Hollanday

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Nicole and I headed off extremely early in the morning on the 10th of June for our third holiday together, this time to go to Holland, Netherlands. I honestly think we get better each time and I’m really proud of us.

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We left grey, rainy and extremely cold weather in Scotland and landed in beautiful sunny Netherlands. We were excited about the whole thing as we knew we can relax a bit more seeing as we were staying with Nicole’s dad(forever grateful and in debt to the Barkers!). We didn’t have to worry about what bus or train to get from the airport, about finding the hotel or getting lost. We knew this holiday could turn out to be the most laid back and relaxed in what felt like forever.

ihkihDSC_3138After all the college stress of the last few months, organising SSJA, not knowing for sure if we will get into uni, it was lovely to just let go and sit back. We would lay on the grass or rooftop(yes, her Dad has a rooftop and it is the COOLEST thing in the world) and just read, eat, chat and laugh.ihkihDSC_3161

The last time I felt this free and happy on holiday was in London last year just before arriving in Poland. Days spent exploring, eating, enjoying the sunshine and usually ending with us wandering up to the rooftop and drinking wine when we got home every afternoon.

Always more and more things to gossip about, plan and be happy. Our “big” trip is fast approaching, Nicole, Dominika and I will be leaving for Prague from different places in the world on the 21st of July. But lets focus on this trip, we stayed in ihkihDSC_3112Leiderdorp. Leiderdorp is a town in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland near Leiden. There is not much to say about Leiderdorp itself beside that it is a nice and quiet town and we enjoyed staying there as it was literally 10minutes on the bus from Leiden. Leiden on the other hand is a place I fell in love with. From the moment I stepped out of the bus and we got lost.
ihkihoDSC_2961It’s a charming place with this very “Holland” like feel to it; loads of canals, beautiful bars, tiny streets with multiple lovely doors to stop by and photograph(yep, I’m that weirdo who will take photos of your windows and doors if their pretty).

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We ended spending more time in Leiden than we first anticipated and I honestly loved every single minute.

ihkihDSC_2994It’s a university city since 1575, and houses Leiden University, the oldest university of the Netherlands, and Leiden University Medical Centre.

ihkihDSC_3119It’s a city which flourished in the 16th and 17th century. At the close of the 15th century the weaving establishments (mainly broadcloth) of Leiden were very important, and after the expulsion of the Spaniards Leiden cloth, Leiden baize and Leiden camlet were familiar terms.

ihkihDSC_3233In the same period, Leiden developed an important printing and publishing industry. Leiden reportedly has the second largest 17th-century town centre in the Netherlands, the largest being Amsterdam’s town centre. It’s easy to wander around for hours on end and admire the city. Nicole and I especially loved all the buildings in the centre that are decorated with large murals of poetry, part of a wall poem project active from 1995 to 2005.

ihkihooDSC_2744On our second day we took the train to Hague and did some exploring there. Hague which is the seat of government in the Netherlands, and the capital city of the province of South Holland.

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The Hague is also the third-largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. There is a completely different feel to it than there is to Leiden or Amsterdam.

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Maybe due to history or location, but it hasn’t got the cramped inner city, bordered by canals and walls. Instead, it has some small streets in the town centre that may be dated from the late Middle Ages and several spacious streets boasting large and luxurious 18th-century residences built for diplomats and affluent Dutch families. It seems a lot more modern, there’s a lot of tall, new buildings.

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We had a lovely day there, the sun was shining, we did some exploring and then we sat for a few hours, drinking and eating outside, getting a good tan.

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Nic’s birthday was a very special day.

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On the 13th we decided that we will definitely spend the day with Nicole’s dad, AndyihkihoooDSC_2925. We started our day off with going to Nicole’s favorite pancake place and stuffing our faces. Then we moved onto some more cultural activities and went to a museum and searching for a castle.

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That day will be cherished by all three of us, as it was a great day spent in amazing company. We went to the BEST restaurant and we had the BEST food and then headed home to have some wine and chat. Thank you for letting me be part of it all!

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What we were both most excited about was our trip to Amsterdam. I’m surprised I’m even writing this but I was very disappointed. It was nothing like I imagined, I mean there were canals and pretty building but it wasn’t IT.

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I’m all the more surprised as you hardly ever hear anyone saying they haven’t loved it. For those who don’t know, Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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ihkihDSC_3069This can be felt wherever you go, there are people EVERYWHERE. We probably seen more tourists than residents and I couldn’t help but think how sorry I feel about people who live there. Surrounded by waves of tourists who have no idea how the traffic works(trust me it’s harder than you think, bikes and cars coming from everywhere).

We were so disappointed that our energy quickly started to leave us and we started feeling a little frustrated and fed up. We thought it was the best time to head for something to eat. Food always helps, right?

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ihkihDSC_3092Belly full we gathered some strength to explore more. Unfortunately this hasn’t chaged our minds one bit and we still didn’t like it too much. Amsterdam is so far my biggest disappointment when it comes to traveling. Maybe I’ve built it up in my head too much but I honestly think it’s very overrated. I probably won’t be in a rush to go back there. Finding Kanye West’s face painted on one of the buildings meant only one thing: he is going up on the blog.

ihkihDSC_3224What made this holiday extra special was the fact that on our last night we got a message to say that we got A’s for our graded units and WE WILL BE GOING TO UNIVERSITY! Glasgow Caledonian University we are coming for you!
All in all our HOLLANDAY was amazing and we came back happier and a little more tanned than before. I’m currently in my bed, thinking about what still has to be done before I leave again.

Tomorrow I will be going away for a month and a half. I will be staying in Poland for a month and then heading to Prague, Budapest and Madrid.

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When I land on the 9th of August I will be welcomed by my other half, Dom. Dom’s arriving on the 7th of August and staying for good. He will be starting college in September and we are moving in together. I can’t even start to think about how happy I am about everything because I worry too much something bad will happen (I’m a weirdo).
I’m feeling very lucky, happy and excited about the future! Hope you are too.

Love,

Joanna x

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