Travel Ladybugs: What I Learned from My First Trip to Europe
by Michelle Chan
Last summer, I had the most amazing opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time. My high school offered some of their students this incredible adventure and I just couldn’t pass up on this chance to experience entirely new cultures.From journeying through the winding alleyways of Amsterdam to the bustling streets of Brussels to the romantic atmosphere of Paris, I’ve learned many interesting realizations about the culture over there.
Note: These are purely observations and are not a representation of each culture.
Dutch people are incredibly tall.
I’m only 5’3, so I’m used to people being taller than me. But everyone in Amsterdam seemed to be towering over six feet tall.
I almost got ran over by bikes in Amsterdam.
Biking is the main form of transportation in Amsterdam. Yes, you see cars on the roads, but biking is much more efficient (and faster) when commuting to places. As expected, the cycling traffic there is absurd. What I didn’t realize, however, was the fact that everyone bikes at supersonic speed and pedestrians do not have the right of way. I probably almost got ran over by cyclists about 15 times a day. Seriously.
Belgian chocolate really is amazing, but their other candies are extremely mouthwatering as well.
I thought Belgian chocolate would be like any other chocolate, but I was completely and utterly wrong. Its smooth texture and perfect sweetness is what makes Belgian chocolate unique. Being the candy-lover that I am, I couldn’t leave the store without buying other Belgian candy. After choosing an assortment of colorful, oddly shaped candy, I can confirm that they are just as scrumptious as Belgian chocolate. Cuberdon, for one, is incredibly unique in its taste and texture. With a cone-shaped exterior and gooey deliciousness on the inside, the raspberry flavored Cuberdon literally melts in your mouth.
There are cobbled streets EVERYWHERE.
I think what makes Europe so unique (at least compared to the United States) is that all of their streets and roads are made out of cobble. Complemented with the old-fashioned, ornamental buildings, these roads create a picturesque scenery that makes you feel awestruck around every crevice you explore.
Europe is an unbelievably gorgeous place to visit; There’s still so much more I would love to explore and I can’t wait to go back to experience new adventures.