By Hannah Carter-Moore, University of Amsterdam
The fact that I haven’t had time until now to sit down and write my first blog since arriving here in ‘Dam should give you a sense of what a full on experience it’s been so far.
I’m currently sitting on my sweet canal-side terrace trying to catch the last rays before Amsterdam plunges into Winter, finally taking the moment to reflect on this crazy past month.
It’s not often that the romanticised version of a scenario actually plays out in real life, but I feel like Amsterdam is all I had hoped it to be and more.
It’s been the most incredible melting pot of experiences. Here’s a taste of the initial highlights.
I was lucky enough to have my parents drive me to Amsterdam through the eurotunnel from London. It really was a blessing not to worry too much about restricting my packing to two suitcases. Although even so, you really don’t have to worry about lacking in clothes, because the fleamarkets, thrift stores and kilo sales are here in their multitudes. Waterlooplein market is right round the corner from me, and is packed full of leather jackets, trench coats and Levi jeans. The Ij Hallen flea market in Noord is also a thrifter’s dream. It happens every month or so, and is the largest fleamarket in Europe. I’ll have to go next month as I couldn’t get round all of it. She’s huge.
Another first week must here is Jazz Cafe Alto, a tiny but extremely lively jazz bar that plays live music every single day of the week. If you need a break from the ‘oontz oontz’ it’s a gorgeous little spot. Also special shoutout to Kriterion, my fav student bar-come-study space. I’ve never known a place to be able to do both so well.
Hiring a couple boats (with a group of mainly Aussies – Brits and Aussies are inseparable in Amsterdam) has also been such a highlight. A few near-crashes with big tourist boats aside, I think we did a pretty good job. There’s a place right down the canal from me where you can pick up pizza directly from the boat, too. Swimming in the canals when it’s warmer is also lovely (although the water does give Chorlton waterpark pond vibes).
’til next time! Xxx