středa 9. května 2012

Trips - The Important Part of Erasmus

I realized that the posts about one of the best things of my Belgian adventure are still missing, so I should fix it right now. Six moths is a time long enough to make some trips so I also tried not to waste any opportunity to travel and I have made a lot of nice trips with lots of experience. It is known that Ghent, thanks to the great position it has, is a very good point where to start travelling. No wonder that during my Belgian mission I have managed to visit 4 capital cities, namely Amsterdam, Luxembourg, even Paris and naturally Brussels.


I would expect the biggest "wooow" for Paris from many people. Yes, Paris is a very nice city, I can agree. We spent there the whole weekend, but still it was not enough. There is a big problem behind. I started to call this city The City of Waiting and Deja Vu. The reason is that if you want to visit Paris, you have to take into account that you have to wait. Everywhere! Yes, even for the toilet! And moreover, in the season, holiday period and such, then it is even worse. And why is it the City of Deja Vu? I know already why the word came from France. During that weekend I felt a few times like I was in the situation in which I had been before...hmm strange, again a queue, again the same people....
    Anyway, we made 674 steps to get to the top of the Eiffel tower, saw the sunset and night Paris (absolutely amazing!!!) and I spent the most money in McDonald's ever. We made a boat trip, saw Louvre (I was waiting outside with the feeling Mona Lisa is just a painting) and Notre Dame (unfortunately also only from outside). It was a nice time :-)


Amsterdam - what to say to that?'s amazing! If you have never been there before, you definitely have to go there! If you are thinking about your next trip, go for Amsterdam. This is probably the best city I've visited (well....okay, I think Prague is still the winner). I really love it. I think it's so interesting because Amsterdam is different, weird, controversial, cosmopolitan as you like. But still very nice. To be honest, on the other hand, I wouldn't live there. For this purpose there are many reasons why not to do that.
   Amsterdam, in fact, is an overcrowded city, with a lots of tourists, which is not such a problem. As I already said it is also controversial, and controversial is the right word. As everybody knows, Amsterdam as the capital of the Netherlands is so famous for its benevolent approach to many debatable issues. Yes, you can encounter a lot of famous coffee shops, you will surely not miss Red Light District with all those nice girls wearing very nice clothes showing everything (almost) in the windows. (author's remark: 10 minutes for 40€ :-D). But at the same time, you encounter also very strange people, a lot of drug heads, dealers, mafiosos, perverts, psychopaths and other kinds of aliens. And crazy bikers :-D It is very dangerous.
   Anyway, Amsterdam has a lot to offer. Typical houses near the channels, sometimes looking like about to fall down, typical houses on the channels - houseboats (sometimes looking like about to sink down :-D)

Cologne (Köln)

   A very strange English name for this city. I rather use the German expression. So we've also been to Köln (Cologne if you want) which is situated not far from the borders. We went there in the winter right before Christmas to see the famous
Weihnachtsmarkt. Yeah, those markets were pretty nice. We drank Glühwein, kept the cups as a memory and enjoyed the real Christmas atmosphere. But on the other hand, this city just didn't wowed me. But perhaps many people liked it. I think it's because it's very similar to the cities or towns in the Czech Republic. There is nothing new for me and seems quite boring then. It's just a big city for me. It should be added that, unfortunately, we missed probably the most beautiful spot of Cologne - the romantic view from the Hohenzollern Bridge.


The biggest disappoitment of all is definitely Brussels. Maybe it's not the worst city of Belgium, because especially in the Walooon part you can find quite a few ugly ones, but.....I don't find it nice at all Well, everybody has to visit it, because this is the core of Europe and there is not much more than say - I have been there, I've been to Brussels. But at least for me, nothing special and very worth seeing. Well...okay, if you go there, go to the historical center. That's nice, that's typically Belgian. But otherwise this city is a concrete jungle, full of high buildings, skyscrapers, homeless people and high unemployment rate. I have visited all the "famous" places like Atomium, which is quite nice and I would say it's worth visiting once but the entrance fee is not the cheapest. I have also seen the "Manneken Pis", which I actually encountered for the first time just by chance (because that famous guy is so small and hidden that you don't even know). In the end, I also looked into internals of the Europan Parliament, was quite boring. But anyway, it is the European Parliament, you have to go there.

  There is, of course, much more. I have written here only about the places which usually allures people the most. I would strongly recommend to make a trip to Luxembourg. It's a pretty nice city, small but very nice. I liked it. If you want to see and experience something different (something different for Belgium), then you can go to the Walloon part of the country and pass by Dinant or Namur, for instance. They are different because there you can see also some hills!