Our week began on Saturday evening when we took the night train to Amsterdam. At the beginning I wasn’t really pleased about travelling by train because the compartments and the aisle were very small and it was extremely hot. But now I’m looking back and I think it was a good and new experience which perhaps I would never have made.
On Monday we made a kind of orienteering race. In groups of four students we had to look for some specific buildings, pictures or streets. When we found them we had to give the right solution about the questions which were in demand. My group for example had to find the “Vondelpark” and the “Concertgebouw”. The orienteering race was a nice way to get a first overview of the city and to explore it by ourselves. In the evening we went all together to the red-light district. I think it was a good idea to go in common because otherwise I would have felt a bit awkward. While you are in Amsterdam you should have seen it because it belongs to Amsterdam and it is a kind of characteristic of it.
On Tuesday morning we went by train and on foot to the “Rijksmuseum”. We had the bad luck that on that day the bus drivers and the tramway drivers were on strike. But it was not as bad as all that. The museum and the paintings of “Vermeer” in connection with the short presentations of one group (who read the novel Girl with the Pearl Earring, from Tracy Chevalier) were beautiful. That day we had a free afternoon and a free evening, which was also nice.
On Wednesday morning we went to the museum of “Anne Frank”. After the visit my group had to give a short résumé about her diary, to tell something about her life and to read some text passages from her book. The museum was very impressive especially after reading her diary. Now I can even better imagine how difficult her life must have been. In the afternoon we had a guided tour on the “Java and Zeeburg Islands” and in the “Bimhuis-Muziekgebouw”. The architecture on these Islands is really special. Every apartment between the small town canals looks different. It was an interesting afternoon but a bit too long. In the evening we went to the cinema together. It was a pretty cinema and it looked similar to an opera or a theatre. We watched the film “Hangover 2” which I expected to be funnier.
On Thursday we went on a bicycle tour to the “Ijsselmeer”. It was the best day of the whole week!!! The weather was perfect- not too hot not too cold. The atmosphere was very special with the dark clouds and the sunshine through them, the wide grassland with horses, the sea and the gulls which were squealing. It was just great! I would recommend such a bicycle tour to everyone. That evening which was our last we had a free evening. But nearly the whole class (except for five or six students) spent it together. It was truly the best day and the best night.
On Friday morning we went to the “Van Gogh” museum. Before we looked at the paintings, the last group had their short presentation. They told us something about his life and read out from some letters he wrote in French to his brother Théo. I liked this museum more than the “Rijksmuseum” and it was a pity that we didn’t have so much time to admire all his paintings carefully. But so we had a free afternoon to carry something out if we had to and that was also nice because I had to buy some souvenirs of Amsterdam. At 4 o’clock p.m. we went to the airport but unfortunately our train had a breakdown and we nearly missed our plane. The way to the airport was a pretty thrill but finally we caught the plane and everyone could breathe out.
Because of this week we know each other better than before and our class got closer. I will never forget the time we spent together in Amsterdam. It was just wonderful, great, super, beautiful, excellent, fantastic, incredible, miraculous, fabulous, awesome, brilliant, amazing…