Be All There

Travel
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Grote Kerk, Breda, The Netherlands (July 2016)

“Wherever you are, be all there.”
– Jim Elliot

I have been fascinated by the beautiful church of Breda since I first saw it. It is stunning at all times of day and night. It stands proudly in the bright sun and even on gloomy, cloud filled days. I can even see from the window of my flat which is a treat. Today, I finally climbed to the top of the tower of Grote Kerk. I have been meaning to do this for many months, and I was waiting for the perfect day; though with a lack of time and a lack of sunny afternoons, now proved to be a good as time as any.

The tower is 320 feet in height and it is the fifth tallest church tower of the Netherlands. It was built in the late-gothic style as a church and city tower between 1468 and 1509. The main purposes of the tower in this time were to indicate special moments and events for the church through bell ringing, indicate the time, and give alarm in times of fire and war to citizens of the area. There are 287 steps up to the look out point. In clear weather, one can see as far as Antwerp and Rotterdam.

The views from the look out gallery were stunning. It was great to see my beautiful city of Breda from another angle. I’m still very in love with this quaint, Dutch town and I will be sad to say goodbye when the time comes.

(For those who may be wondering, it costs five euros for a guided tour to climb the tower. For more information, click here.)

Study Trip To Amsterdam

Study Abroad, Travel
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Rembrandt’s House (February 2016)

Though I have been working on my thesis for the past few weeks, I have mostly been reading a lot of academic articles and books to expand my knowledge on the subject of street art. Today I ventured to Amsterdam to interview an employee of a street art gallery and document several pieces in the city centrum. It felt great to accomplish something outside of a library setting and to meet artists in the industry. I was thrilled with this progress.

I also made some stops at a few places I have been wanting to visit, including Rembrandt’s house. He lived and worked in this home for over twenty years, and taught thousands of pupils in this space. It was fascinating to see this in real life. If you don’t know me that well, I love Rembrandt so much that I named my cat after him. True story.

I stopped into Oosterkerk and Westerkerk which are two beautiful churches dating back a few hundred years. And funnily enough, I learned about the history of tulips in Holland at the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. (It smelled so amazing inside – if you can only imagine!)

All in all, I had a fabulous day exploring one of my favourite cities.