These past two weekends I was fortunate enough to get to travel to two different countries! Last Thursday morning Amanda & I went to Amsterdam until Sunday night; then Friday morning, myself & some friends traveled to Glasgow then Edinburgh until Sunday morning. When in each country, I observed many things and found some interesting differences in the two, as well as similarities. To start off, both countries are absolutely gorgeous. Rain or shine it really doesn’t matter because the architecture of the buildings are breathtaking.
When in Amsterdam, one of the obvious beauties were all of the canals dispersed throughout the city. Arriving in Amsterdam was interesting because we had no idea how to get to our AirBnB from the airport. Luckily we ran into a nice man that was headed to the same exact town, so we followed him from the train to the bus and he told us exactly where to get off. That was a great first impression of the city so it made me very excited (also because it was SUNNY! A nice change from gloomy Manchester). We spent the rest of Thursday exploring the city center and just wandering around (and getting lost quite a few times), but those are always the best memories to me. Before coming to Amsterdam, a lot of people had told me how nice the people were and what not, but I did not have the same experience. The customer service here was absolutely horrendous. One pub in particular, the owner was a very sassy older man who would answer my questions with smart remarks and roll his eyes at me. I observed him as others ordered and he treated them the same way. At a pancake house the waitress got upset because we didn’t know what we wanted to order all of about 1 minute after sitting down. It just baffled me since I work at Chickfila & I thought if I ever treated anyone this way I would 1) be so embarrassed & 2) be fired. Those experiences aside, I really did enjoy my stay in Amsterdam. We got to see a lot of famous places & went to the Anne Frank house which was so cool! People aren’t kidding when they say get there early; Amanda & I waited in line for 2.5 hours.
When it comes to the people, Scotland was the complete opposite. Every person we ran into was incredibly friendly. We would stop in stores to ask for directions and they went above & beyond to help us out. They recommended places to see & pubs to go to as well! We went to one pub for lunch & I ordered a chicken sandwich but I asked for no tomato on it & the waitress responded with “I can ask if the kitchen will do that but no guarantees” I responded with “Isn’t it just a slice of tomato?”, “Yes, but sometimes the chef gets annoyed when people ask to change the way it’s made”. Then she proceeded to ask me what my second option would be if they weren’t able to take the tomato off for me. I was so baffled by that. Again, I think of Chickfila & how we always aim to please the guest. But also, it’s a slice of tomato. Yes, obviously I could take it off, but still this is your job. Don’t worry though, she ended up bringing out a completely different sandwich than what I had asked for :). The beauty of Edinburgh was absolutely amazing. It had a different feel than Amsterdam as well. Amsterdam you could tell was a lot more touristy, whereas Edinburgh didn’t feel as crowded with tourists at all. It felt a lot more rugged & also had a LOT more hills. It was
greener & the cobble stone streets were fun to walk in. Saturday afternoon we climbed up Arthur’s Seat which was one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. The very top was so windy that I was physically being moved by it (it felt like mother nature was slapping me around).
All in all, each place was unique in its own way. I’m so happy I’m able to travel inside Europe and see all these different countries! Our next trip is hopefully going to be to Prague which I’m excited about. But for now I guess I should start focusing on school (I keep forgetting that’s a thing). My Monday/Thursday classes finally start this week so I will be in school for a whole 4 days, woo!