Weekend Trips and Packing Tips

Vera Iwankiw
October 9, 2013

This past week has flown past. Classes have been going very well- I am really enjoying the fact that most of my classes take me outside of the classroom. I am seeing more of London this way. I’ve been to Greenwich, the National Gallery, the Museum of London, the list could keep going. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to go back to long lectures and notes next semester… 

This past weekend, I once again embraced my spontaneity- I bought tickets through a tour company to Amsterdam and Bruges with two friends. We ended up traveling overnight on Friday on 2 different buses and a ferry. It was an exhausting time- sleeping on a bus is not the most luxurious way to travel, but it is economical. We arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday morning, mostly running on adrenaline, and we took that city by storm. We had a list of things we wanted to see, and we went through it all. Dam square, the Van Gogh Museum, the Heineken experience, the red light district; the only thing we couldn’t fit in is Anne Frank’s house. There was a two hour wait for it already at 10 o’clock in the morning, so I guess that will be my excuse to come back.

individual dressed as the grim reaper in front of a large building with bell tower

If you are planning on traveling to Amsterdam, book your tickets in advance! There were lines for everything there! The only reason we even got into the Van Gogh museum was because my genius friend whipped out her I pad, found Wi-Fi and booked us tickets on-line for later in the day.

Vincent van Gogh's bedroom in arles depicting a bed, desk, and chair in a blue room

Bruges was absolutely beautiful. I think it was my favorite place I have visited so far. It was like stepping into a 19th century town. There were more horse-drawn carriages than cars. Everything was so pristine and clean. And the chocolate and waffles were to die for. I fell in love! It was also one of the most romantic cities I have ever seen and want to go back someday.

a waffle covered in chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and strawberries

But now I am back in London and have realized that my program is a third of the way through. I only have about 2 months left. How did this even happen?! I feel like time is just slipping away. Looking back at my bucket list, I have completed about half of it and I am proud of that. (The idioms are my favorite- tea leaves are thieves, pissed is drunk, fit is hot.) Can’t wait to keep going through it!

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Vera Iwankiw

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I was born and raised in Chicago, where I grew up learning about my Ukrainian culture and language. I currently attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and am studying Human Development with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. I play on the university&rsquo;s club water polo team and synchronized swimming team and am active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I have traveled internationally to Ukraine, Canada, and Mexico for vacation and Cape Town, South Africa for a service learning trip. In the future, I hope to continue my studies in law school, with the hope of one day practicing as a family law or child advocate lawyer.</span></p>

2013 Fall
Home University:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Explore Blogs