Valerie's Adventures Abroad

Thanksgiving Trip to Belgium and Amsterdam

Hey Everyone! I know it has not been long since I lasted blogged, but that is because I have been traveling like CRAZYYYYY for my last month abroad. This past week, DIS students had Thanksgiving break, which was so much fun and a great opportunity to go traveling in Europe. A group of 7 people and I decided to go to Brussels, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was not a long trip simply because we traveled for about 3 and a half days out of our 5 days off; however, it was well worth it. We just came back today, and I feel so happy to be back. For future students, I highly recommend giving yourself a day to relax after traveling because TRUST MEEE, you will thank yourself.

So, on to my first trip in Brussels. All I can say is that I had the absolute best time with the people I was with. The first night we got there, we went to dinner, and then went to explore the area surrounding our hostel. Christmas decorations are starting to be in almost every city I have traveled to, so that’s been really beautiful to see! On Saturday, we had our first full day, and that included going on a free tour of all of Belgium’s significant historical sights. We went to something called “La Grand Place”, which is a large square where the royals used to live. The buildings were amazing to see, and there was also a big Christmas tree in the middle! These free tours are tip based, and its a really inexpensive opportunity to learn more about the country that you are in! Here are some pictures of the beautiful architecture below!

So, now on to my FAVORITE part of Belgium…..A CHOCOLATE TOURRRRR. Wow, all I can say is that the chocolate in Belgium, as well as the Belgium Waffles, just blew me away. I am a big chocolate lover, so I was all for going on a chocolate tour. Essentially, our tour guide took us to all of the best spots in Brussels, and we were given many samples from each place. We also went to a classic waffle house, and he gave us each our own waffle. All I can say is that the waffle was probably the best thing I have ever eaten in my life, and I am not joking. So, if you love chocolate, and a good waffle, Belgium is the place to go.

After our full day in Belgium, we then took a 2 hour train ride to Amsterdam, Netherlands. I have to say, Amsterdam might be one of my favorite trips I have taken in Europe so far. There is something about the people, the bikes, the canal rides, the city life, and the nature that immediately grabs your attention. I would definitely recommend going to explore this city, because I can honestly say that I feel that I experienced something new and different which is what I strive to do!

In Amsterdam, we went to the Anne Frank Museum, which was a very emotional tour, but it was very memorable, especially after going to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. I got to see the original area where Anne Frank, her family, as well as two other families, hid from the Nazi Party. Many original items still remain in this museum, like her diary, a lot of her writing, papers on the walls, and many other things. I am grateful I got to experience this while I was there.

We also went to the Van Gogh Museum, as well as the Moco Museum. My love for art is continuing to grow and grow as I see more of it around the world. The way these artists present their work is so intriguing. I specifically loved the Moco Museum the best simply because I have realized that contemporary art really grabs my attention. It is very unique, distinct, and makes you think. Banksy, the artist of the pieces in the Moco Museum, always uses an array of colors which makes the museum fun to explore. I am so thankful that I came to realize that I have a real passion for contemporary art, and it was all from seeing one museum. Amsterdam was by far one of my favorite trips abroad!

Being able to travel like this, while living in Sweden, has been the absolute time of my life. I am so excited to go to Iceland this upcoming weekend, and I will be sure to report back ❤ For now, here are a few more pictures of my trip this past week!

Until Next time!

Val 🙂

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