Vacation, all I ever wanted

We’re back in Vienna after 12 amazing days in the Netherlands and Belgium. After a year and a half of being together, I finally got to really spend time in Jacco’s home country (Holland), so this was a meaningful and special trip for the both of us.

We visited Amsterdam, the Hague, and Amersfoort before heading south and seeing Bruges.

IMG_2716
Shameless selfie stick usage in Amsterdam

IMG_3354
The most amazing tulips of my life in Keukenhof

IMG_3368
Keukenhof

IMG_3579
The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer, The Hague

IMG_3621 IMG_3612
Brugge, Belgium

I think I’ve experienced more history, art, and culture in the past few days than I have in my previous 24 years combined.

We visited the Anne Frank house and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, walked through Mauritshuis in the Hague, and said a prayer over the cloth stained with Christ’s blood (yes, really) in Bruges.

If you love old things as much as I do, you might understand why the past week and a half has been so exciting for me. The architecture from the Middle Ages, the paintings preserved for almost a thousand years, the streets that Van Gogh himself walked had every history-nerd bone in my body tingling.

The cities are also filled with stuff for the younger crowd, of course. I’m pretty sure no one parties like Amsterdam. I think the coffee shops, restaurants, and bars may be worth the trip just by themselves, but I’m glad we got to experience at least a little bit of a lot of different attractions.

And now we’re back! Returning to Vienna really felt like coming back home… it’s great to be here again.

Karlskirche

Yesterday, I visited the Karlskirche for their 11 a.m. service. Though Stephansdom is (from an American’s standpoint at least) the better-known of the two, the Karlskirche has a breathtaking beauty of its own. For church-attending purposes, I actually prefer the Karlskirche due to the more intimate seating, but that is only my humble opinion.

IMG_2897

The Karlskirche was built in the 18th Century under the supervision of Emperor Charles VI. The impressive, imperial style of the architecture reflects the grandeur Charles envisioned for the church that would bear his namesake. Though the church appears starkly different from many of the other, surrounding buildings at Karlsplatz, it doesn’t look out of place; rather, it makes the church seem even more like a priceless jewel.

IMG_2886

The service was lovely, and I followed almost all of it (it was entirely in German — great practice for me)! The recessional was an organ arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah — it definitely feltĀ appropriate.

IMG_2895For more information, visit the Karlskirche website! http://www.karlskirche.at/