A Travellerspoint blog


Amsterdam with Mom

The last of my European adventures (for now)

Amsterdam, the last leg of my summer journey. I got mom and I set up in a best western via a taxi that overcharged us when we arrived by train from Nice. We stayed in a hotel as opposed to a hostel because I was going to have to have lots of luggage from spending a summer in the Netherlands and I wanted some space to put it all. After we got checked in I had to catch a train back to Nijmegen to finish packing up all my belongings and then head to back to Amsterdam. I ended up in Nijmegen and the awesome woman whose room I was staying in I had forgotten was moving and took all her stuff to her new house so I didn't have a place to crash in Nijmegen for the night so stayed at a really great friend's house close by. A few of us hung out together in Nijmegen and then with the help of my really sweet friend, we got my luggage to the train station in the morning so I could make it back to Amsterdam to spend some time with my mom there.

I believe my mom went to a museum or two as we were right in the museum district of Amsterdam (i think).
Once reunited we went walking to have pancakes at a pancake house!
On the way there I saw one our U.S. sports stars covering the entire side of building in an advertisement...I thought this strange.


Mom had already taken a boat tour and said it was much better than the Paris boat tour so we hopped on the same boat tour she had already done - it was much better than the boat tour we took in Paris.

Next we went walking all around the city


Late at night and headed back the hotel after walking through the red light district we stumbled across a sign for a torture museum that was of course still open...so we went in.

I got some final photos of the evening...

Somewhere in the time we were in Amsterdam we went to the Anne Frank Museum and it was powerful, sad, and it is a visit everyone should make if they are headed to that part of the world.

The European adventure ended in a whirlwind, but my time with my mom as well as with all my new friends was well spent.

Missing those I befriended and of course missing the travelling to some place new every/every-other weekend.

Couldn't have had this adventure without the support of my family. All the debt I still incurred and will be paying off for a while....totally worth it.

This will not be the last of my adventures, but they will be few and far between and likely will mostly be taking place stateside.

Posted by PlanetMEP 16:55 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam canal tour pancakes torture_museum graffiti_art


With MOM!

Well, I've been back in Houston, TX, USA a while now, but I neglected to post all the photos from my travels with my mom when she flew up to do some travelling with me; Mommy-daughter trip - YAY! She arrived in Amsterdam and then we immediately returned together to Nijmegen where we checked into the hotel nearest the train station. We did some shopping together and we walked all around Nijmegen. Most of my pictures are from the place I wanted to go in Nijmegen all summer, but wanted to wait for my mom, and that is the bicycle museum. Although one of my friends had heard of it, they thought it might just be a creepy dude in his house with some old bikes, but that was not the case at all. Some seriously amazing bicycles. However, the gentleman who runs the museum said he wishes we were there at a different time because they had many more modern bikes on display to go through the history of Tour de France Netherlands cyclists. The collection was also amazing as it exhibited many U.S. bicycles that apparently the U.S. is no longer allowed to ship out because it is our history - so a unique collection indeed.
Feast your eyes on bicycles!!!

can you tell i like bikes and i thought that was pretty amazing?!

a few other photos from around Nijmegen

Mother and daughter together & the fun begins....

Posted by PlanetMEP 21:52 Archived in Netherlands Tagged castles nijmegen bicycles


Final days, weeks, and taking another look

My time in the Netherlands is coming to a close. No doubt I will be homesick for some things here, such as my runs next to the canal and riding a bike with little fear of being hit by a car. I will miss the friends I have made here as well, they have truly ensured I have had a positive experience here. I can only hope one day they will all come visit me in the States and that I may have the opportunity to return to Europe and visit them wherever it is they are originally from.

I was supposed to go to see more of the Netherlands this past weekend, but the sun was so bright and beautiful I didn't want to get on a train and I wanted to relax a bit before I begin nonstop traveling this upcoming Wednesday. Upcoming travel plans are Berlin by myself from August 1st-August 4th then my mom arrives August 5th and she I and I do some traveling to Paris, France; Nice, France; and Amsterdam, Netherlands before my return home on August 15th.

