“Japanese photographer Kyoko Escamilla once said, “Your 20’s are your selfish years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”
London is such a good connecting point for basically almost every destination on the map, but studying full-time can sometimes, okay, always make your life very busy and travelling during the semester isn’t always the smartest idea.
For me personally, travelling has always been a top priority. During the summer, I spent almost every single earned penny on fuelling my travels – flew to London, flew to Dublin, drove to Serbia, drove to Greece and drove to who knows how many places inside Bulgaria. Ever since I moved here, I’ve creeping at all the possible plane / train / bus tickets to destinations across the world, suitable for a weekend getaway.
One day in November, I did it. I booked bus tickets to go and see Amsterdam. A couple of my colleagues from home were planning a trip to visit a friend there and they asked me if I want to join in on the fun. I immediately found cheap bus tickets and it was done. They were going to stay for 4days, but for me staying the full length of the trip meant missing the deadlines for submitting my term project, so I had to opt for a weekend stay, having just a little over 48h to explore the beauty and cultural heritage of the city as much as I can.
22:00h, Victoria Coach Station, London
Bundled up in my scarf, with a Starbucks red cup in hand and my passport in the other, I was making my way to the “gate”, where my bus was departing. A long, 12h bus journey, awaited. Incorrect, a bus and a ferry trip awaited. To my surprise, just two hours after we departed from London, our bus got on a ferry to the other side. For some reason I thought we were going to take the slightly longer route and go under the La Mancha, but the ferry journey was even nicer. I managed to get a small window sitting area all to myself, which meant I could listen to the waves crashing and gaze at the lights of the cities on the other side for the next 3 hours.
As soon as I set foot in Amsterdam, my eyes just couldn’t help but gawk at the straight up charming architecture. Most of the houses are squished together and lopsided, which makes for a very interesting architectural look. My favorite part of Amsterdam was indeed the incredible architecture. In all honesty, ever since starting my degree, I’ve become a massive design and art history nerd. Seeing European architecture first-hand definitely excited me, as I analysed everything I could lay my eyes on. There is such balance in the rigidity of the abrupt, upright buildings next to the organic, free flowing canals they border. It’s incredible the attention to detail each building had, giving each one a unique personality of sorts.
After visiting several museums, taking a bunch of pictures and wandering across the narrow brick streets of the Dam, we took an hour long cruise just as the sun was setting. We were lucky enough to be in the city just in time for the annual light festival, which made the cruise even better. We managed to enjoy a lovely view of the sun setting and got to see some of the light installations, situated all across the city.
My 48h at Amsterdam – jam packed with museums, sight seeing, cruising down the canal and a lot of climbing on stuff I shouldn’t be climbing on… Amsterdam is one I will never forget.