All posts by jwesterbur

An American in Amsterdam

The Dam Square

This very scenic spot is only a 5 minute walk from the Central Station. The square is packed with tourists and locals relaxing or traveling to their next destination.  From the Dam Square almost all the tourist attractions are within walking distance including the Red Light District, various shopping/restaurant and entertainment, and multiple museums.

 

 The Ice Bar

One attraction we were interested in experiencing is the Ice Bar of Amsterdam. For only 25 Euros, 3 drinks and 40 minutes in the bar are included. Trust me… 20 minutes is plenty of time to chug your drinks and head out into the ‘warmth’. Drinking from ice cups, sitting on ice, and in -10 degrees was  definitely worth the temporary frost bite.

De 9 Straatjes

The nine streets of Amsterdam are the small allies and walkways created by the water that runs through the city. These streets contain several museums, clothing stores, coffee shops and most importantly…the famous Red Light District. Below is a photo of an authentic Dutch beer with a sneak of the district in the background. The culture and different lifestyles in the city is outstanding and very eye opening to the tourists. Overall it was an incredible day trip!

Let me know your experiences and suggestions below!

When in Rome…

Although I had been to Rome before, I have recently gained a close friend in Milan. So naturally I put down my pencil at Uni and grabbed my passport. She packed her bags and met me in the beautiful city of Rome for an incredible ‘girls day out’.

The Colosseum 

Upon having incredible history behind the Colosseum, the area surrounding it is beautiful. Of course this area was a prime place to take pictures and enjoy a glass of Italian wine under the sunset. Remains of the Colosseum make for a great walk to and from the next site. 

The Vatican

Since we were visiting at the beginning of January, all Christmas decorations were getting taken down including the large tree in the middle of the square. This required a crane and several people to help take down hundreds of ornaments. Although we did not have time to go through the church, I would recommend having a ticket prior to visiting in order to skip the line and pay a more reasonable price.

The River Tiber

One of the longest rivers in Italy is the Tiber and along this river holds some of the most magnificent views in all of Europe. History fills the street from B.C. to today. Live entertainment is in the air and varies from pianists, to guitarist and singers to violinist surrounding the church. The entrance fee is very reasonable and the view from the top is over the entire city center.

Trevi Fountain

Of course visiting the Trevi Fountain was mandatory. After tossing a euro in the fountain, we were able to find a ‘hole in the wall’ Italian restaurant with homemade noodles, freshly made sauce and great red wine. Overall the trip to Italy was ‘magnifico’!

Let me know your experiences and suggestions below!

Spain in One Day!

Between a hectic schedule, assignment due dates, and being on a students’ budget…traveling is nearly impossible. Luckily I have put my time studying in England to good use and have managed to visit many countries without breaking the bank. One of the most memorable places I have been to was Barcelona, Spain.

Cathedral of Barcelona

We woke up in the morning and walked out to this beautiful church. This is in the middle of the city across from the Gothic Quarter and markets filled with the Spanish culture surround the area of the church. Everything from this church was accessible via foot or metro. We had the perfect Airbnb location!

Sagrada Familia Basilica

One site that was considered a ‘must see’ was the Sagrada Familia. I have never been a fan of museums or tours, but prefer to see as many places as possible while experiencing the culture of the destination. However, this is a place I would love to go on a tour of in the near future. I couldn’t capture how large this church was in a photo, but simply seeing the size was breathtaking.

Santa Maria de Montserrat

Santa Maria de Montserrat was almost an entire day worth of beautiful views. A cable car was taken to the top of the mountain where a variety of hikes were taken, a informative museum was found, and several monuments were on display. The photo above was the main reason for visiting the Montserrat and upon arrival the monument had a 7 foot tall fence surrounding it with a police officer keeping watch. With a lot of dedication, a little creativity and a ton of speed the photo was able to happen behind the officers back. Below are a few pictures taken at the Montserrat as well.

Let me know your experiences and suggestions below!