Adventures in Europe

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hey everyone! Sorry I haven’t written or posted pictures for a while, I’ve just been really busy and it takes a long time. But here are some for you. Everything is still excelente here in Holland and I’m still loving it. The weather has been relatively nice and it’s still pretty warm. There have been some super rainy days and it’s cloudy a lot, but still pretty nice. Overall, everything is grand. I went to Amsterdam this weekend and it was kind of nightmare. Actually, it was good and bad (the good was really good, and the bad was pretty terrible). I went with a group of international students and we rode the bus. I got really super sick and barfed (sorry to be so graphic, but it’s true). Don’t worry because I did it in a bag, so at least I didn’t barf all over the bus right? But first went to a “typically Dutch” village called Zaanse Schaans. It was really nice and super cute. There were plenty of windmills and cheese and all that. But I wasn’t exactly feeling my best, so I didn’t take a ton of pictures. After that we went into Amsterdam and it was quite an adventure because our German bus didn’t know how to speak English or Dutch! And he didn’t know how to get to Amsterdam or where to park or anything. It was unbelievable. So we drove all around the city looking for a place to park and I was getting sick all over again and the bus driver was screaming things in German and it was just a treat. I didn’t do much in Amsterdam because I wasn’t feeling well, but it was still nice and I’m going back at least twice, so I wasn’t too worried about missing things. This week I also had an adventure with the missionaries. We went to go buy bikes because I have to give mine back to the girl who let me borrow it and one of the missionaries got his bike stolen! So we went and stood in line, and then there weren’t any bikes, so we went back to the bus stop and the next bus didn’t come for like 3 hours! And we were very far from the city. So we started walking and Elder Greenburg had things to do and places to be and he was getting desperate, so he started to stick out his thumb and straight-up hitchhike! It was insane. And after only a few minutes, a guy pulled over and we hopped in! He was from Uzbekistan (really) and didn’t speak much. But he was nice and gave us a ride to another bus stop. So that was my hitchhiking adventure with the missionaries in Europe! School is good here, and I’ve really been working hard because I realized how much schoolwork I really have to do and I want to get it all done because I’m going to Italy next week (yay!) and then my sister is coming in two weeks (YAY YAY!). But it’s still good and I’m enjoying myself. I can’t believe how fast time goes, and I’ve already been here for 6 weeks already! Crazy! But I’ll have some sweet pictures for you all as soon as I get back from Italy so prepare yourselves! Haha, I’ll write soon! We had a “vla” party on Monday night! Vla is a delicious mix between yogurt and pudding. They have millions of flavors and Santiago (far right) wanted to celebrate because he got a new computer, so we had a vla party and everyone shared their vla and I ate a lot of it. I kinda got sick though…
This is all our vla lined up! There was rum, chocolate, fruit, caramel, pear, banana, vanilla, and strawberry! YUM!
This is the view from the canal boat trip.
This is a big pirate ship that we saw from the boat. I think it was a restaurant or hotel or something.

This is the view from the canal boat.
The entire city is full of canals (kind of like Venice I've heard...) and we went on a boat ride through a lot of the canals around the city.
Me and Allison in Dam Square in Amsterdam.
This guy was in the center of the square doing some kind of fire and knife show. It was cool.
This is the main building at Dam Square in Amsterdam.
The day was a little blustery, but it was still nice.
I love this picture! This is the Dutch village Zaanse Schaans.
Here is the back view of the windmill. They were huge and looked just like in the pictures!
Here I am trying on some wooden shoes at Zaanse Schaans.
This is me displaying my beautiful and delicious Belgium chocolate! It was expensive and I savored it for like 2 weeks!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Brussels, Belgium

Sorry I haven't updated or put up pictures lately, but nothing too exciting has happened, so I just didn't do it! But here is a bunch for you all! But I went to Brussels, Belgium this weekend and it was really fun! It was a great city and really old. It is the capital of the European Union and a huge city. We saw a lot of really old (but really beautiful) cathedrals and we just wandered the streets enjoying everything. We went there and visited an American woman who lives there so she was our tour guide. We ate Belgian waffles, bought Belgian chocolate and lookes at the main sights. Brussels was a nice city and I'm really glad that I got to go! I have a lot more trips planned for the next few weeks-Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Milan-Florence-Pisa-Cinque Terra-Bologna, and then my sister is coming (YAY!) and we're going to London or Paris! There are just so many places that I want to go and things I want to see, so I'm trying to do as much as I can while I'm here because I love it! And there are people from school and my apartment who also want to travel, so it's a lot of fun to go! School is still okay, but I'm not too worried about it. And everything else is good. The weather got really super crappy here and now apparantly it's back to normal Holland weather which is downpours and hurricane-force winds. I'm not even kidding, it's insane. And it's just the most fun of adventures to ride me bike 8 miles to school and back in that weather. I love it. But I'm doing well and loving it here and everything is great! I hope you enjoy my pictures! Doei!
This is a cute old man who was playing and singing on the street. Tons of people were watching and he was so lively and happy and a really good singer! I loved it!
This is me with the St. Michel's Cathedral in the background.
Stain glassed windows inside the St. Michel's Cathedral
The ceiling and columns inside the cathedral
Me in front of Mary's Chocolatier's. It is a famous and DELICIOUS chocolate shop in Brussels. The queen and president Bush both get their chocolates here! YUM!
This is a side view (not very good) of some of the buildings where the European Union (EU) and Parliament hold their meetings and offices and stuff.
Chris, me, Mark, and Steph (Chris's sister and brother-in-law) withe Brussels in the background.
One of the lovely cathedrals in Brussels. We ate at a yummy little restaurant on the other side of it.

Sitting at a cafe on a busy street in Brussels. The view from the middle of the street. I was nearly killed, but I got a good picture!
Not sure what this is called (if anyone knows, let me know please!) but it was an entire square that was enclosed on all four sides by white buildings. It was really cool.
The view of the city from the top of a hill.This is the manneken piss. Translated it means something like, "boy peeing"'. This is a famous tourist attraction in Brussels and there were tons of people there taking pictures and stuff. It's basically just a fountain with a boy peeing, but it's really funny and if you go to Brussels, you have to see it.
Funny huh?
Me in front of the manneken piss. I enjoyed it. :)

This is the House of the King in the Grand Place in the center of Brussels. It was the bread house, and later on the house of the Duke. The King never actually lived there and now it's used as a museum, but it was amazing.
This is the 'Rue Charles Buls'. it was a large bronze plaque done by 'julien Dillens' in about 1902 and everyone rubs it for good luck. We had to wait a few minutes because everyone was rubbing it!
These are some interesting dogs that were sitting in the middle of the busy street in the middle of Brussels. They had sunglasses on and they just sat there while millions of people walked around them and stared at them and stuff!
The House of the Dukes of Brabant. This was also in the Grand Place. It was beautiful.
Side by side view of the House of the King and some guild houses in the Grand Place.
This was also in the Grand Place and the golden swan marks the building where Carl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848.
Me eating a Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream! They are so much better here than at home because they are sweet and just wonderful!
This is the city hall of Brussels in the Grand Place. Construction of this Brussels gothic building is reported to begin in 1402. Also, it seems that it was the only building to survive the 1695 bombing during the French occupation of Brussels.
Here we are eating Godiva chocolate-covered strawberries. The most delicious thing EVER!
The guild houses in the Grand Place.

Also not sure what this building is, so let me know if anyone knows! But the gardens were lovely and it was huge!