29 October 2013

Exploring Holland: Rotterdam

So before going into my trip to Germany, I wanted to tell you a little bit about Rotterdam. We did a day-trip to Rotterdam a week and half ago on Friday with Amyra. We wanted to do some shopping, especially in Primark and I was also looking for one Alexander Wang bag, and of course see the city of the great Erasmus, so we figured to do a little visit. Before Friday, we asked some girls what we should do in Rotterdam and they basically said that its not forth visiting.

We both had day cards for the train, so only 15€ per person for a day in Rotterdam was quite nice price for a student. More left for shopping hehe ;-) We left just after 9 am and arrived to Rotterdam at about 11 am I would say. We headed straight to Primark, which was located next to the Alexander train station, so not the central station. I had never before shopped at Primark so I really did not know what to expect, except for super affordable prices and not that great quality. But still, I was so shocked when we got in from the front doors. The whole store was a big mess of all sorts of clothes and people going mental. I almost just took a u-turn and walked out right away, it seemed to be too much and not worth it. I could not think of enjoying my time in there. We did end up spending like 1,5 hours I want to say in there. But yeah, I was expecting something like H&M or so. The prices were super low, though, and I bought a few things from there.

After that literally extreme shopping experience, we enjoyed some nice lunch and headed to the city. I wanted to visit one store called ANSH46, which I knew sold Alexander Wang bags. I have been ragingly trying to get my hands on the Diego-bag in black but no store has it in-stock!! And neither did this store..

The city center of Rotterdam was really nice I think! It was way bigger than I had thought and I really liked it. I don't know why people said we shouldn't go there at all. Definitely a place worth visiting I would say. Also, the people were super stylish.


Storming in Groningen

It has been so long I wrote anything random here so wanted to just say hi real quick before returning to school work.. Will be posting about my trip to Germany also later today!

So, Hi! Everything is ok in here. Exam and assignment stress is kind of getting to me and my energy levels are not in the highest peak at the moment, but only 2 weeks and it should be better. On 18th we are going to Amsterdam to see a band called Daughter so at least I have something really exciting to look for after exams! :-)

Yesterday was quite a horrible day even for a monday. I woke up without any alarm or other reason at 7:30 and it was storming real bad outside. I didn't wake up because of the storm, but it was kind of intense still. It was winding so loud and also raining from time to time. Apparently the government also reported a "code red" because of the storm. I was planning on doing laundry, but yeah that didn't happen. I did have to go to school though and to a meeting, and the biking was just horrible! Even though you biked and sweat like a little pig, you could not move forward because of the strong wind. I bet I would have been faster if I walked.. Hated every second of it. So I am hoping the weather will stay more calm during the next couple of months.

16 October 2013

Week 41

A little bit late, but here it goes, the overview of week 41.

Pancake Monday
Schooool #kornopose
Walking around new neighborhoods
Admitting it's Autumn again

Some more running
Shopping for a new f/w coat - love it!

Atrium / School cafeteria - sometimes I also go to school

Exploring Holland: Groningen-Maastricht-Roermond-Eindhoven-Amsterdam-Groningen

On saturday, I woke up unnaturally early, 5:15. After 5 hours of sleep, it took me a while to actually wake up but still, I made it to my train. For Saturday and Sunday, I purchase a "Daagkart" for the Dutch trains. It means that I can travel as much as I want during these two days. So my plan was to do a little exploring trip around Holland. Oh yeah, and most of the pictures on this post are from Maastricht as on Sunday it was pouring cats and dogs and I had no interest on taking photos(or doing much else either). 
5:45 Ready to go!
It is so weird that in here, you can just jump on a train without reserving a seat, they don't even have any numbers on the seats. At least what it comes to the InterCity trains. Also a lot easier. No need to be purchasing new tickets all the time, I just had two A4 papers as tickets, one for Saturday and one for Sunday. Oh yeah, and one ticket was 17€, so I was saving quite good amount as I was almost going around Holland in two days. Of course, I only saw a little bit of every city, but that was kind of my intention, to see a little bit of everything and then later on I can revisit one or more of these cities if I want to.

5:15 wake up

When I woke up, one of my neighbors was still awake that is how early it felt like, too early.. As I got myself ready(and unpacked a little - how much do I really need for a one night trip?!) it was 5:45 already, and I had "missed" my first train. I had a very ambitious plan to get the 5:49 train to Maastricht. But luckily, the trainschedule is quite flexible and you can practically just go to the station any time you want and within 30 minutes your train will departure.


From Groningen, there are many connections to Maastricht. I took one with only one change, since that seemed the easiest to me. It took quite a while, 6:36-11:02, so 4,5 hours and you have to change the train in Duivendrecht. It went by ok - or so I thought. I found the connecting train very easily, but after a couple of hours of traveling and only half an hour away from Maastricht, the train stopped in the middle of nowhere, and the conductor made an announcement, in dutch of course. Luckily I was sitting next to a friendly old couple who were able to translate it to me. It seemed that there were some electronical problems with the train and they couldn't close the doors. After half an hour of wait, the train finally moved and we actually made it to Maastricht, an hour too late so around noon.


