May turned out to be my favourite month to date on this Erasmus.
I didn’t do a lot but I did so much at the same time.
A visit from family…
In the beginning of the month I went to Munich and then straight after my brother came over for a visit. He fell in love with biking, we got to visit Amsterdam and even squeezed in a trip to Bruges in Belgium. A post about what I thought of Bruges will be going up this weekend! 🙂
While in Amsterdam, we got tickets for the Van Gogh Museum. I love wandering around art galleries, but I didn’t realise how much my brother appreciated it too. We spent three hours in the museum, taking our time on every floor and listening to every piece of information our audio tours had too offer. I was specially impressed by how sensitively they handled Van Gogh’s troubled past.
Once James left, I decided to put an end to my travelling and just enjoy the time I have left in Utrecht (I’m also running out of money, so that’s another reason).
I also made a list of adventures I still have left to do in Utrecht. Here’s a little idea of what’s on it (some of which I did during May!!)
-go canoeing √ -cycle to the "secret beach" √ -visit De Haar Castle -Do the Miffy Musuem -Do a walking tour around Utrecht
Since arriving in Utrecht I’ve wanted to go canoeing in the canals. I’ve never been conoeing and I thought it would be pretty cool to try out. So one very humid Saturday, myself and my friends headed into the city centre to rent out boats. We could only get the canoes in pairs and honestly it was a blessing in disguise. In the beginning I had no coordination with navigating the boat and without my friend guiding us, I’d probably still be in that canoe trying to do the loop around the canals.
The “Secret Beach”…
A few weeks ago, on one of my housemates many bike rides, she came across a small beach about and hour and a half away from our apartment. Hidden by a forest, completely deserted, she christened the little patch of sand and lake water, the “secret beach.”
One Sunday, we all decided to cycle to the mysterious beach. When we got to the beach, swimwear in hand, it turned out the beach wasn’t as secretive as we thought. The place was a flooded with young families and teenagers. Regardless, it was still a lovely beach and we found a patch of sand to bathe in. Until it started to rain of course (just like Ireland, The Netherlands can get all four seasons in one day).
In total that day, we cycled about 47km (nearly the same distance as Utrecht to Amsterdam). We saw the most beautiful scenery along the way, including a deer enclosure!
Food Festival and a Travelling Circus…
During May a food festival came to Utrecht. It was held in Griftpark, one of the many green spaces dotted across the city. The vibe of the festival was “travelling circus”, so there was hay bales, circus tents and entertainers spread across the park.
I found the festival unique, in the way that there wasn’t the usual cuisine on offer. There wasn’t a pizza stall in sight, instead there was food like tacos and a van that only sold stuffed aubergines.
My favourite thing I ate that day, was Takoyaki. Basically a Japanese version of Dutch baby pancakes, filled with octopus, pickled ginger and spring onion.
And lots more memories…
May was a month of a series of moments, minutes and seconds that I lived in. Instead of planning and preparing for the weeks ahead, I spent the time enjoying myself in the one place.
I even found the time to start going to Pilates and yoga classes a few times a week. It’s such a cliché to say this, but the yoga classes have centred my soul into place it hasn’t been for a while.
I never understood why people loved yoga and now I really can’t recommend it high enough.
So, on that note, I’m concentrating on my breathing and bringing myself smoothly into June.
Only seventeen days left before I say goodbye to this chapter in my life.