As I promised to write about something other than journalism, this is the aforementioned blog about my brief visits to St Andrews and Amsterdam. BUT before I get into all that, my final little piece of news is about my recently published article on Fashion Soundtrack so if you’re interested please have a look here!
Ok, so I’d better start with my not-very-but-kinda-eventful trip to St Andrews. The problem with packing a lot of activities into the second half of the holidays is that everything feels like it’s in the ‘fast forward’ mode, racing to the finish line. In two weeks, I slept in my own bed twice and in the meantime endured a hard mattress in Manchester, a loud party going on into the early morning hours in Hove and Brighton, and finally having my hair tangled beyond belief in the windy sea air of St Andrews.
Straight after my Manchester trip (which you’ve all heard plenty of), I was whisked off to Hove which is right next to Brighton. Brighton is pretty much like London, but by the sea, and Hove in comparison is Brighton’s less hyper neighbour. I only spent 24 hours there, but I managed to go Windsurfing for a couple of hours and leave with aching muscles and a collection of blisters all over my hands which are only just starting to disappear.
One thing I must say about Hove is that they have the nicest bakery I’ve ever been to: Sugardough. Right by the Sea, Sugardough has the nicest almond croissants I’ve ever tasted and it’s worth visiting just for them.
So that’s my rushed description of my highlight of Hove and 8 hours in a car later I’m in sort-of-sunny Scotland. My parents chose the area so that they could golf, which left me to explore the lovely St. Andrews. I ended up siting on a bench by the sea and decided to whip out my notebook to write a beautiful description of the area on this blog, but got completely distracted when a body-boarder ditched the waves and stood on the beach about 20 yards away from me and then proceeded to strip. I’m talking about six feet of athletic male with body dripping with seawater, slowly peeling off a wetsuit.
Ok, I sound like a perv, but come on – I’m a teenage girl with hormones.
Oh, and after he got dressed his surfer friend decided he’d had enough working out looking cool on the water too so he then stripped too. It was nice.
I spent most of my time in St Andrews eating and going to all the bookshops. I spent the most money in Waterstones but bought the most books in this really sweet shop called Bouquiniste which has about every genre imaginable. The man who runs it is happy to have a long chat with you and doesn’t mind you poking around his cosy shop for over an hour (well I hope not anyway seeing as I was in there for a good hour and fifteen minutes).
There’s not too much to say I don’t think, so on with the travels! The next stop: Amsterdam.
I’ve always been pretty proud of my Dutch roots, and my ‘fun fact’ is always that I’m half Dutch and can sing a song about Heineken beer. My best friend Krissie and I decided that we wanted to go on holiday as we were getting fed up of everyone else’s holiday pics on facebook, so going to Holland to see the family was a good excuse for going. We ended up staying with one of my aunts Aimee with my cousins (who can make better jokes in English than I can). We arrived at Amsterdam early Wednesday morning and went straight into the city centre to admire the canals, find a shop just for bowties, and eat cake. We ended up in the Rijks Museum and attempted to sit down to scrutinise a piece. Unfortunately we’re no experts and soon grew bored (sorry), so we instead discussed the important things like who in the painting had the most ridiculous pose and why the dog in this painting was better than all the others.
The next day, Krissie and I proved that we are not like any other teenagers ever. I mean, what do you expect 18 year olds in Amsterdam to do? Go to the Red Light district? Try to smoke something? Well, let me tell you that what Krissie and I did puts us in the ‘seriously crazy’ category. We spent our whole second day…in the Artis zoo.
And I’m unashamed to say that Zoo day was the best day. We posed in our animal t-shirts, spent far too long trying to take good pictures of the wolves, took selfies with a toucan and, six hours later, we were finally done. Day three we went with my aunt on a boat trip to some new towns and ate the most delicious waffles smothered with strawberries and melted chocolate. This of course was after our even healthier breakfast of hagelslag on toast (aka CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES). After that we went to a flea market on Waterlooplein, bought some tiny earrings, then headed back home to get ready for the evening.
With my Aunt and her partner, we all went to an outdoor movie in the palace gardens which was frickin awesome. We watched ‘Easy Virtue’, a film we’d never heard of before yet had Colin Firth, Ben Barnes and Kris Marshall in it. The best part was that it was played in English with Dutch subtitles, which was a blessing.
That pretty much sums up Holland, as well as Hove, Brighton, and St Andrews. I’ve tried haggis, bought a neon orange t-shirt with ‘HOLLAND’ written on it and have the photos to prove it. At least I can’t say that I did nothing all summer and, with under a week left before my first week at university, it’s safe to say that I have plenty of stories to tell.