Tag Archives: walking

Oh Budapest: The Sites (Part 1)

Buda and Pest (Budapest)

I went to Budapest, Hungary for 4 days for a small vacation with some friends. It was quite the experience. Definitely a city I would recommend for people to visit. I had no idea where Budapest was prior to this trip. I even had to look up how to say Hungary in Spanish when my grandmother asked me where Budapest was, clearly not a city I’m talking about on a daily basis. However, I’m extremely happy I went because not only do I now know how to say Hungary in Spanish, “Hungria,” but I also learned a lot about Budapest’s history and was able to explore its beauty.

Heroes Square

Budapest is the capital and largest city in Hungary with 23 districts. There are 2 sides to Budapest, “Buda” and “Pest,” they are divided by the Danube River, which flows into the Black Sea. The currency used in Hungary is the Forint. 275 Forint is equal to 1 Euro and 210 Forint is equal to 1 US dollar. I absolutely hated the Forint! Too much math for me! I absolutely hate calculations!

To explore the city we used Big Bus tours. We were able to visit a lot of historical sites. The first site was Heroes Square in the Pest side of the city. In the center of the square is the Millennium Monument with statues of the 7 tribal leaders who founded Hungary as well as other important people in Hungarian history.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Our trip to Budapest wouldn’t have been complete without a day in one of Budapest’s famous baths. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It’s also the first thermal bath of Pest. The water supply for the bath comes from a hot-spring water with calcium, magnesium, hydro-carbonate, and fluoride. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath was truly an experience. For starters the baths were filled with hairy men in speedos… that was pretty funny. We had to rent towels (we didn’t have any) and wait in a ridiculous long line because there was only 1 person working. After we changed into our bathing suits we had to walk outside to the freezing cold to get into the hot and relaxing waters. That was definitely worth the cold because it was so relaxing just being in the hot water surrounded by all the steam. It made you forget that you were outside in really cold temperature. We then decided to explore the insides of the spa. We found more baths and a sauna. I always wanted to try a sauna! However, because I had no flip flops I was pretty grossed out. The sauna was filled with old, fat, sweaty, hairy men rubbing their sweat into their bodies! I was definitely stepping on some of that sweat! But I still tried it for the experience!

Hungarian officer changing guards

The view from The Castle District to the Pest side

Nothing was more gorgeous in Budapest than Parliament and the Grand Palace “Buda Castle.” We saw them both on the bus tour, when we visited the Castle District, and during the river tour Big Bus tours also offered. Parliament is built in Neo-Gothic style and has 691 rooms. It is located on the bank of the Danube river and serves as the permanent seat of the National Assembly. In WWII, the Buda Palace and the Castle District were the last refuge of the Germany Army, which fell under heavy siege from the invading Soviet Army. When we were up on the Castle District (Buda side) we were able to watch Hungarian soldiers change guards. It was pretty funny because at some points it looked like they were posing for the tourists as we all took pictures. We also came across this crazy old man who kept asking people if they wanted their photo taken by him. He was pretty creepy. He did let us know that the changing of guards was going to happen in a few minutes so his craziness was of some use to us. The view from the Castle District was absolutely stunning. Left you speechless as you looked at the Pest side.

To be continued…

À le movies: 007

Skyfall Posters

Saturday, I decided to treat myself to the movies. I also really wanted to experience a Belgian movie theater. Since I’ve never seen a James Bond movie I thought why not see 007: SKYFALL. It’s apparently the 23rd installment of James Bond on screen. The movie starts British actor Daniel Craig and was directed by Sam Mendes. The movie also featured an amazing song by Adele, Skyfall, written strictly for the movie. It created a great opening for the movie! Definitely a good set up for the ambience the movie was trying to create (which doesn’t really show until the final scenes.) Overall, the movie had good action scenes and some really good quotable lines from various characters. However, I didn’t find the plot interesting and I felt like nothing really stuck out until the end. I didn’t really get where the movie was trying to go because there was just too much going on. In my opinion, the movie had a lot of potential to have a really good storyline but wanted to say too much so it ended up just making a mess. It had too many stories going on at once. I felt like some points didn’t even finish developing by the end of the movie. (This is as good of a review I can give without ruining the movie.) Either way, I would still go see the movie because I was entertained by the action scenes, characters, beautiful settings, and all the good lines from the characters.