Before those entries can be made you may want to see a bit more of Nijmegen, Netherlands and a bit of Arnhem, Netherlands

I must admit that I took a bit of time off work on Thursday because the day was too beautiful to be inside and I knew I could catch up on my final projects later in the weekend when the weather was supposed to be terrible (I got lucky and it was nice almost the whole weekend!).
So, I went with a couple of friends to this big park where they have a little lake.

On this lake they had a pully system going all the way across with cables so people could water ski and wakeboard but without a boat! It looked like the tow lines you find on some ski lifts where you hold the bar and the cable line drags you. I thought it looked like a lot of fun, but I did not participate and instead laid on the beach lazily watching people do tricks on their wake boards. It felt like summer.

This same day I went with the same friends to a soccer match, which is of course called football here, in Arnhem Netherlands. Vitesse vs Loko or the Arnhem football team versus the Locomotives, a Bulgarian team (one of my friends is Bulgarian). The mascot for Vitesse is some kind of hawk/falcon/eagle and they have the actual bird which they have fly through the stadium. No cheerleaders and fireworks, but loud music and a giant bird. The match was very fun though the Bulgarian team was unfortunately not playing their best and lost the match- they need a new goalie and more active defenders. The stadium was pretty fairly large, but nothing in comparison to the stadiums of Houston,Tx. In the arena they also have a special section behind thick glass for the away-team-supporters. The Bulgarians were lively with their shirts off while singing and chanting throughout the match. At one point the rest of the stadium was quiet except for the Bulgarian section, then the home-team-supporters at the other end of the field began to sing back a chant. In the end the Bulgarian supporters still looked to be having fun and the song always look on the bright side of life was played at the end where some whimsical dancing took place...probably not the full monty python version I have linked you to.

After the game we had a look around Arnhem and had a couple drinks in the town square. One of my friends will have to get me a picture of this awesome graffiti piece that my camera refused to take a picture of - cheapest digital camera at the store so I suppose that's what I get.

Side note: Thursday was my younger brother's 16th birthday and I got to talk to him while I was at the game!

Friday the 27th
Went with my friends from the game and lake to hang out in some local park and then my Bulgarian friend and myself went for a bicycle ride along a dike when our Italian counterpart had to go to work.

The park

Onward to the dike!

After riding for quite a while on the dike in the hot sun we turned off and found this sort of castle/chateau which appeared closed so I only got a picture of the outside.

On our journey back we happened by this farm store where I thought it looked like they sold ice cream and with all the heat and sun we were riding in, I wanted some ice cream. They had cheese, kitchy farm store stuff, pear liquor (it was a pear farm) and ice cream!
you will notice in some of the photos I took pictures of how they bind the trees together to make them grow into a flat roof of sorts. They control the trees so they grow in this really nice canopy.

Riding back towards town

We rode past a bridge being built where my friend told me about the famous bridge in Arnhem that is the bridge from operation Market-Garden in WWII, though we were thinking this new bridge may have been a recreation of another bridge destroyed during WWII that may be confirmed by this photo where the soldiers have an American flag in the procession. I think now I'd like to see the film "A Bridge Too Far."

We stopped at the beach/sand bank where I took some photos of graffiti (pictures of the beach can be found in an earlier blog post) and then sat on the bridge for a bit

The bridge photos may have been from later in the weekend as I have stopped by there on Saturday and Sunday as well.

Saturday I went to see the new Batman flick and now understand the whole Bane thing from the weird Romney picture I posted last. Also, they pause movies in the middle here - every movie there is a pause, or intermission as we might call it. The seats in the theatre are also way more comfortable than the ones at home I think - thick, red, and plush. It was fun to read Dutch subtitles of the movie, but I think you can save your money and rent the flick at a later point in time if you want to see it.

No pictures of it, but on Friday night into early Saturday morning three of my friends and I got caught in a massive downpour that was almost like a Houston flash flood - we rode our bicycles home in rivers of water with little visibility, after such a beautiful day it was comical though cold and wet.

