Today we visited the Bückeburg palace, the royal decedent so still occupy the castle and open it up to the public for tours, and apparently movie shoots, as there was one filming at the time we were touring the castle. I find it amazing that this family is able to maintain this castle with the stunning gold doors, chapels, and beautiful ceiling painted murals. However, the most exciting thing I experienced at this palace was across the courtyard in front of the horse stables.
As we were making our way to the stables, a lovely horse and his trainer walked past us. I have always been afraid of horses, but as I feel I am coming to a place in my life where facing fears is inevitable, I asked to pet the horse. Although it was evident that the horse was well trained, it still took me quite a few minutes to muster up the courage to get near him. However, in the end I was able to pet him. It may not seem exciting or interesting to you, but as my racing heart calmed, once I touched the horse, I knew that I had accomplished a fear.
Later that day we had the opportunity to visit the Externstein and the grotto. The Externstien is famous because of its particular rock formation, which was caused by the melting of the ice around the rock after the ice age. There is a large amount of traces of human activity in this location, such as the carvings in the rocks. These features are probably what makes this rock so popular. We had a very informative guide lead us around the rock and teach us about theories about the markings and the possible meanings. However, I was very intrigued when she spoke about the grotto, and so very surprised when she opened the locked gate and let us inside. It was truly unexpected. Just imagine we were standing where people centuries ago stood. We were literally standing on ancient history.
After the tour we were able to explore the rock formation on our own. I climbed to the top of one and decided one is enough. As a result, I climbed down and rested at one of the park’s tables. As I sat there I thought about all the things that I had learned, and all the things that I will learn on this trip. In conclusion, I am happy with the decision I made to partake in West Georgia Technical College Study Abroad Program.
Today we began with one of the events of this trip that I was most eager to partake it, The Van Gough Museum. I have learned about the battles Gough struggled through with his depression, but I have never taken the time to notice how his emotions are truly depicted in his art. My favorite painting is the sunflower painting. It always has been favorite but now knowing it was created in his happier moments, I have come to appreciate it even more.
After the tour of the Van Gough’s Museum. We had some free time. We spent a lot of time shopping. Rachel, Janicia and I sat at a café and ate some of the best calamari I have ever had. At the Café, we met a man, sitting at a table to our right, from Spain who spoke 7 languages. He told us how he has a studio apartment in Spain as well as in Amsterdam. He says whenever he gets tired of one of his places of residence he packs up and lives at the other one until he gets bored again. At a table to our left there was a couple from Holland, we shared our lunch with. They weren’t able to answer questions about Amsterdam, as they stated they were tourists, too. They came to see a concert for the weekend and had an hour drive back this evening to Holland. It was nice to be able to speak with local people.
I must be honest. I am not a fan of not having it my way at restaurants here. At the café, we ate during our shopping time, the waitress put in the wrong order. When we checked to verify our order, we found out she had put it in wrongly. Unfortunately, she stated it was already being made and left it at that. This is actually how we ended up having lunch with the couple from Holland, we gave them the food. Later this evening at the Pancake Bakery, I wanted to order a ham and cheese pancake. However, I wanted my ham and cheese on the side. I was told that could not be done it had to be made together. It was definitely a learning experience, and was very different than the ones in American restaurants.
Words fail me in my attempt to express how much I love this city. It is so beautiful. I love how everything is in such close proximity, how bike friendly the roads are, and how friendly and sociable the people are. I have enjoyed exploring this city, and all I can say is I will be back.
Geode Nacht Amsterdam, en Vaarwel!
Whenever traveling a far distance it makes me a little anxious and ready to back out. However, I am aware that growth comes from stepping out of your comfort zone. The recent attention Belgium has had in the news is a bit frightening, but I am optimistic. My parents were both in the army before I was born, and were stationed in many places of Europe. I grew up hearing about how much they loved living there. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Germany last year with the West Georgia Technical College Study Abroad Program, and I am very excited to be going again this year.
I am a registered nursing student, I want to help people be at their optimum level of health, and I want to see the world. I have decided to partake in the travel nursing at the beginning of my career, so that I can do both, travel, and aid in promoting the public’s health. This program has helped me verify that traveling is exactly what I want to do.
There are many locations that I eager to see on this trip, such as the Rijksmuseum museum, which displays artistic and historical objects tell the story of 800 years of Dutch history. I am also intrigued by the Externsteine and Grotto, apparently here are numerous traces of human activities at the Externsteine, and I am curious to find out what kind of activities. The partnership between West GA Technical College and the college we are visiting is bound to be informative. Most of all, I am interested in the Van Gough Museum. I remember as a child my mom had his painting “Starry Night” in her room. I have always thought his style of painting to be so different and meaningful. I have listened and watched a few documentaries on Van Gough. He is definitely one of my favorite artists.