Old Travel Series: Netherlands (Europe, Part 3)

This post is part of a series where I’m incorporating old travel journal entries into this blog. This part of the series is from my first ever trip to Europe, when I visited the Netherlands, Belgium, and France with a group from my college. This is transcribed from the original hand-written journal I kept during that trip while I was still just a wee college student. I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned for more tales of our adventures!

Didn’t catch the first post in this series? Start from the beginning!

Saturday, June 4th, 2005.

We had an array of things on our agenda for today, including the Teyler Museum, the Grote Kerk tour (that’s the huge, beautiful cathedral I mentioned we could see out our hotel room window in the last post), and the Frans Hals Museum. With that being said, I shall describe my very busy day to you the best I can now.

We woke up this morning feeling a bit tired, but also totally refreshed and adjusted to the nine hour time difference from home in California. We went downstairs for breakfast. I had a cheese sandwich, an orange, and some cinnamon raisin toast with a chocolate spread on it called Nutella. What is this wondrous magic? It was quite tasty! (but then again, we all know how much I love chocolate). (note: apparently this was the moment I discovered Nutella. It’s hard to think it wasn’t until college that I discovered this magical spread that has been a part of my life ever since. Thanks, Europe.)

The Teyler Museum

After breakfast, the missing luggage for our group finally arrived, which brought smiling faces to Norwood and the rest of those who did not have their luggage. After everyone was in clean clothes and not feeling quite so stinky any more, we headed off to the Teyler Museum. It is across the street from the canals, which are absolutely beautiful. Inside the building is also very interesting and beautiful. There are a  few postcards and drawings on the pages to come, which could describe the look and feel of the place much better than my words ever could. It was amazing what a diverse collection they had there though. The museum had everything from an amazing art collection to some dinosaur bones, a great collection of cool rocks, and other various gadgets and gizmos. This was my favorite museum so far by far. My only regret is that we were hurried along by the group so there wasn’t enough time to really stay and soak it all in as long as I would have liked to.

St. Bavo’s Cathedral

After the Teyler Museum, we visited the beautiful cathedral which Norwood and I actually have a view of from our hotel room. It was the most beautiful, awe inspiring building I have ever been inside of. there are a few pictures on the pages to come, but they dwarf the magnificence that only seeing this place firsthand can inspire.

Town Square

After visiting the beautiful church, we had a bit of time for a lunch break so we went to the flea market that was set up in the town square (earlier this morning I bought a vintage Transformers comic book that is written in Dutch for one Euro!). Anyway, there was a “pizza” stand at the flea market and pizza sounded good and it was really cheap, so I got some. It wasn’t actually anything like pizza at all. It was a thin bread that closely resembled Indian Naan filled with cucumbers, feta, tzatziki sauce, chilis, gyros, and beets. Then it was wrapped up like a burrito. It wasn’t pizza, but it tasted AMAZING.

The Frans Hals Museum

After lunch, we visited the Frans Hals Museum. There were some interesting art pieces there, which I have included sketches of and/or cards of in this book, but to be honest I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this museum as I was with the Teyler Museum.


After the museums, Norwood and I finally took off on our own. We went looking for a place to get my money exchanged and also to look for an ATM. We found an ATM and my card worked, but Norwood’s didn’t. We are going to have to have Norwood’s mom wire him some money soon, but until that I will cover him. anyway, we heard money could be exchanged at the train station, so we set off to go find it. We ended up getting a little bit lost, unfortunately, but while we were lost we did see some cool stuff and took some awesome pictures, so that’s ok. It took a while, but we finally made it to the train station. It’s a very cool building. It’s very large and unique looking. We found the place to exchange money but they are closed until Monday. I guess I’ll go back then.


We came back from the train station and soon after met up with everyone at the restaurant in our hotel for dinner. It was steak with salad and the usual french fries with mayonaise that I have come to enjoy. After dinner, I went out with Norwood, Katy, the Jager sisters, and Dinah for some hot tea and sketching. The sketch of architecture on the previous page is the one I did. Some drunk guy paid Dinah 20 Euros for the sketch she did. We cut it out of her sketchbook so he could have it. It was pretty funny. After that, we set out and found a bar, but we didn’t stay there too long.

Then we went back to the hotel and I spent some quality time hanging out with Norwood and then we got ready to go to bed. Now it’s time for me to go to sleep. See you tomorrow!

Didn’t catch the first post in this series? Start from the beginning!

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