We spent Monday in Rotterdam visiting the Unilever office, enjoying a fantastic lunch and meeting with an awesome think-tank-style collaborative work community call Except Netherlands that develops creative design solutions to environmental problems. We had the night on our own to explore before heading to bed for our early wake up call the next morning. On Tuesday we toured the Rotterdam Port by bus; it's one of the largest ports in the world and transport over 11 million crates every year.
Our tour ended at the train station and after a quick hour-long commute, we arrived at Amsterdam Central station and were greeted by a glorious blue sky and plenty of sunshine (it rained every morning after that). We had a few hours to explore so after dropping our bags at the hotel we set out to climb the I AMsterdam sign.
Tuesday evening we attended a culinary workshop and dinner that was absolutely mind-blowing. The chefs work to create the "plate of the future" that combines good food, sustainable living and culinary art in to each dish. Our menu was inspired by their recent trip to Shanghai and I can honestly say that I've never had such an incredible meal.
After our first day in Amsterdam, the rest of the week flew by. We met with officials from the Amsterdam Municipality, went on a (terrifying) bike food-tour of the city, explored a cradle-to-cradle tile showroom, had a group meditation session and enjoyed more delicious (and sustainable) meals. Somewhere between all these visits we found time to tour the Heineken factory, visit the Anne Frank house and marvel at all the tulip stands.
Coming back to Copenhagen was bittersweet. Sweet because it felt like home, bitter because I love traveling. It also struck me just how fast the rest of the semester is going to fly by. From here on out, I have two weeks of class, another travel break (Russia here I come), two more weeks, a travel break (Poland and Greece await), two more weeks and then finals. I'm grateful that I have a fantastic school to go back to next semester but I'm definitely not ready for this adventure to be over.
I have a few more things I want to write about regarding Amsterdam so I'll get those posts up soon. Until then, stay green!