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My Semester in Athens: Part 6

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Amherst chapter.


            The last week of my life can be summed up in two ways: bad transportation and good waffles. It was my spring break and that meant 11 days with no classes and lots of travel.

              I spent the first part of my spring break exploring Belgium and the Netherlands with my twin, Abigail, and best friend, Mary Elizabeth. Given our limited amount of planning, we knew the trip was going to be adventure….it did not disappoint. First, we met up in Brussels, Belgium from our various countries where we’re studying abroad. From the moment we stepped off the train, we smelled waffles. I kid you not; it was incredible.

             We had lunch in Brussels, then hopped a train to Bruges, Belgium. Upon our arrival in Bruges, we asked about tickets to Amsterdam right away. Turns out it wasn’t going to be as simple as our trip from Brussels. Of all weekends, the weekend we were trying to get from Bruges to Amsterdam, there was mechanical work being done on some of the trains. We had to take a loooong detour. A typically three hour trip became a six hour trip with four different train changes.

             We arrived in Amsterdam to encounter more public transportation. We booked our hotel/hostel situation at the very last second. Our hotel was outside the city, forcing us to acquaint ourselves with the metro system and the Centraal Station in Amsterdam. Last but not least, we took an additional train and bus (and back) to go these gardens outside of Amsterdam for the Dutch Tulip Festival.

             However, when I look back on the trip, it was all definitely worth it. Because we took the long way around, we ended up seeing way more of the Belgian and Dutch countryside, which is incredibly beautiful. We saw new parts of Amsterdam. You learn a lot about a city when you take its metro. Most importantly, the Dutch Tulip Festival, which was at a park called Keukenhof, ranks as one of the best things I’ve ever done in my whole life.

             For the second part of spring break, I travelled to some Greek islands with friends from my program. We went to Naxos and Paros. Our original plan was to also go to Mykonos. The first day in Naxos was sunny and lovely. After that, it was windy and overcast. We took the ferry successfully to Paros. Once we got to Paros, it was clear we were not going to Mykonos. Because of the wind, ferries to Mykonos were cancelled for several days.

             Fortunately, ferries were still running back to Athens. We took one on Thursday night. It was not smooth sailing, literally. Imagine an hour and a half long roller coaster ride; that was our ferry.

            What does this part of my spring break have to do with delicious waffles? Much to our surprise, we found a crepe place on Naxos that made the yummiest waffles I’ve ever had. We went to the same place twice- with ice cream, nutella, or plain, these waffles did not disappoint.

            At the end of these crazy travels, despite hectic moments, confusion, and sitting on buses, trains, metros, and boats, I wouldn’t have traded any of it. With good food and good company, I realized we were able to handle everything that was thrown at us and still have fun. 

Amherst College Senior, Amherst, MA. Member of Amherst Women's Varsity ice hockey team. Hometown is Washington, D.C