It has only been two weeks abroad and I feel like I have done so much! Last weekend, I visited my friend Marieke who was an exchange student at Chapman last semester from Amsterdam. I took the train for the first time about 30 minutes away to her hometown of Utrecht. Utrecht is known as a “mini Amsterdam” as it has very similar architecture and canals. It is also a college town, as most of the inhabitants are young Dutch people. She gave me a tour of the city as I sat on the back of her bicycle which was so much fun. We rented canoes for the day and paddled down the canals together. After, we had a traditional Dutch food, pancakes! There are so many pancake shops in Amsterdam that it is overwhelming. I ordered a banana Nutella pancake which was absolutely delicious. She also gave me lots of things I needed for my apartment such as nice bedding and a good pillow!
On Sunday, I left Amsterdam for 5 days to Ibiza. This was my second time visiting Ibiza, a beautiful island off of the coast of Spain. I went with a new friend named Alanna who is from San Fransisco and lives in my same building. I also went with a friend from Chapman and her friend from London who she was traveling with. It was only a two and a half hour flight from Amsterdam to Ibiza which was pretty painless. The apartment we stayed in was absolutely beautiful, it was a gorgeous and modern 2 bed / 2 bath right on the beach! It couldn’t have been a more perfect accommodation.
On the first day (Monday), we relaxed at the beach in front of our hotel pretty much all day until around 5 when we started to get ready for David Guetta’s DJ performance at Ushuaia. Ushuaia is a hotel down the street from our apartment that has a giant outdoor venue for big parties. At the party, we met three girls from Barcelona who we became really good friends with throughout the week.
On Tuesday, we also relaxed at the beach and recovered from the night before! In the afternoon, we took a bus over to the other side of the island called San Antonio, which is actually the city I stayed in last time. We walked around town where there are tons of shops and restaurants, and we found a great restaurant to get drinks and watch the sunset. The sunset in San Antonio is extremely popular, it seemed as if everyone on the island flocked there to watch the sunset.
On Wednesday, we decided to explore some other beaches instead of the one in front of our house. We took a bus around 30 minutes away to a beach called Ses Selinas which had the most beautiful, clear water. What was special about this beach was that you can walk very far out into the ocean and still be only waist deep in water, it was shallow forever! This beach was more annoying though because, like Mexico, there are a million locals who come up to your towel to try to sell you shit like sunglasses, towels, hair braids, club tickets ect. I actually ended up buying a very pretty blanket/tapestry from one of the locals! That night, we decided to go back to Ushuaia for the DJ set of Axwell Ingrosso, who are very famous dj’s. We went with the Spanish girls again and had a blast!
Thursday (the final day), the Spanish girls rented a car and drove us to a very secluded beach about 45 minutes away. The water there was unbelievably gorgeous, it was so turquoise and perfect! The weather was also fantastic the entire week, about high 80’s. We went to San Antonio again after the beach for a pool party at Ocean Beach Club, which was a blast! What was funny about the tourists that visit Ibiza is that they are all Europeans mainly from England. We laughed at all of the men wearing speedos, extremely short shorts and tight tops, and very ugly neon clothes! Anyone from America would have easily mistaken them as gay because they dress so flamboyantly. We also noticed that Ibiza is the “land of bad tattoos”. I saw the most hideous and ugly tattoos on this trip, I don’t think I saw a person without tattoos. After the pool party, we were too tired to go out that night and decided to get a good nights sleep before our early flight the next morning.
I am writing this on the plane back to Amsterdam, and I am honestly really excited to get back to Amsterdam! It has quickly began to feel like home. I feel like I can find my way around the neighborhood and I am getting more confident navigating the city. I think the transition to Amsterdam has been much smoother than getting used to Cape Town because everything is so modern and developed, I don’t have to worry about my electricity not working or climbing a 30 minute hill to get to school! I begin classes on Tuesday, so I am excited to see how my classes are structured. Amsterdam is such a livable city, it is so convenient to get on my bike and be able to be anywhere I need to be in less than 15 minutes without worrying about traffic or parking. I am getting more used to the bike paths, which were pretty terrifying at first. The Dutch are very fast and aggressive bike riders, and they aren’t afraid to run you over if your in the way! There are also motorcycles allowed on the bike paths, which just adds more stress. I will write again once I begin classes and I have new adventures to share! Missing everyone from homes lots.