Theme by nostrich.
After returning from traveling around Egypt and Turkey in January I had a few days to recover before setting off on a 15+ hour train ride from Amsterdam Centraal to Copenhagen, Denmark. My ticket was for originally for a regular seat, but upon arriving at the station my assigned train car was no where to be seen. After a few moments of confusion and frustration, I was reassigned to a sleeper train car with a couchette bed…quite an upgrade from a regular seat. While the train ride was long and a bit rough, seeing the sunrise over the water as we crossed from Germany into southern Denmark made it all worth it.
Copenhagen, like all Scandinavian cities, is extremely expensive. Hostels run close to $40 per night and a standard, cheap, street food runs about $10-15 per meal. Suffice to say I lived off a backpack of fruit, bread, and cheese. The city itself looks much like a more spread out, modern version of Amsterdam, but with the unique colors and architecture found only in Northern Europe. I also made a day trip across the straight to Malmo, Sweden, so expect to see a related post soon.
Post with 3 notes
It’s been quiet and slow here for awhile. Almost a month since my last post (thanks for hassling me about not posting Brittany!) . But life has been anything but. January has been a month of travel. Visiting four countries (Egypt, Turkey, Denmark, and Sweden) on three continents (Africa, Asia, Europe) all with contrasting climates in three weeks was quite the trip.
While I’ll cover every country in detail later, I’ll give a short synopsis of each. I left Amsterdam January 4 on plane headed for Cairo, Egypt. Cairo, as massive city of 17+ million people, would have been quite the culture shock if I hadn’t already experienced the unique atmosphere present in all Muslim countries while visiting Morocco last November. To describe Cairo in one sentence: warm and sunny (17-20C), sound of constant horns (walking through the streets is like a real life game of Frogger) and call to prayer five times a day (one quickly tires of being woken by the first call to prayer at 5:45am each day), trash everywhere (even the pyramids are surrounded by a walled desert full of all sorts of bottles, bags, and wrappers), but yet the feeling you’re surrounded by a culture that arose out of one of the oldest civilizations on the planet.
After a week in Cairo I caught a plane on January 11 to Istanbul, Turkey, a city 13+ million people spanning two continents (Europe and Asia). Istanbul is a city of hills separated by the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. Istanbul in one sentence: cold and sunny (5-9C), mix of modern and old, Eastern and Western influences, and donor kebabs.
On January 18th I left Istanbul headed on a plane to to Amsterdam, and less than 24 hours later I was on a 15 hour overnight train ride to Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen is similar to many other Northern European cities, especially Amsterdam. Similar architecture (old or extremely modern), very cold (-3-0C), full of waterways, and canals, and strangely enough, 7-Elevens on almost every corner.
While in Copenhagen, I caught a train ride across the Oresund Strait, dividing Denmark and Sweden, to Malmo (Sweden’s third largest city, but not really that large). Malmo was very similar to Copenhagen, but on a smaller scale, and possessed one key difference: Swedish chicks…I will definitely be returning for a summer tour of the Scandinavian countries.
January 23 saw my arrival back in Amsterdam, and for now it just feels good to be in one place again.
I’ve still got a backlog of posts and pictures to put up from last semester’s travel, so keep an eye out for those soon. And of course pictures from January’s travel. Now it’s time to put a little focus into the other reason I’m in Amsterdam: study. And for those that are curious, this semester I’m taking: Applied Cognitive Psychology; Philsophy, Cognition, and Brain; Philosophy of Religion; and Human Computer Interaction. Should be an interesting semester, especially since the first three classes don’t actually have lectures (instead the format is self-study of various literature and studies culminating in a paper or oral exam).