Posts Tagged ‘ travel: nl: amsterdam ’

not the hague.

Saturday 11th September

Our plans to go Den Haag were shattered when we realised that it wasn’t open on the weekend. So we shall have to go back at some other point. :) Instead, we headed out kind of late, in search of the Miffy store!

Of course, as usual, I got distracted taking pictures of random things, and was particularly excited that the sky had managed a bit of blue for us. We also ventured through the markets a bit, where I bought some apricots and some delicious fudge for cheaps! Yay!

blue sky; blue water. :)

markets, with... interesting produce.

In the end though, we did make it to the Miffy store and it was super cool. And I may or may not have bought a small one for myself. :)

miffy store!

Then it was time to catch the tram to have brunch and visit Anne Frank’s house, since we got a transport card with the I Amsterdam card, although of course not before holding my ticket up to the light to examine the chip inside it… and consequently walking into a knee high pole… and then having a passing cyclist laugh at me. :(

on the tram.

Catching the tram was not very exciting. It’s a tram. It was only funny when this couple were about to get off the tram. To get out, you’re supposed to scan your card, so that the money is deducted for however long you’re on the tram for. The guy got off perfectly fine, and was waiting for the lady to get off. She was fumbling around, managed to scan her card then dropped something on the floor. She bent to pick it up… but by the time she had straightened herself up again to get off, the doors closed shut, pretty much in her face. She had no choice but to wait for the next stop and get off there. The funniest thing was how long the next stop seemed to be!! Toby, Tim and I were trying not to laugh, because she was only standing a few metres away from us… but once she got off, we all had a good laugh.

Toby led us to Pancakes! Amsterdam where we arrived just in the nick of time to order the breakfast set, with the special discount thanks to our I Amsterdam voucher. We all ordered the ‘American’  breakfast, which was actually more akin to a Canadian breakfast, with bacon, pancakes and glorious amounts of maple syrup. :) It also came with fresh orange juice and a tea (or coffee, if that’s more your style).

walking for pancakes.

pancakes! amsterdam and nom-able pancakes with accompanying beverages.

After rejuvenating on a delicious meal, we head off in search of Anne Frank’s house, but when we got there, we were confronted with a seemingly long line. Since it was open until 9pm, we decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and head out ‘an hour’ out of Amsterdam to see a windmill. But first, we got distracted by the fabulous Amsterdam Tulip Museum… Thankfully we had a free admission voucher for that!

i did say that i was excited by blue sky didn't i?

a queue for anne frank.

the ever fascinating amsterdam tulip museum.

After that, we took the tram out to Nieuw Sloten, to visit Molen van Sloten, an old windmill, because if you go to the Netherlands and don’t see a windmill, what did you go for! And actually, that lady failing to get off the tram might have been on this journey. I can’t remember now. Anyway, we took it all the way out there, and it was hardly an hour like the book said, but more like half an hour. And we may have gotten stuck on the tram for a little while, failing to realise that we had reached the end of the line, since our stop was the last stop. But it was all good, we got off and then we had to walk a little bit through the old town of Sloten, which has kind of gotten eaten up by Amsterdam. It was nice and small town-y.

where we realised we might be stuck on the tram.

walking to the windmill.

sloten.

And then finally we reached the windmill! YAY! We got to meet the miller, who was changing up the sails of the windmill so that it didn’t turn into a psycho helicopter thing… And we were taken on this really great tour. She explained to us how the windmills work and what not, and then got to go up and see the inner mechanisms. It was definitely 5 euro well spent.

i spy a windmill! (not to mention blue skies!!)

hello mr miller man. thank you for being so lovely and entertainingand for letting us venture beyond the safety point!

pretty views. :)

We stopped for ice cream and then it was back to the city and Anne Frank’s house. No photos, and naturally it was quite emotional. It’s really quite hard to explain…

anne frank's house; church next door.

After that, we tried for Indonesian for dinner, but that was not to be, to our fortune I guess (as you will find out when I write about Sunday). Instead, we stopped fr some cheap-ish pub food for dinner at what seemed to be a sports bar.

it's a burger!

And that was the Saturday. :)

I’m already missing that bickering couple. Lol.

misselty.

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an amsterdamian friday.

So after an awesome weekend with Toby and Tim in Amsterdam, I am back to classes. I keep thinking about things that I want to post, but I get lazy by the time I get home from classes, and then I need to cook dinner, and then I spend time eating and what not… And the list of things to post starts to pile up.

But I figure that I should probably finish Amsterdam while it’s still fresh. I still owe an entire week when I was in Munich…!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably take to many photos. It makes life difficult when I have to pick and choose which photos to post on the blog.

Friday 10th September

Friday was a bit of a grey day. It rained a bit, but we spent a good part of the day indoors, so it wasn’t too bad.

Amsterdam is a lovely city and quite reminds me of Copenhagen with all its canals and water everywhere.

one of the many canals.

We ended up buying the I Amsterdam Card which served us well that day, as well as for transport the next day.

First stop was the Van Gogh Museum. Traipsed around looking at all the paintings. I was kind of excited to see the newly restored The Bedroom, having looked at it in Year 6 as part of ‘art’ classes and then having to recreate it. Seeing the real deal was something else entirely. No photos were to be taken inside though, which I don’t really understand on one hand, since you can very well just find a billion pictures on the internet anyway… But I guess they do end up making money on the postcards they sell at the gift shop. They also made money from me, buying a bust of Van Gogh himself, in eraser form. I found it rather strange though that there was no mention anywhere of what we started to call The Incident. It was as if the whole event of Van Gogh cutting of his ear was entirely taboo at the place. They do mention that he checked himself into a mental institution, but seriously, you’d think that cutting off one’s ear would be a pretty important event in one’s life…?

van gogh museum.

proof that i was inside. :)

Then it was next door to the Rijksmuseum. We got to see a lot of Rembrandts, which was pretty cool, because I remember doing a speech in primary school about him (goodness knows why) so it was nice to see the real things. There was also a lot of other random artwork, pottery, weapons, and the odd dollhouse or two. Again, no photography…

the rijksmuseum.

