Holland Holiday

At KTH, they have periods instead of your typical four and a half month semester. Once the period ends, there are test for your classes within a two week break between the periods. So if you have all your test at the beginning of the weeks, you have a break afterwards. I, luckily, had this break and I decided to take a trip to Holland.

I went to Rotterdam and Amsterdam while in Holland, yet Amsterdam was my favorite from the trip. Amsterdam is lively, fun and romantic. I would say it was even more romantic than Paris! There are canals, bikes and cobblestone roads everywhere. The architecture is blended and the museums are simply wonderful. I had a book called 38 hours in Amsterdam, that lead me to all the cool designer places and shops to visit. It described little cafe’s to grab a coffee, and art galleries to leisurely walk through. I would highly recommend this book or any of their other city books. It takes you to places you might not otherwise have seen.

It’s really difficult to summarize my whole trip into something you might want to read, so like before, I’ll describe it with pictures. Enjoy!

The first night we decided to stay at an Airbnb…it was all the way out on the country side and would take about 2 hours to get into the city. Although quaint and beautiful, we wanted to be closer to all the action.
There was water everywhere in Holland. it was one of my favorite parts of staying there.
This was the road we took to travel into the main city.
We were in deep country haha.
Finally in the city, we wandered around and went on top of the science museum Nemo to talk and view the scenery. Soon after, we left and found a pawn shop where they were selling cheap lenses and video games. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get a new lens, so I quickly purchased it, and this is one of my first shots.
On top of Nemo.
The days were so bright and the fall colors were radiant.
The alleyways were cluttered with bikes. You could easily loose your bike if you weren’t careful.
When in Amsterdam, you’d not only have to watch out for cars, but for the busses, people, bikes and trams!
This was taken shortly after visiting the Van Gogh and Rembrant museum. I didn’t get to see ‘Starry Night’ or ‘The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp’ but both museums contained some of their works that I have never seen before. It opened up a window to see a whole new side of them 😉
Up the stairs in the Rembrandt Museum. Peaking into his window.
At 2:45, a worker at the Rembrandt museum taught us how to create paint like he use to. If you have a hard flat surface, powdered pigments, lemon oil, and a flat tool to push and grind the material, you to can make paint!
Whilst leaving the Van Gogh museum, the sun was starting to set, and the pink and blue hues started to blend together. I boosted the color just a little bit but the vibrancy was very very close to this. It was so gorgeous.
One of the days, we decided to take a quick train ride to Rotterdam. The city was quieter than Amsterdam but it’s calm atmosphere was refreshing after the previously hectic days.
Statue in the garden where the couple was getting married and taking photos.
The pencil building! Can you tell why it was named that? 🙂
These houses were definitely out of the ordinary. The cube houses appeared as if they were floating in the air. They were built by architect Piet Blom, who wanted their to be a high concentration of houses high up, leaving space for more room on the bottom ground.
There was a bridge called the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam. Erasmus, in Europe, is the name for their exchange semester, so it was funny that this bridge was named the same. I guess you can say i’ve been on Erasmus ;).
Look guys, it’s like the bridge is actually in my hands!
There was a Korean war ship docked by the Erasmus bridge. I don’t know why it was there, but it was cool to see all the people dressed up in uniform on their giant grey boat.
I’ve fallen in love with my new lens…look at that clarity D:
One of my favorite movies is the Fault in our Stars by John Green. This was the bench that Hazel and Augustus sat when he gave her the bad news. At first, I wanted to capture the bench without anyone in it, but I realized it was better this way; It captured more love.
This museum featured a photography exhibit called ‘Magnum Contact Sheets.’ It showed the film rolls before and after iconic photos were taken. Some works like Jonas Bendiksen’s ‘Satellities’ and Jean Gaumy ‘Shooting practice,’ showed the story of how and why the photo was taken. In Mr. Bendiksen’s work, for example, he didn’t realize the beauty and uniqueness of his work until years later. There was dark grey clouds, thousands of white butterflies that looks like snow falling, the sun starting to peak through the clouds and farmers cleaning up fallen rockets to sell for parts. He only took three frames of the main scene, not realizing what a unreal experience it was. He said, “at the time, all of that seemed normal.”
RUSSIA. Altai Territory. 2000. Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Environmentalists fear for the region's future due to the toxic rocket fuel.
Jonas Bendiiksen, Satellites. RUSSIA. Altai Territory. 2000.
Avocado on toast in the foam museum. Best way to start the day of museum hopping.
The Stedelijk museum is an interesting modern art museum right next to the Van Gogh museum. It contained everything from graphic design all the way to very very conceptual art. One of the most memorable experiences there was Tino Sehgal’s work. Seen as a performance artist, he created several pieces such as: This is Propaganda (2002), This is Critique (2008), and Selling Out (2002). The strangest one was Selling Out. I entered a few gallery rooms before I stumbled upon a naked woman slowly and sexually putting her clothes back on. It was jarring to say the least because she kept on making eye contact with me and moving closer. When she had most of her clothes back on she said, “Selling Out 2002, Tino Seghal,” and continued dressing. I exited the room and a guard stopped me and asked what I felt about being confronted by a naked woman. That conversation also was part of Tino Seghal’s work, This is Critique. His work will never be a picture, movie or object, it’s a contemplative performance that is spread by word of mouth. Now you guys know about it…and can spread it as well haha.
Most days in Amsterdam were bright and sunny, by the end fog began to fill in. It created some interesting shots.
I bought new glasses whilst in Amsterdam, and the lovely staff from polette fit me for the new specks. If you’re looking for new glasses I strongly recommend checking out their website polette.com. They’re are hundreds of cheap, quality glasses there!
I took some “creeper shots,” if you will, of people surrounding the area. These people looked as if they were about to drop the hottest album of 2015 haha.
A grandpa walking his granddaughter on our way back to our hostel across the water from Amsterdam city center.
The bridge we took the last couple of days as we ventured off into the city.
I loved the fog shots the most. It made everything look more dream like.
I liked this shot because it showed the contrast between her bright red hat and the dreary calm colors in the background.
The last picture I took in Amsterdam, right before heading off to catch my flight. I returned back to Nemo, and it had a different atmosphere than it did during the day.

Holland was one of my favorite places I’ve visited so far. It was also one of the first trips where I spent a lot of time by myself. I took a bike around and ventured to most of the places you see above. It was a great experience being completely alone for some of it and exploring a new country. It showed me that doing stuff alone isn’t scary or intimidating, it opens yourself up to all possibilities. Till next time!


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