I am finally back in Juan-les-pins and back in school! I apologize for not posting much lately. Between packing, running for flights and hostel hopping, there wasn't much time to sit down and write. :(
At last, home sweet home! For the past nine days, I have been on the road: Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam & Barcelona. I love traveling and all the cities I visited were awesome. However, hostel/train/plane hopping is exhausting! I am so tired!
Paris was beautiful as mentioned in a previous post. Brussels was cold. No wait, it was freezing! The extreme humidity made the cold almost unbearable. Brussels is known for its beers, mussels, chocolate, fries and waffles. I went to Delirium Cafe where they have 2004 different beers! They even served the Simpson's Duff beer! I tried a strawberry flavored beer and it was amazing! Too bad I won't be able to find anything like it on Montreal. The mussels were pretty good. I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to seafood, so that's all I can say about it. The best thing in Brussels is their waffle. They are unbelievably delicious. I had mine with melted chocolate and kiwi. The waffle was soft, warm and moist; it was just amazing!
Remember when I said I froze in Brussels? Well, I froze even more in Amsterdam. I had decided to come to France this winter to escape the Canadian winter. But, here was I, standing in a temperature colder than Canada’s… But it was worth. Amsterdam is great! I really liked the city, Too bad I don’t speak Dutch. I did, however, pick up a few words. The people were really nice and all the canals made the city quite charming. One thing I thought was really interesting was the Red Light District. I know what you’re thinking! But in all seriousness, it was special to see the sex workers standing in their window, display themselves in bathing suits. Taking pictures in the Red Light District is totally prohibited. Apparently, they ladies get really mad and will open the door and throw a cup of urine at the photographer!
While most people like you and I would find the whole thing weird, people in Amsterdam see these ladies as any other citizen in the Netherlands, with a regular job. These ladies are tax payers, entrepreneurs, freelancers and are working to either support their children or paying their education. While not everyone would agree with the career choice of the sex workers, I am nonetheless touched by Amsterdam’s high degree of tolerance and acceptance. They don’t discriminate. That being said, not only is Amsterdam full of marijuana and prostitutes, it is also full of bikes and bikers! Whenever you cross a street, you cross the tram rails and cars. Just when you think you are safe, a Dutch biker is coming at you at full speed! Dangerous? Hell yes!
I also visited the Anne Frank House, the famous hidden annex in which Anne and her family hid for two years, before being betrayed and transported to concentration camps. I was very touched by the exhibition. Amsterdam was great and I definitely want to go back sometime in the future. Probably when the weather will be warmer!
My last stop was Barcelona! It felt so good to be in the sun after a week in the Parisian, Belgian and Dutch cold. When I first arrived in Barcelona, I didn’t know what to think of the city. But over time, I discovered its Catalan charm and improved my non-existent Spanish skills. Barcelona is part of Catalonia, a region which existed years because Spain’s existence. This is why the city is full of history. Barca is also an incredibly artistic city, with unique architecture by Gaudi all over town. I really enjoyed my time there.
Now that I am home, I’m going to relax a bit before jetting off to Berlin, Germany this weekend. Until then, I will try to upload all the pictures from all from my long trip and post them as soon as possible!