After that we began to make our way to NEMO, near-ish to Amsterdam Centraal. I have to say, I did a lot a lot of walking this weekend! That day especially!

some amsterdamian sights.

(Wiki just told me that some of the canals in Amsterdam were recently listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in July. I didn’t know that and I think that is super cool!)

Of course, as we began our trek, it began to rain. Hunger ensued and Toby and Tim introduced me to Febo, a fast food chain here in the Netherlands. It works much like a vending machine. You put your coins in, then open up the door and voilà! You have your food!

febo!

A ‘kalfsvleeskroket’, ‘grillburger’, chocolate milkshake, and a handful of chips later, and we were ready to roll again.

However, we continued to get distracted along the way. There was also the not photographed game store, where Toby and Tim were like kids in a candy store. We were in a bit of a rush though, since Nemo closed at 5, and we wanted a decent amount of time to spend there. So we rushed along.

cheese, construction, chinese restaurant.

And finally we saw her. NEMO, the interactive science museum, built in the shape of a boat, complete with pirate ship in the frontyard.

NEMO!

There were lots of really interesting sections inside. I’m a little sad that we didn’t get more time to muck around more. Lol.

a little of what we DID do.

I post the picture of the man-operated lift to tell the embarrassing story of how I got a lump on my head.

Or not. It did lead to a little bit of crazy moodswings on my part though, and I can promise you that it was not induced by the local produce.

After NEMO, and a bit of a backtrack to the game store again, we decided to take advantage of the not-rain and head on down to the canal cruise. It was looking good and empty… until an entire tour group joined our boat and filled up every inch of the space. I probably over did the pictures on the cruise, but it was awesome nonetheless… even if we did feel a little jipped because (a) everything was on the left of the boat, while we were all sitting on the right; and (b) we do not believe we saw 100 attractions as advertised.

a little bit of the canal cruise.

After the cruise it was getting close to dinnertime, despite the deceptively still bright skies, albeit still cloudy. We walked around being indecisive before finally deciding on an Italian place at Rembrandtplein. (I only just now realised that we ate dinner at Rembrandtplein every night!)

on the walk to find dinner.

DON’T TOUCH THE CAT. We saw this sign and multiple others saying the same thing in this one souvenir store. We spent a while searching for said cat but to no avail. We did not find a cat, and thus were made thoroughly confused. WHAT DID IT MEAN???

pasta alla pesto and bitter lemon. :)

And so ended the Friday. That took longer than expected. It’s time for migoreng right now. :)

misselty.

aangekomen in amsterdam!

Staying with Toby totally makes me motivated to make posts!

So yes, arrived in Amsterdam, a little earlier than expected, but by the time I got to Amsterdam Centraal Station and met up with Toby, it wasn’t that early anymore. It was looking a little touch and go when I was leaving Ørestad because toget var forsinket (delayed)… by 17 minutes!! So freaked out for a bit there, but got there in time. Then when I went to check-in, I realised I had to go to Terminal 2, rather than Terminal 3, which is where the train station is. So ran over there, self-checked in, then almost had a heart attack when it spat out a message saying that it could allocate me a seat at the current time. Heart attack continued when I went to drop my luggage and they put a big red “standby” tag on it. I must have looked super worried after the counter lady had this long animated Danish conversation with one of the other counter guys which involved a lot of pointing at the screen after having entered in my details. She then assured me that I would get my seat allocated at the gate.

Ran to the gate, obviously the furthest away from the security check point (and I beeped for the first time in a long time which was annoying). It was definitely a full flight, heaps of people at the gate. Queued for a bit before hearing my name called. Yay!

So ended up getting a window seat towards the front of the plane. I love getting window seats. :)

sunset at 8pm. love it.

I have to say, KLM (what I took to get here) is much better than SAS (which I took to Munich). My flight to Munich was over 1.5 hours and while there were snacks and beverages served, they were at your own expense. My 1 hour flight to Amsterdam with KLM offered me a snack and multiple beverages (if you wanted) and all complimentary! AWESOME. :)

serving food and drink; world's smallest coke can; biscuits that tasted like ritz!! :)

Flight wasn’t very long and I did my usual try and be useful (you can see my copy of the US Constitution under the Coke, also hence the ready availability of a highlighter for comparison) mixed with more looking out the window and taking pictures of clouds. :)

After less than an hour, we landed at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. :)

schipol airport.

Caught the sneltrein from the airport to Amsterdam Centraal, and a few msgs later I finally found Toby! Yay! Lol.

Walked a fair way to get back to the hostel and encountered some of Amsterdam’s famous night life (to put it mildly). And yes. It’s all just… out there. It’s weird to say, but I think after we walked for a bit I just got used to seeing all the the girls in the windows not to mention… Well, you should just come here and find out for yourself. :P

And now I just realised that the light shots I took on the walk to the hostel came out kind of blurry.

Anyway, a post! There you go.

Tomorrow, Toby says we’re going to museums and Anne Frank’s house and… then see what else we have time for. Who knows, maybe I will post two days in a row!

misselty.