One of the main things that people forget about study abroad is the first half: the ‘study’ part. It is so easy to fall into the trap of spending too much time traveling, partying, hanging out with all your new friends, or exploring your city, while neglecting the fact that you still have to attend classes. I will be the first to admit that I was not the best student while abroad, but I did my best to attend classes as regularly as possible, do
most of my assignments, and try to stay on top of things.
This became a lot harder as the semester wore down, when assignments started to overlap with all of our remaining trips and things started to pile up (not to mention I was preparing to head back to the America!). But as important as it is to stay on top of your work, you cannot let schoolwork get completely in the way of having fun! If you are there just to go to class and come home, then you have wasted your money and should have stayed home.
Having said that, I found a way to squeeze in one last day trip and still complete an assignment. With a little prodding from Tori, I agreed to accompany her to Delft, the Dutch town famous for its blue and white pottery. With a paper due and a flight to Lisbon that night, I grabbed my laptop…and I wrote a paper on the hour-long train ride to and from Delft. My best idea? Yes and no, probably. But hey, I finished the paper on time and got to visit an adorable city.
Papers are for chumps, right?
We ate breakfast at this adorable cafe- the patio is on a boat! There is nothing like having your morning cappuccino while sitting on a boat on a canal, looking out over a new city. Also, this place was home to the best omelette I have ever had- and I’ve had my fair share of omelettes.
After breakfast- it was time to explore!
As I mentioned before, Delft is famous for it’s ‘Delftware,’ or blue and white pottery famous across the Netherlands and the world. You can buy versions of Delftware at almost every shop, but it is not considered authentic unless it comes with a certificate. Since pottery is the main attraction, we made a stop at the Royal Delftware Factory.
Painters hand-paint all the delftware at the factory.
Stacks and stacks of unpainted pottery, hand-made in the factory since the 17th century.
In the gift shop, some of the pieces run into the thousands of euros!
Goodbye, Delft, with your small-town charm and beautiful blue and white wares. We could only afford to spend a few hours in Delft, but I easily could have spent an entire day wandering the streets. Just an hour train ride from Amsterdam, Delft is easily accessible for a day trip, and it’s small size and easily walkable streets make it a perfect tourist escape from the big city.
One thing I wish I had done was seen more small Dutch cities during my time in Amsterdam. I was so focused on visiting other countries that I sometimes forgot about the beautiful country I was living in. While I hit the major cities (Rotterdam, the Hague, Delft, Utrecht), I would loved to have explored more and seen more cities that never, ever would have crossed my itinerary (like our bike trip to Marken). But, that always gives me an excuse to return!