The weather was perfect for traveling and walking around - not too warm but still very clear and enjoyable. First sight at the train station was this beautiful street filled with mainly old people in their booths selling stuff. Everything from bags to decoration peaces and binoculars. I could have bought so many things from there, but it wouldnt have been very practical as I would have had to carry them around. So I just enjoyed the market and took some pictures. The city centre of Maastricht was beautiful. Old streets, old buildings, lots of cafes and people strolling around. I also found some very interesting stores selling both luxurious and high street clothing/accessories. There is also a university in Maastricht, I might have to look up if there are some interesting master programs in there for me - that is how much I liked the city. After going around the shops for quite a while, I ended up buying just a craazy cool pair of Vans and churros for lunch, yum.


My next stop was Roermond, and more precise the outlet city located in the edge of the city center. Only about 20 minute walk away, there was a relatively small area of outlet-stores of many kind. I had waited for this and was very excited about it. I dont know wheter it was the long day and my heavy bag straining me or the quality, but I ended up buying just one hoodie from Nike, some sports clothing from Asics, supercute stuff from Ralph Lauren Home and . I felt like the selection at the stores was poor quality and the stores were very small and cramped, stuffed with too much stuff! I am still happy that I went there.
Local VR as in NS


I had booked a hostel to stay in Eindhoven, half an hour train ride away from Roermond and one hour from Maastricht. I thought the city was small and calm, but when I arrived to the train station it turned out to be a proper city - rather than a town or a village. On my way to the hostel I saw three different sushi places, many shops and even a KFC. Oh yeah, and starbucks at the train station. After checking in and paying the hotel, which btw was 30€ inlucing the tourist tax, I went to walk around the city and find some food. I was quite tired from the early wake-up, travelling and all the walking around so I decided to order take away sushi and buy some breakfast supplies for the next morning from Albert Heijn.

Budgethotel De Zwaan
Eindhoven marathon / Rainy view to amsterdam

On Sunday, my plan was to first go to Rotterdam, check out some sightseeing places and then go to Amsterdam for a little shopping spree. But the weather was so horrendous that I decided to skip Rotterdam and go straight to Amsterdam. To be honest, I would have been happy to just return to Groningen but I thought it wouldnt make any sense as I had the daagkart. So I ended up spending a few hours in Amsterdam, tried to find this one particular bag to buy but it was sold out from everywhere. Also to the Van Gogh museum, there was a HUGE line and no way I would have queued in the rain for hours - alone. Soaking wet, at around four o'clock I gave up and headed back to the train station to get my luggage and head back home. I found a good connection with only one change so it only took about 2 hours.

I had my new travel backpack with me, and it was perfect. Even though it was quite heavy and as my sholders weren't really used to carrying the heavy bag, time to time I had to stop just to give some rest for them. But it was good to try it out before heading to Germany next week.

I had a really great time on my little weekend exploring trip. I heard that some people were kind of amazed that I would travel alone but I find it the most easy and enjoyable. Especially for just  a two-day trip so close and with a lot of cities to visit you can just go whenever and to wherever you want. You don't have to make compromises or wait for anyone. When traveling alone it gives you more freedom and also the opportunity to meet new people easily. I am so excited for my trip to Germany next week, I even already received my InterRail pass and booked a hostel for Hamburg and Berlin.

10 October 2013

Just Around the Corner

On Sunday, I wanted to go around and take some pictures as it was such a nice weather and I really hadn't taken that many pictures of Groningen itself, only from other places. At the same time I wanted to explore a new area, which I came across kind of by getting lost and been wanting to go there ever since. I don't know why I haven't gone there more often, as it is really close to the city(Grote markt and Vismarkt), but still away from all the hustle. Some really cute stores, cafes and bakeries over there. I also saw some reeally cute rowers hehe... ;-)

So, without further ado, here are some random pictures from my nice little Sunday walk around.

Cupcakes !!!

Old school candy store

One of Hanze's buildings, Academie Minerva Art Academy

Dit is mijn stad

Exploring Groningen: Hoornsemeer

Soo like I mentioned in the Week 40 wrap-up, on Friday we went for a little exploring trip to the southern part of Groningen. I had heard that there is this a park/lake surrounded by beautiful nature and apparently a windmill also, only a half an hour drive away. We had the day off from school, so we decided to go check it out.

We googled the route to the lake, and it seemed very simple. But as we started our journey, we only got like 300 meters from Vismarkt and we were already lost. After an hour of pedaling and help from the cutest old man, we finally made it there.

To be honest, first I wasn't that impressed about it. Even though the surroundings was very unreal and strange, it was like we had gone to another city or something.. It seemed like a perfect place to be spending your retirement days!

As we went a little further, we came across this super cool playground. I mean, the playgrounds in the Netherlands are just so cool! Lappset should do a little benchmarking I think.. ;) We ended up spending our time in the playground, climbing up this huge "jungle gym", and I really felt like a monkey haha. I bet we were more excited than the (other) kids there.