Brussels Atomium

Side view of the Atomium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went to Kinepolis movie theater and of course getting there was an adventure. It was ugly out rainy, windy, and cold.  I had to take the tram a direction I’ve never taken before. As I rode the tram I passed through 2 to 3 stops where the walls were filled with the most awkward graffiti art I’ve ever seen. I was actually pretty disturbed by it. When I get off at my stop, which was the last stop on the tram, I instantly became amused by this building made of circles! Turns out to be the the Brussels Atomium build for the world fair in Brussels in 1958. It has 8 levels spread over 5 spheres! It’s apparently a very big tourist attraction! I am definitely returning to visit it! Right next to it it’s a small amusement park called Mini Europe. I fell in love! It was the cutest thing! I’m definitely returning to that too. I shall attend BOTH attractions!

Back of theater

Front of theater

So I ended up walking around the back of the theater before I found the front and the entrance. >_< Once I finally found the front I was in shock! It looked so fancy! Inside the theater has all the posters of movies that are currently  in theaters and some posters of movies that are about to be released. I found it funny that “Ted” JUST came out Oct.10th. The theater also has a lot of self-buy ticket machines! I’ve never seen so many in a movie theater! It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t arrive ridiculously early! I had 3 hours to kill and they had no waiting seats ._. Every employee was practically on lunch break. They weren’t even selling the popcorn yet, and I was craving some popcorn bad! I ended up sneaking into the bathroom so I wouldn’t pay the 35cents (since everyone was on lunch break,) listening to my iPod, and watching previews to this movie “Hobbit” and “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt.2” on this huge flat screen about 3 times.

Movie posters

Eventually I got my popcorn and got myself a twix bar to sweeten my life up. When I walked into the room I literally said “wow.” It was HUGE! That had to be the biggest screen in a theater I’ve ever seen. The movie was in English and there were French and Dutch subtitles. I thought that was pretty interesting. What caught me off guard was the 10min break to use the bathroom in the middle of the movie. I thought to myself, “they must really want those 35cents!” Whelp! they definitely got mine because I needed to pee! I still can’t believe they charge for bathrooms in Europe! I went back to my movie and left the theater pretty content. It was a good adventure for such a crappy day.

Beautiful Vienna

Arrived to Vienna

Saturday, my cousin’s wife planned a wonderful trip to Vienna, Austria! I fell in love with the city! It truly opened my eyes to how many wonderful things the world has to offer! I never would of imagined visiting Vienna, I honestly didn’t even know anything about the city. A lot of times we get stuck in our bubble forgetting there’s an entire world out there so different from what we are used too! Sometimes we might be very amazed with what we find outside our bubbles.

It was decided that we would take the train to Vienna so I could experience more also because parking would of taken time away from the trip. It was interesting because as soon as we got in the train I went from listening to Slovak to German. The train ride from Bratislava to Vienna only took an hour. This is nothing for a person who has to take the train to New York all the time (my cousin was impressed by my patience.) What shocked us all was the weather change as we left Bratislava. It went from sunny to having fog everywhere! You couldn’t see anything! However, that was NOT going to stop us from having a great day!

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The first sight we visited was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the most famous church in Vienna. It’s an absolutely breathtaking gothic church with so many intricate details in its design. As we approached the church there were people dressed in 18th century clothing promoting a Mozart concert that was happening in the evening. That was something you don’t come across or hear everyday. Inside the church was incredible and extremely beautiful. Outside, around the back of the church we came across horses with carriages! There were so many of them! I seriously felt like I was stepping into a scene from a movie.

Burggarten

We came across Mozart’s house, which is now a museum. We also came across a wedding dress shop with future brides trying on dresses! It was such a beautiful scene! They looked so happy and pretty. My cousin said people in Vienna love weddings. It is such a beautiful city I don’t doubt it one bit. Getting married in Vienna must be something else!