Sunday morning I watched the sun rise after staying up all night to do so, something I haven't done in a long time and it was beautiful listening to owls and seeing a couple across the tree tops as they presumably flew to their nests. Other birds were waking and chattering while the leaves rustled in the wind throwing rain drops and dew to the ground. No pictures of this scene as I attempted to take it all in.

This is some graffiti I saw in town last night after sitting on the bridge to watch the sun set, had some wonderful fresh hot mint tea, and before watching an Italian flick "Habemus Papam" with some friends.

I cannot say whether or not I will have any further Nijmegen photos or Netherlands photos posted. I cannot even say whether or not I'll find any time to post photos of my travels to Berlin and of travels with my mom until after we are both safe and sound back in the States.

Today and tomorrow are my last days at my internship where I have learned a great deal about the content I've worked with and a great deal about how I have no interest in a Ph.D. at this time.
Shameless plug in job search/interest: I need a job with people and it would be sweet to get involved in international development/aid sooooooo if anyone reading this knows of any opportunities available in 2013 for a freshly minted MPH, i'm all ears (especially if the job is in Hawai'i, West Coast, Colorado, Houston, Austin, Asheville, D.C., or somewhere in Latin America).

Posted by PlanetMEP 05:16 Archived in Netherlands Tagged nijmegen arnhem


International Four Days Marches

53 °F

I spend most of my weekends getting to know a lot of other countries outside of The Netherlands. This last weekend I intended to change that, but the weather was miserable and so I spent most of my time in my teeny tiny little room sleeping, working out, reading, and finishing up the Mad Men series. This week however, the weather has not been nearly as bad as it was predicted to be and the International Four Days Marches are going on. Wikipedia info on the Marches
Official Website
Official Festivities Website
During this week the town goes from a population of 160,000 or so according to wikitravel to a population of somewhere around 1 million (this last number is what everyone keeps telling me so it must be accurate). The normal calm streets are filled with people and they set up stages all over the city. The idea kind of reminds me of the Westheimer Street Festival aka West Fest, only more successful because the city is so much smaller and compact. There is quite the range of music playing and it is something else to hear so many different languages being spoken all around you. Many soldiers do the walking and so there are soldiers from all over Europe here walking (a few U.S. soldiers too I hear). I have tried to take pictures of places around Nijmegen during the festival.

The first night I went.

By the way, they have castles here! (real ones)
Where they keep pet deer.....

the street all lit up

Please note this ride is called the "American Wipp" ➔ the misspelling and the drawings to me indicate how many in this world see us. I face-palm at the idea of it.

There is a big church in the middle I should really go take pictures of during the day sometime.

talk about bicycles!!!1DSCN0409.jpg
one last look for the evening1DSCN0410.jpg

I wanted to go another night but instead this is what I did...something I do quite a lot of

[u]Thursday Night and into the wee hours of Friday[u]


this is a bicycle museum I really want to check out when my mom comes to visit.

these are me taking pictures that won't come out of a castle in the distance that for some reason i am just now really seeing - far more impressive the the castle-like pictures I showed you earlier

The night was finished by going to an amazing headphones party. yes, a headphones party. There is a DJ and everyone is dancing to their own beat wearing wireless headphones. Someone needs to jump on this and do it in Houston because if you are not wearing headphones it is absolutely hilarious and if you are wearing headphones you dance to the same beat as your friends maybe and some strangers and it is truly an interesting experience - maybe like dancing alone in your room, but so is everyone else.

I might add that riding on the back of the bicycle on the luggage rack, like so many people do here, is very fun and I recall riding my friends around on the back of my bicycle on the luggage rack when I was young - though I wasn't supposed to, this better prepared me for these experiences. *winking at you dad

Next place to explore will be Oslo, but as I am meeting up with friends I am not too sure there will be many touristy photos to share, but no worries, I will make more adventures for sharing on future dates. Only a couple weeks left of my internship and then it's non-stop travel time for two weeks and then I am home to Houston, Texas.

I nearly forgot - fresh stroopwaffles are deliciousa picture of someone else's stroopwafel that i got off the interwebs

a picture of someone else's stroopwafel that i got off the interwebs

Posted by PlanetMEP 18:52 Archived in Netherlands Tagged night nijmegen

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