After a couple of hours, we were so hungry that we decided to just bike around the lake and get something to eat. I can't believe here you can buy a proper chicken salad for 3 euros from the supermarket!! And supposedly it was even good.
There was also cows(?)
Such a nice day, even though I think we missed like half of the place. But that only means that I have to go there again. I heard that it is a really nice place in the winter too, ice-skating on the lake and such!

7 October 2013

Week 40

Over a month ago I left my ordinary life back for a while and executed my desire for studying abroad. I can't believe how time goes so fast. On the other hand so much has happened, but somehow I was planning to do even more. I guess I made too big of expectations for my stay. As I still have to study and be responsible rather than being all party, traveling and such. Good mix of all above and I am very happy. 

I feel like by accident I have managed to create a decent week-schedule for myself. The beginning of the week is always very much about studying; trying to get everything done. That is when I usually have school the most. Besides lectures, I have been spending a lot of time at the library. 

This week has been a lot about exploring. I went to the city library for the first time, we went for a little day-trip, of course introduced ourselves to a new pub, and I have also been just randomly going around a lot more.

On Monday I really didn't do anything, haha great start for my "explore-week". I had dutch class, which is still very confusing to me. Like, when people talk dutch I can kind of understand, but then they decided to write the words down so that nobody could understand what it says.. Have to give it a couple more hours I guess. Study group anyone?

On tuesday I though I had a mass lecture, but apparently it was cancelled. Then I was supposed to study statistics. Turned out I had my calculator, notebook and everything with me, besides the book. So back home and as u-turn to the library. I also though we had a test in statistics, but apparently it was for another group, not us. But i really liked my outfit of the day.

Wednesday was also a study-day. First to the city library, which was really nice. Especially from the outside. Inside it wasn't as nice that I had thought. After a few hours, I had a meeting and after that decided to stay to study still for a while. I also had quite a lot of catching up to do from the time I was sick and low in energy. I feel like the to-do list never ends.. In the evening we decided to head out after we had taken about 1000 selfies and trying to find the one party in our building, couldn't find it. So we threw our own. Fun times.

The next day I luckily didn't have any school, so I got to enjoy a lazy morning. For the past weeks I have always had school on Thursdays so this week was a nice exception. I didn't do much special. Except: We made a plan with mummy to meet up in Frankfurt the week we have off from school. So first I will travel around middle/north of Germany and end it all up with a nice weekend with mum in Frankfurt. So excited! Now I only have to do a proper travel plan, which cities I want to visit and how many days I want to travel and also fin accommodation etc. I was thinking of couchsurfing, but we'll see.. I will propably end up buying a Germany-interrail-pass or whatever for the trains so it won't be too bad as when it comes to money.

Friday we decided to do a little day-tour to a Groningen-sightseeing place. We biked for like an hour to the south of Groningen to a lake. I had heard so many people visiting this place and seen many pictures. After everything, we did find the place and for me the best part of it was the playground. So cool! I think we spent about 2,5 hours on the playground and even made a little dutch friend. And 20 minutes to go half way around the lake. And I guess we missed all the "good stuff" in there. But it was way fun and the perfect weather. In the evening there would have been a house party somewhere in the city, but I was too tired from everything going on during the week that decided to stay in. We cooked a nice tea and such.. Friday was also laundry day. The first laundry day in here. The laundry room isn't that alluring to me, and I have kind of been just postponing my laundry duty and waiting to be running out of underwear. My laundry experience was as bad as I thought it would be. First of all, half of the machines are not working or I couldn't get them to start. Then as you load your laundry you have to stand in water, god knows what is in it, because the floor is flooding. And thirdly, after 120 minutes in the dryer, my socks were still very wet and half of them fell in to the water as I pulled them out of the machine. yeah.. Not sure when I will take the time to do that again. Not soon for sure.

I am so happy to write this down: on Saturday I started my day with a morning(well, at 1 pm) run!!! Yay, I can run again. I have been feeling quite sick for the past 2-3 weeks and my lungs have been hurting every time I tried do some active sports. But now I decided I was no longer sick and ready to run. And so I was! The best 30 minutes of my week. I also went to IKEA to fiinally pick up some kitchen stuff I forgot to buy, such as a cutting board and a proper knife to cut vegetables. As for dinner I made some delicious fajitas, so yumyum and very proud of myself. 

Today was the first Sunday of the month, meaning it would be Koopzondag, shopping sunday when the shops are allowed to be open. After strolling around the city for a couple of hours, taking pictures and enjoy the lazy sunday,  I went to a sport store to buy myself a new traveling bag, as my old one has a huge whole in it and when traveling in Europe for couple of days or a week I find it very inconvenient to be dragging a big suitcase with me. I also ended up buying some super cute sport clothes for the winter. Very rational purchases I would say. Today I also bought my flight ticket to Finland for christmas. Will be traveling back already on 18th December.

P.s. Terveisiä mummille ja paapalle <3 Pikkulinnut lauloi että blogi on syynissä ;) Tekstiviestit tulevat perille, vaikka vastausta ei aina kuulukaan. Haleja<3