Inside the Butterfly House

By the time we stepped foot into the Butterfly House, which is right next to the Palm House around the Burggarten the sun was coming out. The Butterfly House was such a great experience! It is truly unforgettable. There was a waterfall, small ponds, a beautiful bridge made out of a tree trunk, and dozens of butterflies flying everywhere. It was ridiculously hot inside but worth every inch of sweat. The Burggarten is a park where the statue of Mozart stands. (Vienna is full of beautiful parks) Burggarten was the former private park of the monarch. It is attached to the Imperial Palace. The palace is absolutely stunning. It is also huge! I honestly could of sat around there all day!

Imperial Palace

Fountain at the Maria-Theresien-Platz my little cousin almost fell into

We then visited the Maria-Theresien-Platz it’s a huge square with 2 mirroring museums (Natural History Museum and Art History Museum) and a garden in the middle. Maria-Theresien was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions. The Platz was beautiful and very peaceful. My little cousin almost fell in one of the garden’s many fountains so we didn’t stay there for long. My cousin-in law almost had a heart attack! I mean who wouldn’t!

Next was a walk to parliament! I fell in LOVE with the statue of Athena that stood right in the middle. I couldn’t stop starring at it! In my opinion the statue is what makes the scenery the beauty it is today!

Athena Statue in front of Parliament

Our last stop was the Rathaus, which serves as the city hall of Vienna. It’s a beautiful building with a huge open space. Apparently, during Christmas season it’s used for a Christmas market! It must be something amazing!

City Hall

After visiting one last church, there was a choir singing so we stopped for a look, and walking around for a bit we went to a small park. The park had a nice playground and some swings! I was so happy! I joined my little cousin on the swings and felt the wind on my face! Oh and I finally got to eat the famous Turkish Kebab. They are very similar to a Greek Pita wrap. They were being sold all over Vienna! My cousin really wanted me to try one! They were DELICIOUS!

I saw so much and yet so little of Vienna! It is a big city with many things to see! I’m very grateful that I got to experience such an amazing city! I’m glad I stepped outside my bubble and experienced something completely new!    

Keepin’ It Fancy With Street Smarts!

Christophe Robin Hair Salon

Thursday was a day of experiences! I had a free appointment at the hair salon all thanks to my internship at Accessible Art Fair. I had the 10 O’Clock appointment and DID NOT want to be late because this was a top notch fancy hair dresser. The day before I wrote the most intricate and detailed directions because I was determined NOT to get lost! I wore my flaming red high wasted red pants, a small black belt, a black half sleeved shirt, long black boots, and a leopard scarf. Chic was a must since I was about to mingle with upper class Europeans! I get to Atelier Christophe Robin Beauty Salon five minutes early… I was so happy that Google Maps didn’t dissapoint… and as soon as I got there immediately was asked if I wanted something to eat or drink. I was CLEARLY not at a Dominican hair salon! I was humble and just asked for water. The man that was attending me was full of tattoos, had gauges for earrings, and was simply just amazing! He was ridiculously nice, and let me just say knew how to handle hair! What blew my mind was the area to wash hair. The chair was a massage chair that reclined and the head massage that the washer gave me was more than heavenly! If this is how upper class people get there hair done everyday I can sooo get used to it!  Ultimately, my hair came out stunning! I was so pleased with the results! Nothing like a free day at the hair salon to start your day.

Avenue Louise Night!

Avenue Louise Night!

No other choice but to “Window shop”

Middle of the day I went over to my friend Talya’s house to wait for our other friend Brielle to get out of class, we were going to Avenue Louise Night. It was a night where all of Avenue Louise upper scale stores were open past closing hours. Basically a night where the rich people/people willing to waste money shop and the free loaders get drunk of free Champagne or wine. Well as we wait for Brielle and I decide to use the bathroom, completely forgetting my lame phone was in my back pocket, I pull down my pants and poof phone falls into the water. .__. As I realize it fell I literally stared at it for almost 2 full min before deciding to pull it out and run (pants not fully on) to the living room to try to see if it still works. After being fully submerged in water the crappy phone STILL manages to work! Who would of thought! o_O

Well due to this phone incident I leave my phone at Talya’s and Brielle’s place .__. Which meant traveling back home after dark by myself! I am not the biggest fan of walking alone at night! I had to take 2 Trams from where I was to get home. But of course I missed the first Tram by a minute! The Tram at night take forever to come so I decided to walk to the 2nd Tram’s stop ( a 20min walk.) When I made it to the stop I was so happy 2 see to women there. However, my shins were killing me and I was sweating furiously from how fast I was walking! Once I get off at my stop I bring out my street smarts! Phone in one hand and keys in the other ready to attack anyone that approaches me. I make sure I stayed away from too dark areas and walked like my life depended on it! The streets were just too quiet for my likings. I made it home out of breath and sweating like I just had a full blown work-out! .__.

