Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts - traveling was nuts and jampacked with activities!

So, as I said before, Madrid was an awesome city.. apart from having my wallet nicked, which cost me 150 euros.  No fun at all, but oh well, guess my luck had run out in Spain after 4 cities.  I came back to Oxford for a day after Madrid, regrouped, did some laundry and then headed to London to stay with 12 other friends at Eddie's house to watch the Oxford v. Cambridge famous boat race.  Essentially, everyone was packed around the river in London for four hours, drinking and having a good time, only to watch a race that we saw approximately 20 seconds of... but it was worth it because Oxford kicked Cambridge's butt by a longshot!  After the race we all prepared to head off to Berlin in the very, very early morning.

Boatrace fun
Go Oxford!
All of the press covering the big race... (look to the far top-left to see how much Oxford is winning by!)



A very cool city, but a bit odd because it was so new due to the destruction of most of the buildings during the second world war.  The Reichtag (government building) was beautiful, as was the large Berlin dome.  Our hostel was right near museum island which was packed with awesome museums of every sort.  I visited two parts of the Berlin Wall as well as quite a few museums and historical sites around the town.  Berlin also had interesting sections to it, such as the art district, which was full of graffiti and rundown looking buildings.  It had a lot of character.  I had my first LITRE of beer there, called a Stein, which was as big as my head.  On our last night in Berlin, everyone went out and stayed up all night before heading to Amsterdam, which made for a very comedic traveling experience.

Relaxing in front of the Berliner Dome
All 12 of us in Berlin!
With our Steins!
Group hug in front of the Reichtag
The Reichtag
Part of the Berlin Wall


Our group went from 12 people to 9 as we made our way to the Netherlands.  Amsterdam is one of my top three favorite cities, hands down.  Not only are the buildings beautiful and very unique, but the canals really give the city a surreal feel.  There are canals absolutely everywhere you look (more than in Venice) and they make the city picturesque.  Amsterdam was one of the most walkable cities I've ever been in and was chock-full of interesting neighborhoods.  I did indeed visit the Red Light District (several times, in fact) and it wasn't too bad - a lot of bar life revolves around that area, so it's a pretty busy region.  Some other cool places included the floating flower market, the main square with a palace and monument (where I saw a MASSIVE pillow fight occur...), central train station, Anne Frank museum and many, many bars.  We were really lucky for the majority of our trip because the weather was so mild, even in windy Amsterdam.

All 9 of us!
In a famous Dutch clog!
In the middle of Amsterdam's biggest square, there was a massive impromptu pillow fight...
Full of canals
Making our way through the city

Flower market

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