This past weekend, I went to Amsterdam with my four friends (and roommates) from Barcelona. The trip was planned to meet up with our three other friends from school who are studying abroad in Florence. Not only was it was a time to catch up and meet up, but it was also our friend´s 21st birthday! Although that is a bit anti-climactic in Europe since the drinking age seems to be about eight here, no American can let their 21st birthday pass without a celebration, and celebrate we did!

I have never been to Amsterdam before so this was an exciting opportunity to max out on fun tourist activities in a matter of two and a half days. Aside from the many coffee shops we spent time in (a concept I will never be over…very weird, but extremely fun at the same time), we did hit some major hot spots that I was excited to see. Some of these places are places I have only seen in pictures, so to see them come to life was very exciting.

Our first stop was the Anne Frank house. The exhibit was very moving and emotional. The story of Anne Frank is one I have heard about since I was in elementary school when I first read the book. To see their small living arrangements come to life in front of me was scary and sad. It was so unbelievable to me that so many people lived in such a small area, in the dark, the whole time fearing for their lives. It also amazed me that the owner of the building put himself in such a compromising and dangerous position to help the Frank family. Their bravery is a truly incredible thing and seeing the house made it so real for me.

The next day was jam packed with activities. We started off our morning with the famous Amsterdam pancakes. They´re definitely not diet friendly, but when in Amsterdam you must eat the pancakes. I shared a nutella, peanut butter and banana one with my friend- yum! Next stop was the I Amsterdam letters. These letters are ones I have seen all my friends who have studied abroad in the past take pictures in front of, so I was very excited to take pictures in front of it. Climbing up it though, proved to be too difficult of a task for me to handle. After those pancakes, there was not physical activity to be had by any of us. We finished off the day with a trip to the Heineken Experience. This was my first brewery tour and I definitely learned (a drank) a lot. I have to say the Heineken in Amsterdam is much better than the Heineken in the U.S. Pancakes and beer- what a great day!

My friends and I reunited in front of the I Amsterdam letters!
Reuniting with my friends in Amsterdam was amazing. The things we did were so fun and the people of Amsterdam were so friendly. It was not like a country I have ever been to in my life, and I don´t think I will ever experience something like it again. At the end of the day though, I was excited to be back in Barcelona. I guess that means it´s home now, and it´s always good to be home.

About Allison Miszner

Hello, my name is Allison Miszner. I am a junior public relations student at the University of Maryland studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, for the semester. Follow my blog read about my experience traveling through Spain and Europe for the next four months. Enjoy!
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