My Happy Place

Phoenix 44

I woke up wanting to look pretty for my internship. I put on stockings (it’s getting chilly here,) a dress, my brown boots, which have thick semi-high heels, and a nice scarf as a finishing touch. I felt very pretty and professional because I picked up my hair to make a perfect bun. But before heading to my internship I had to buy ID tags for the Art Fair this weekend. I felt ready for the journey since I looked up the directions, to one of the 10 locations the store’s website gave me, the night before on Google Maps (I realized the Belgian website for directions is just as bad.) I left my house at 9am towards my internship office because I figured it would be easier to get to the store from there. I started off at the circle with the Phoenix 44 sculpture (the first sculpture I laid eyes on when I first stepped foot in Avenue Louise the day of my internship interview.) 

“Schleiper” store

This is where the story gets complicated so pay close attention… So it took me like 20min to find the bus stop. Circles are a pain!! Yet again, I went around the entire circle before realizing I just had to make a left at the office .__. I end up getting off at the wrong stop because the bus decided not to activate the screen that tells you the name of the different stops… I ended up miscounting the stops I needed to pass before getting off… I try to find the bus that would take me back how I came but since I couldn’t find it I try to backtrack the route the bus took to the last stop. I was successful but soon came to realize that the bus to go back didn’t stop at the stop I needed to get off at .__. I decide to try what I did the last time and find the stop before the one I was currently at. However, unlike the first time that was a complete FAIL! I walked for about 45min until I just decided to go back to where I was before and catch the bus to the next stop and just take it from there. I waited for that bus for almost an hour! When the bus finally arrived and I get off at the next stop I was so annoyed to realize all I had to do was walk down the road! Of course the stop ended up being another circle ._. So what I do? I go around the entire circle before realizing I should of made the turn away from the circle. Makes sense that none of the streets around the circle would be the stop I needed to get off at since the circle had it’s own bus stop. Finally! I found the right bus stop and eventually found the store! It was awhile since I have gotten lost. Guess it was about that time.

So I’m at the store and it turns out to be a cute arts and crafts store. It made me think of how much I miss scarpbooking. After looking around and not finding ID tags I decide to ask the employee where to find them. She goes on to telling me they don’t have any at that store; that the cashier can give me the address to the store (one of the 10) where I can find them. I immediately call my co-intern and turns out that I’m at the wrong store! I was suppose to go to the office supply store (one of the 10) that turns out to be around the corner from the Conrad Hotel (where the Art fair is taking place.) .__. 

The simple park

At this point it’s taking everything inside me to not get furious. My feet were throbbing from walking with those boots! As I walked back to the bus stop I kept telling myself “go to a happy place.” Then I stopped and realized I found a park! I sat down, closed my eyes, and felt the breeze on my face. At that moment I thought how amazing it would of been if the park had a swing! I thought about how peaceful it is to swing and not think about anything but the breeze and how free it feels. Instead on focusing how I just wasted two bus rides on my transportation pass, I thought about how happy swinging makes me… I found my happy place 🙂 

Caesar Salad

 I got to my internship at about 12:30pm and decided to treat myself to a Caesar salad from this place called Guapa. Omg! It was the freshest Caesar salad I have ever had!! It made everything better! The chicken was so tender and it had fresh slices of parmesan cheese! Even the right amount of dressing was given! I was impressed! 

My new heels

Finished off my adventure with purchasing my first pair of European heels! I realized that I needed heels for the VIP Night of the Art Fair on Saturday. So I went off to do the quickest purchase ever! I don’t take long to shop. The heels here are much thicker because of all the cobblestone streets. I don’t really like the shapes of the heels here so I tried finding something close to what I’m used too since I won’t be walking on cobblestone while I’m wearing them. Cute enough right?

