Turns out Amsterdam isn't the only cool city in the Netherlands...

Lindsey Foster
September 12, 2016

    It's incredibly hard to believe but I have been in the Netherlands for three weeks now and so far have been having the most amazing time.  In the two weeks before classes began I did a bit of travelling throughout the Netherlands and each city I explored was exciting and unique in its own way.  My friends and I took a day trip to Zaanse Shans, a neighborhood in Zaandam that's filled with the scent of chocolate (due to its famous chocolate factory) and countless windmills.  The charming architecture throughout the city and the plants that tumbled onto the streets from hanging vines gave us all the feeling that this was the ideal place to take a break from the bustling city life and relax.  A few pictures from this area are featured below: 

A glimpse of a house surrounded by Hydrangea flowers. 

Picinic overlooking the windmills. 

And finally the windmills themselves!


      Next up IES Abroad brought us on our first day trip to Utrecht!  We first stopped at Kasteel de Haar, a beautifully decorated castle surrounded by rose gardens and fields with grazing reindeer.  After spending the morning there, we road into the city for some kayaking, shopping, tower climbing and a night out downtown.  Check it out below: 

Kasteel de Haar in all its castle-like glory (there was even a moat.) 

Ceiling art in the ballroom of the castle. 

Beautiful bridge in the gardens outside the Kasteel de Haar. 

First time seeing a reindeer up close!

The view from the top of the Dom Tower was worth the 465 steps!

Just a slightly photoshopped chandelier located inside the Dom Tower. 

Tunnel leading to a serene canal (surprisingly not to an underground rave.)

     Next up was a trip to Alkmaar, a city known especially for its cheese markets.  We went on the day of a cheese festival but ended up seeing much more of the city than that!  Every shop we wandered into was filled with quirky goods such as invisible bookcases and cloth-covered cacti.  We also went into a church and instead of seeing the typical pew/alter set up, we were met with an amazing art exhibit featuring both sculptures and paintings.  It was a day to be remembered. 

First of all, cheese.

A view inside a shop on one of the quiter streets in Alkmaar. 

An old shop with even older speakers. 

Nice lil park featuring finger statues.

Not your average rooftop.

     All in all the trips were amazing and I am hoping to return to these cities later in the semester.  Stay tuned for photos from Dublin and Galway as I am leaving for Ireland in two days! 

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Lindsey Foster

<p>&quot;It feels good to be lost in the right direction&quot;&nbsp;</p>
<p>Leading a dangerously caffeine dependent life and learning as much as I can wherever I go. &nbsp;</p>
<p>University of Massachusetts Amherst ---&gt; University of Amsterdam&nbsp;</p>

Home University:
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
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