Here’s the second instalment of Aimee’s adventures in England!
I’m doing very well, and still definitely enjoying myself. There is one definite advantage to the long hours of school here – more holidays! After only six weeks of term, we had a week long half-term break. The other two gaps, Sally, James and I jetted off to The Netherlands and Belgium for a quick getaway. We flew into Amsterdam, where we stayed for four nights. Many of you probably know Amsterdam for its infamous nightlife, including the Red Light District and the ‘coffeeshops’, but aside from that, Amsterdam is an extremely beautiful and historic city. We did the usual touristy things like the Rijksmuseum (national gallery), Van Gogh Museum, Madame Tussauds, Heineken Brewery (which includes quite a bit of taste testing), and a Canal Cruise. We also hired bikes for a day and cycled around the city. Amsterdam is very flat, and very compact, so bikes are the most popular form of transport. They even have special bike lanes all over the country! However the concept of driving/riding on the right hand side of the road was a little too much for me, especially when I came to massive intersections where there are car lanes, tram lanes, bike lanes, and pedestrians!!! Needless to say I narrowly missed several collisions, but came away unscathed, apart from my new fear of bikes!
After Amsterdam, we went out to Heemskerk (about 20 km out of Amsterdam), to stay in a castle for the night. The castle is absolutely gorgeous, but it was a little spooky considering we were the only ones staying there that night! Apparently it is booked out in summer, but during winter its practically deserted.
For a change of scenery, we caught the train to Brugge, which is in the north-west of Belgium. It was rather strange to be catching a train into another country! Brugge was even more beautiful than Amsterdam, and a lot more relaxed. It was very surprising that there was not one fast food store in the place! It must be the only place on earth without McDonalds! We only had a day and a half in Brugge, which was a shame but I might go back in the Summer holidays. The highlight was the Brugge Belfry, which we climbed, all 366 steps to the top. The view was spectacular, not to mention the bells started ringing while we were up there, which was a lovely, and a deafening experience. We also paid a quick visit to the famous Pub of 300 Beers. They bring you a beer menu when you walk in, and there are literally pages and pages of different kinds of beer. They even have fruity beers which is good because it hides the beer taste!! In Europe it is cheaper to drink beer than coke in a lot of places!!
Sadly our holiday had to end, but I’m now planning travel for the Easter holiday break which is only four weeks away! It’s a tough choice between Italy and Ireland/ Scotland, what a life!
Bye for now