As I got settled in Maastricht in January, started traveling in Europe, and going to school, I realized something. I very much wanted my best friend from Baylor to experience this. And to experience it with me! I knew this was impossible, because it was too late. There was no time for planning, no time to visit, and certainly no way any college student could afford to come to Europe at such short notice. But, I would constantly email and facebook my friend Kelly, "Come visit!! Just get over here and I will help pay for food and you can stay in the dorm with me!" Well, Kelly told me it might be a possibility, but the days I wrote these things started to turn into weeks, and school was going right along. I knew she wouldn't be able to come.
So one day as I checked facebook, I received a wall post. It read:
"okay. ticket bought. i will be there earlier monday so you may not wana meet me 'cuz I dont know when ya'll have class. I'm fine with chilling in Amsterdam until whenever a train is available. i honestly havent looked at train times... you are stuck with me from monday-sunday though."
?? Okay, so Kelly just informed me that she will be flying across the world to visit for a week...in a facebook WALL POST. That's Kelly for ya. So, we started planning and counting down the days.
She informed me that her mom had purchased a Eurail pass for her, so we wanted to visit as many countries as possible in a weekend to get the most out of her train pass. So, our weekend itinerary was:
Thursday: Heidelberg, Germany.
Friday: Sight see in Heidelberg, then Metz, France.
Saturday: Metz, France to Amsterdam.
Sunday: Kelly flies home out of Amsterdam in the morning.
However, I was in school from Monday to Thursday. So we had little adventures in Maastricht while she was here. She arrived Monday, no problem (thank goodness!) from Amsterdam to Maastricht.
We had a movie moment at the train station, both with our cameras out, when we saw each other.
Tuesday after my Modernism and Beyond literature class, Kelly and I went out in Maastricht to see the Vrijtof (main square with shopping and cafes). Here she is videoing the river and scenic views in Maastricht! This is the day Kelly had her first Belgian waffle too. Great experience.
Wednesday I thought it might be a good idea for Kelly to see more of Maastricht and go to school with me. I took her to Dutch Art History, which I thought hey, might be an intersting class for her. But.. kind of forgot to tell her it was 4 hours long. So I felt really bad for her towards the end. But she was a trooper and joined in discussions about Impressionism and Renior influencing Van Gogh.
It sure was a hectic travel weekend! But we had a lot of fun. Heidelberg was definitely my favorite city. It is a modern city, but some of the "old town" has been preserved and is a hot spot for tourists like ourselves. We stayed in a charming German hotel above a restaurant. The staff were very friendly and spoke wonderful English.
We got into Heidelberg late on Thursday night (9 or 10 PM) so we went next door to the Irish pub for some food and fun. I have no pictures from this night because I looked pretty rough- tired and hungry. But I got a picture of the pub the day after.
On Friday, we woke up early to a cold, but charming Germany. We were welcomed to the hotel breakfast spread which was pretty good!
We saw a beautiful castle in Heidelberg, or Schloss as they call it. Full of history and beautiful sights.
And my personal favorite part of the blog-- food. Here it is, my German meal in all its glory. Grilled sausages with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and a beer of the waiter's choosing.
Long story short: got into Metz, great budget hotel at the train station.
Kelly loved the fact you could open the big windows.
We walked to see the Cathedral. Got lost for an hour. It got dark. Took a picture of a carousel.
We got hungry and cold. At our losses, walked into a bistro.
They didn't speak English. We were embarrassed. This crazy meal ended up being the best thing that happened to us in France. We got an amazing, gourmet, 3 course meal for 20 euro each. Scrumptious.
Kelly got to experience first-hand why I love French food the most. We didn't even know what we ordered and it turned out to be AMAZING!!! AHHH I LOVE FRENCH FOOD~!
We left Metz early in the morning to head to Amsterdam. We had really good cappuccinos and pain au chocolats in the train station. We missed our first train because we were buying postcards. Caught a train to Luxembourg 30 minutes later, so no biggie.
Smelled weird on the first train, so we made our scarves into masks.
Later in the 8 hour train day...
Kelly made friends with this young man on the train. Story self-explanatory.
I told her not to talk to strangers but she doesn't listen.
Our experience in Amsterdam was short but sweet. We got there at night and stayed at an airport hotel, so we had to take a train into the city. I showed her the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijks Museum.
Kelly did not know about the main attractions of Amsterdam. Namely, that both pot and prostitution are completely legal. Seeing this firsthand, now she knows! :)
The next day, we had an early morning and said goodbye. It was a wonderful and much needed trip for the both of us! I'm so glad she made the journey over here!
(Aside: Kelly and I were both accepted into Baylor's New York City program. However, she will be there in the fall semester and I will be there next spring, so really we had our last college semester together last fall. So, this trip was special because these are our last college moments together!)