Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I know why the Titanic sunk.
This past weekend Jill and I went to London, Belfast, and Amsterdam. We arrived in London around 6pm. We walked to all the main sites (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace...) and had blast! We absolutely adored London! We spent way too much money on souvenirs, but hey, it was London! We went back to Buckingham Palace on Saturday morning to see if we could tour the palace. Next weekend is the Queen's birthday so they were practicing Trooping the Color. We got to see a great ceremony but couldn't go into the Palace. So we shopped!
We left London and arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland around 6pm on Saturday. Um... Belfast. We stayed in the slums, pretty much. We were terrified. We were followed by groups of men, catcalled, witnessed a fight involving the throwing of beer bottles, and we ran back to our hostel. Our hostel... was in an alley. Also terrifying. We shared a room with 18 men and women. Sheets were not washed. We slept in our clothes and got out of there by 8am. Then we went to the outskirts of Belfast which were really beautiful and thankfully much different than the city centre. We hiked a bit and saw Belfast Castle. I was standing in the middle of a forest in Northern Ireland overlooking a cliff and it hit me. I was in Ireland! My whole life I dreamed of going to Ireland. It was amazing and gorgeous (except the city centre of course). We hated Belfast Saturday night and loved it Sunday morning. Fun fact: the Titanic was made here. If it was made in the city centre, I know why it sunk. Damn.
On our way back to Maastricht, we stopped off in Amsterdam. Here, we went into the Anne Frank Huis (house). This was an experience that I will never forget. I stood in the Secret Annex. I saw Anne's bedroom, complete with her decorations on the walls. I saw the marks that Anne's father made on the walls to record the growth of Anne and Margot during their hiding period. I saw Anne's diary and loose leaf pages in glass cases. I went behind the bookshelf that hid the Secret Annex. Amazing. Really one of the most amazing experiences in my life.
All in all, it was an amazing weekend filled with unforgettable experiences.