Amsterdam

There is only one way to describe Amsterdam: Beautifully Crazy

Welcome to Amsterdam (Train station)

My day yesterday started at 6am. I was going to meet up with the Amsterdam crew Talya, Brielle, and Skyler. We bought our tickets at the station for 49.30 Euros (roundtrip) and off we were. 3 hours later after what seemed like the longest train ride ever! We made it to Amsterdam!

Street Performer

Amsterdam is the largest city and capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourists destinations in Europe. There were so many people there I was in shock! As soon as we arrived I had my first Falafel ever at Maoz Vegetarian with frites on the side, topping mayonnaise (keep count of how many meals I ate during this trip!) After we had our lunch we continued to walk and ended up in the middle of Amsterdam’s central square right in front of the Royal Palace. The square was overcrowded with street performers, tourists, and pigeons. We became curious about a specific performer and stopped to watch him escape from saran wrap  and chains. This man took FOREVER to do the escape! He was annoying the entire crowd! I was so over him! And his jokes were so bad. We think he was stalling to make sure he sweated excessively under the saran wrap, which most likely was the key to escaping. The funny moments during his show included a random italian man dressed as Mario, who I’m pretty sure had no idea who Mario was, and got shouted out by the performer. Also, a drunk man that interrupted the performance by trying to do a hand stand but failing miserably. What a welcome into Amsterdam.

Entrance of Heineken Museum

Heineken Museum

We then proceeded to the Heineken Museum. First of all I had no idea that Heineken was a beer from Amsterdam! You seriously learn something new everyday! The museum cost 17 Euros. I must say that those were 17 Euros well spent! The museum package came with 3 beers, a boat ride, and a souvenir. I learned how Heineken beer is a family business and how it is processed. The museum even has a room where you can watch all the Heineken commercials. I even learned how to drink a beer without sipping the foam, which protects the beer from getting flat while you are drinking it. After exploring all the the museum has to offer we met some cool people at the bar (part of the museum.) A 2010 RU graduate who was on a business trip for his job and a cute couple who teach kids in military bases. The boat ride was absolutely peaceful and so beautiful! Amsterdam has so many “boat houses,” which are apparently very expensive, according to the tour guide. I can’t imagine living in houses like that. They were houses built on water not really “boat houses” per say. After we got our souvenirs, a bottle opener shaped as the Heineken “e.” I was very pleased!

Ahead: The Red Light District

Walking around Amsterdam you notice how beautiful it is. The buildings have their own unique structures and mix in well with the scenery. We stopped by the flower market and decided to get some frites to snack on. Slowly we started approaching the red light district. Never have I seen something like that before in my life! Let me tell you that the red light district does NOT discriminate! You have your skinny prostitutes, your chubby ones, the one with small titis, the ones with flat asses… well you get the idea. Every type of girl you can think of is available.The amount of men that walk around horny and wishing to get laid is also unbelievable. Some of these girls are literally wearing close to nothing as they are displayed behind the glass doors like dolls. I actually saw a man go into one of the girls door and curtains were immediately closed. One girl even had a sign that said she takes S&M and lesbian action. Like I said before no discrimination whatsoever in the red light district. It was something you seriously have to experience to understand.

Side note: A man approached us saying “I’m a gigolo try me before buying…” .__. 

Eat Me Restaurant

Before continuing to explore the red light district we needed some food! We decided to eat at this place called “Eat Me.” The place was very pretty inside and they played some spanish music. I ordered the steak because I realized how much I missed eating steak. From what I understood it was the back of the cow and it came with some frites. I got a cappuccino to drink.  I get the steak, eat a little and realized the steak looked practically raw to me. Of course they tell me that’s how it was suppose to be but they still cook it a little more for me. It looked the same when they returned it but whatever I ate it anyways I’m not really picky with food. It was juicy I’m not going to lie. Come to find out it was beef that came from Galicia, Spain. After dinner we thought about going back home and last minute we decided to catch the morning train. We watched the train leave us. We had 9 hours to kill and no hostel to stay in. Hello Amsterdam! There were so many people on the streets!! After visiting various bars/clubs we felt absolutely exhausted! We even ended up getting Wok and Go (a chinese noodle place) like at 1am in the morning. I ate the entire thing by the end of the night! Yes, I am currently regretting it. We even managed to crash McDonalds and chill there while Brielle got a McFlurry. We were trying anything to stay awake!

