despues videos of the wall, we decided to embarck on a two hour trek to Sachsenhausen (the concentration camp outside of Berlin). Here we had a chilling awakening and realized there are more important things in life than not having shampoo in the morning. Eerily enough, after perfect weather throughout the entirety of our adventure, the sun shined turned into gloom. Making our way to the bus station, an apocolyptic wind storm fell upon us. It was creepy to say the least. Fortunately, more sun shine came into our lives when we encountered a happy go lucky Brazilian, on a euro-trip of his own. It was lucky we did because we would have never gotten home: due to the German language, broken trains, and cryptic maps. We were sad to leave him, but excited to discover he will be joining us on our 7 am flight to AMSTERDAM! Now we are off to enjoy some Turkish kebaps, and rainy night with our new American loving, Berlin wall praising, tourist enthusiast, and nicotine addicted German, Micha : ). Schnitzel my nizzle yankeedoodle dizzle.......
Part 1: fairy tale princes and big sausages
Hot German Boys in College sweaters... yes please. Today we took the 45 min trek to a land called Tubingen. This city is a small college town with a lot of history. In fact the school is based in a castle! Walking around it appeared to us that everybody was eating Gelato....how do they stay so thin? After spending the day strolling the town and tasting their sausages (finally a real German sausage!) we took a boat trip down the center of town. This ended up being a lovely tour of the town despite the chill we started to get at sunset (pictures to come). After a hot tea we decided to grab a bite at the local "Mexican" restaurant called El Chicos. Should have guessed Mexican in Germany would equate to marinara sauce on top of a faux burrito. Oh and p.s. if you plan on partying with German students don't go on a Sunday. Better luck next time for us as we both did not meet German boyfriends.
Part 2: Sorry Mom
So it turns out German train prices change over night, so when booking German trains do not leave it to the last minute. After enjoying our spaghetti burritos, we came back to the warmth of Yasemin's dorm to book our train to Berlin, unfortunately the prices rocketed to 170 euros (~210 american dollars), aka not within the budget. After a slight moment of hysteria we thought why not do like the Europeans and trust in the kindness of a complete stranger. With the help of our host we found a website where students caravan for a small fee to different places in Germany. We found a man named Micha, who was going to Berlin at 11 am the next morning. After extensive facebook creeping, we decided the cute German surpassed our fears of rape and murder (yay...). We joined Micha, a stubborn American hating Berliner ( Don't worry America we stole his heart back), and the sweetest girl ever, also a random, for a 6 hour drive across country to Berlin. Against everything any parent would suggest their child to do, we decided to go with our gut feeling and agree to the 30 euro ride. We ended up meeting one of our favorite characters in our story thus far, and we are having drinks with Micha tonight in Berlin. Sorry mom and dad but we made it safely and promise to plan better and not do that again :).
One word to describe a night out in Germany? wow, insanity, nope not good enough.. you NEED to experience it for yourself...I never had very great preconceptions about Germany, and let me tell you, I was wrong. SO MANY good looking people, so ladies and gents if you are trying to have a good night out and find someone, Germany is the place for you. We tasted the biggest and best drinks you will ever have at a bar called Salsalitos where the bartenders readily poured tequila into your mouth if you desired, and danced to some of the best music I have heard in a long time; mash ups that would embarrass Super Mario Bros and Milkman. We met a lot of amazing people and had a lot of fun yelling weiner-schnitzel at old creepy Italian men. pictures and videos to come, and check out the link below to get a sneak peak of some of the awesome German Muzik whose that took us off our feet and kept us out til 5 am. After a lovely breakfast of pretzel bread nutella and turkish tea, we are off to explore the rest of what Germany has to offer! Ciao!
So Abby and I have only been traveling for a day and it is totally clear that we were destined to explore Europe. Early in the morning our seats were upgraded on our flight to Germany, Where our amazing host Yasemin took us on a tour of an old German town filled with dungeons and cathedrals (not to mention delectable German bread and cascading hot fudge sundaes). We then tasted our first Schnitzel, which was the shiz, and sipped divine Turkish coffee which our Turkish hosts used to foretell a very freakishly possible future for Abby and myself. Now we are getting ready to head out for a night out on the debouched street of Theodor-Heuss-Straße!! So until our next post, wish us luck and courage on our intoxicated inquisition of Stuttgart jagermeister and beir will not cause us to binge on too many sausages or kinder chocolate tonight. (Nutella may be the end of us). So raise your glass tonight for adventure, language barriers and the kind folk of Stuttgart that will have to deal with the loud vocals of Abigail Chambers and McElla Pappas, and if you can´t manage that, adventure out yourself this happy friday!
Over and out. Tschüss ; )