Last week, a few of my friends and I boarded a RyanAir flight for Eindhoven. If you aren't familiar with RyanAir, it's the best and worst thing ever when traveling country to country in Europe. The flights are impossibly cheap (78 euro roundtrip to Holland from Spain) and they're almost always on time. The downsides are the uncomfortable seats, rough landings, poor customer service, and the ways in which they find to charge you obscene amounts of money. For instance, if your bag is bigger than the tiny carry-on requirement, you're charged to check it. When you buy your tickets online, you have to scroll through pages of advertisements and unnecessary extras. Don't forget to check all the boxes with "no" or else you'll end up with a bill of hundreds of euros. And finally, if for some sad reason your host sister spills water on your tickets that you printed out and RyanAir has to print them for you at the airport, you'll pay a fine of 170 euros. This actually happened to my friend Allyson on this trip. Two. pieces. of. paper. Also, RyanAir flies you outside of main cities. We flew to Eindhoven, which is an almost two hour train ride from Amsterdam. Seems like they forgot to advertise this along with their car rentals and city tours. I've learned to expect the worst, and in turn, have mastered the art of RyanAir.
We took a taxi to the airport in Seville. Caught a plane from Seville to Eindhoven. Took a bus from the Eindhoven airport to the train station. Took a train from Eindhoven to Amsterdam. Took a tram from the Amsterdam train station to a plaza near our hostel. And then walked. These trips are always stressful and it seems like we're always running late, running for a train, etc. As glamorous as travel can be, it can be just as unglamorous. Things get stolen (someone's camera), lost (my hat), and people wander off (my friends.) You run into people, you get elbowed in the face on a crowded tram, and in Amsterdam, you almost certainly get in the way of thousands of bikers. So, even though we may look like we have it all together in our pictures, we actually don't. We're just trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B without getting run over. And I guess we succeeded.
The first day, we checked into our hostel and explored the magical city. It's full of charm, history, canals, and amazing pastries. Literally every bridge has an incredible view of the river. It's such a contrast from the slow, colorful pace of Seville. I still can't believe the variety of landscapes and cultures in Europe. That night, we headed to see Ellie Goulding in concert at the Heineken Music Hall. We didn't really know where we were going or how to get there, but we figured it out in the end. Her concert was amazing and full of 6,000 screaming Dutch fans. In European countries, (mostly)American and British music is really popular. I've found that concerts are a really good way to remind you of home, and also really cool to tell people that you saw so-and-so in a big city in Europe. Thank you, Ellie.
That night, we ventured into the Red Light District and quickly ventured back out. It wasn't really a recommendable view, just mostly sketchy. On our last day full day, I saw the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. As an art fan, I really enjoyed both. Van Gogh's works were really cool because they were in chronological order. As he succumbed to his mental illness, his work became heavier and darker. I won't say anything more, because art museums are not super interesting to blog about, so go if you ever get the opportunity.
We finally made it back to Seville exhausted. Now when I say I'm going home, I'm referring to Seville, at least for the next few months. I look forward to returning to my tiny bed and chatting late at night with my adorable host mom. How lucky I am to have two places that I belong to. I have many more trips planned in the future, but tomorrow, CARLA IS COMING. Carla is my best friend in the world from Venezuela, and I get to show her part of my world these next few days.