Rotterdam Station

We get to the train station and only one section of the station was open. Security told us we had 2 choices: 1. Wait somewhere in Amsterdam till our train arrived or station opened at 5am (it was about 3-4:00am at this point.) 2. Catch the last train to Rotterdam. We decided option 2 would be best so we could get at least 1.5 hours of sleep and take the train from there back home.

We get to Rotterdam and the train station is outside!! We were freezing for about 2.5 hours! Train didn’t get there till 8:34am. I had to end up buying another cappuccino. It was the train station from hell! We even resulted to going into the bathroom and putting our hands under the dryer! Basically I didn’t get home till 12:00pm absolutely exhausted and without energy whatsoever!

Nothing like Beautiful Crazy Amsterdam to wear you out!

A Brighter Day

Lessons I’ve learned to always carry with me: 

The fountain the day after

1. Never give up even when something seems impossible

2. Struggles make you a stronger person

3. Try to find a positive when things seem negative

I woke up remembering those lessons the next day after my culture shock and off I went to find the Denmark Embassy, Austria Embassy, Brussels Weekly Office, and back to the hidden office at Montgomery . Of course I managed to confuse myself in that huge circle once again but the fountain looked more beautiful than the day before in the morning sun so I didn’t mind.

Parc du Cinquentenaire

After picking up the posters and flyer’s I decided to go and sit at Parc du Cinquentenaire, which was across the street. It was so beautiful and peaceful! I sat there and admired the fountain for an hour. When I stood up I even managed to catch a glimpse of a rainbow. All day I basically took the Metro and walked. I was absolutely exhausted by the time I got home!

That night I went out with friends. I have to admit though, I’m currently feeling the after effects of the night it was well worth it! ^__^

Culture Shock

After almost 3 weeks of being in Belgium, Brussels yesterday is when I get horrible culture shock!

Fountain of confusion

My day started good so since I had some free time after class I decided to go pick up some posters and fliers I needed to go hand out today, Friday, for my internship. I had to get off at the tram stop Montgomery, it was on my way home. I Googled maps the directions and it didn’t seem too far… I was hoping Google maps didn’t screw me over. Well… when I got off at Montgomery I find myself in the biggest circle I have yet to encounter in Belgium. There was a beautiful fountain in the middle! Who knew something so beautiful could be so freaking confusing!! Crossing the streets in that circle was like trying to find yourself out of a maze. I think I made every possible turn in the circle before going the right way because the map I took a picture of  with my iTouch, from Google maps, was not so useful.

I’m finally around the area Google maps directed me too and it turned out NOT to be the right place! I seriously must of asked about 20 people where the street was located and no one knew the answer!! I even called my roommate to look up the address again for me and of course it told her to go where I first ended up.

I became so frustrated because I was 2 minutes away from the place and I couldn’t figure out where it was! I walked all over the area and as the minutes passed I became increasingly angry! New York isn’t even that complicated! I can always find my way around there even if I don’t know where I’m going! Google maps has never disappointed me in New York! This nice lady ended up helping me by using her phone to direct me because of course she had no idea where the place was either.

She directed me the right way and when I realized what street the office was located on and that the office was closed I seriously just started

The impossible street to find

crying in the middle of the street! I was sooo frustrated and angry at the situation!

The hidden street!

1. The street was literally hidden and the sign with the name of the street wasn’t visible till you made this small turn! 2. I was so mad I couldn’t just take out my Galaxy SII and GPS the place! 3. How was it possible that NO ONE I asked knew where the street was!! 4. I was angry that the place was just a huge circle inside another huge circle! 5. I felt like I failed for the day! and I do NOT like to fail!

When I got home I just burst into tears! I was so tired, frustrated, and upset! Nothing like feeling useless in a foreign country to bring you some culture shock!  :/ 

Avenue Louise

The view at the end of Avenue Louise

Today, I explored the street in which the office of my internship is located, Avenue Louise. I had to make 2 deliveries of flyers and posters for the Art Fair. I had to Google maps one of the locations, and as I said before Belgium Google maps sucks! I left to my journey a bit scared because I had 2 hours before I had to be in French class. Luckily, the places were close but still it was a race against time.

Avenue Louise is a street where expensive and sophisticated are common adjectives when referring to the stores on the street; kind of reminds me of Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Beautiful view of Belgium

Beautiful view of Belgium

The unique things about Avenue Louise is that at the end of the street there is an absolute beautiful view of Belgium! It is just incredibly breathtaking you can honestly stare at it all day! So what I do? Hop on the tram and ride it all the way towards the end of the street!! I take in the view for 5 minutes! Even interrupted a French couple from their PDA to take a picture of me! ^__^ I had to remember the moment! Afterwards, I literally sped walked/ran to try and find the 2 locations where I had to drop off the packages! I got lost for a few minutes, but since I’m becoming a pro at getting lost and finding my way I managed to finish the deliveries by 3:30pm making it to school a half hour before classes started! Boy was I proud! But dam was I exhausted!!!

Side note 1: Earlier in the day I was having lunch with my co.intern at this one random bench in the middleof all this open grass

Secret mall to the side of the Conrad hotel!

Secret mall to the side of the Conrad hotel!

area. Next thing you know these 2 guys, one from Africa the other from the Netherlands, approach us saying in French that they have the bench reserved for 1:00 ._. I was giving them the “keep it moving before I go off on you” stank look. My co.intern nicely started a conversation with them and made space for them to fit on the bench! Later on I told her how if that was to happen in the U.S. I would of gone all Dominican on them! She went on to explain to me that it’s normal to be friendly  in belgium O__0 Found that to be quite interesting because I don’t do well to random men approaching me. But thanks to the African guy I learned that mainly all Africans from Belgium come from Congo a Francophone country in Africa! He’s the second African to tell me he’s from Congo so I’m making the educated guess.

Side note 2: As I walked to the tram to head to school I turned because I thought I heard a familiar sound. And indeed I wasn’t going crazy! Someone was blasting Romeo Santos “La Bella Y La Bestia” I was in total shock!! I practically ran to catch up with the car at the light to find a Dominican man inside the car!

Well I must say Avenue Louise was definitely an experience and I’m sure there will be more experiences to come in that street.

A Day In Antwerp

Welcome to Antwerp

Yesterday, Saturday, I visited Antwerp. It is a Dutch speaking city in Belgium. In Dutch Antwerp is spelled Antwerpen. It also has one one of the largest seaports in Europe, the 2nd largest I believe. The city is located on a beautiful and peaceful river called Scheldt. Antwerp is known for diamonds, shopping, and of course its seaport.

I really enjoyed visiting Antwerp we were top notch touristsyesterday! After a night ofchugging beer waking up at 7am was definitely interesting. We went to downtown Brussels to take about a 40min trip to the city of Antwerp by train. The train was full of European pre-teens that later we found out were going to some event called “laundry day.” Don’t even ask… We visited so many sites. We went to the Grote Markt, the main square of Antwerp. The city hall was located right in the square so I witnessed about 4 weddings yesterday, apparently people are constantly getting married. We saw the National Maritime Museum, a museum full of all types of boats! It was really fascinating to see.  We got on a bridge with an amazing view of the river Scheldt. We even went to what used to be Napoleon’s kitchen and witnessed some pretty cool chocolate sculptures.

Antwerp City Hall

Antwerp Train Station

Stella before shopping

After the sightseeing we drank some beers, like true Belgians, and off we went shopping. I am not really a shopper so I mostly just walked around the stores while my friends shopped. I did splurge when I went into Forever 21 though! Finally got myself some red pants and bought a nice little dress 🙂 As we finished with our splurges and thought about our bank accounts we witnessed a parade with lively Africandrums, the people were promoting their church. A little after that we found a Brazilian and Mexican food place where I wasted more money than necessary. We got a pitcher of Martini’s, which I wouldn’t recommend having if you end up eating spicy food and don’t like spicy food! It felt like my mouth was 10x more on fire whenever I took a swig! (But I had no water and was definitely was not purchasing one) Might as well been having straight up hot sauce! I had 2 tacos with rice and if it wasn’t for the spiciness it would of tasted absolutely delicious!

Brazilian & Mexican Restaurant for dinner

Martini’s

After dinner it was time to head home. I was absolutely exhausted!! Never did a shower feet so good! But overall Antwerp was a huge success! 🙂