Showing posts with label netherlands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label netherlands. Show all posts
Wednesday, 27 November 2013

North Holland

I am sure that I have mentioned it before, but Sunbear is a Dutchie and and he brought me to his hometown (I think the word "hometown" is just so cute!) which was Steenwijk. It was really weird being introduced to his parents (his dad knew very little English and his mum didn't know any) and to see his childhood bedroom (he lives in Rotterdam for university) and to see that his mum had assembled a little bed for me.

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Travelling like pack mules.

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I sometimes do wonder how I managed to share a single bed for nearly 3 months as I now sleep sprawled  in the middle of my double bed.

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We went for a drive in his dad's old Saab and his dog, Hella. The Netherlands is flat. So incredibly flat. Literally. Also, there was so much planning it was really weird and unnatural. All the trees along the side of the road/ in the "forest" were arranged either in a line or a grid formation. Seriously. It was also really strange to see that even in the middle of no where, there would be a bicycle path next to the road. Yes, I know that bicycles are ingrained in the Dutch culture, but there was nothing in the surrounding area. For example, it was an empty field for at least 15km in each direction and yet, there would be a bicycle path. Okay.

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We stopped off at another town (towns are really close together in the Netherlands) for lunch which consisted of pea and ham soup, amazing coffee and pumpernickel bread.

Dinner was at his parents and it was so awkward and adorable. His mum made mashed potatoes for me (I love mash) and also custard for dessert (I love custard) and there was a really awkward story that his mum was telling and then got translated for me. So when his mum and and were dating, once she slept over at his place but in a separate room and during the night, she crept into his room but the door creaked. Next morning, the dad's grandfather announced at breakfast: 'I oiled the door. Tonight it will be alright'. I think they were hinting at the fact that even though there were two beds, it was completely okay to be sharing one (which we did). I felt a little bad though because if they knew that, then it was such a waste of effort to set up the other bed. Ah well.

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After dinner, we went to Dutch Venice aka Giethoorn. We walked his dog and it was a nice walk ... in the drizzle. I never knew what drizzle actually was until I visited Europe. I always thought that there were: showers, sprinkles or rain. Drizzle and mist is actually really strange, it feels like it is raining but it also isn't. 

We had a second dessert at this random cafe with amazing hot chocolate. The thing I found interesting (perhaps it is a country thing rather than a Dutch thing) was that the dog could go into every single cafe/ shop and the owner would often bring a bowl of water for the dog. 

Where we went:

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Amsterdam

From Munich, we drove to Salzburg to drop off our rental car and fly to Amsterdam since it was cheaper than leaving from Munich directly. It was a short flight (heck, any flight is a short flight within Europe) and we were sitting in the very last row. Upside was that I managed to take shots without the wing of the plane.

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I  love this shot. It looks like clouds, but most of the white is actually snow.

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When we landed, I discovered that they had damaged my backpack. It also had a footprint on the top so I don't even know what happened. I don't actually know how they even damaged it because the damage was at my front straps which tightened my bag, but I have lifted my bag via those straps before and there was never a problem. Hmm. Also, the tram doors opened and I allowed other people to get on first since I needed to get the correct change for the fare. Sunbear asked the driver if he stopped at a certain location and just as I found my correct change (and it wasn't as though I was standing there for 2 minutes, it was literally 30 seconds) the driver closed the door and drove off. Sorry, what? Rude.

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Okay this was the coolest thing! Not the food per se, but the shop we bought it from. It is almost like a vending machine and you insert your money which would allow you to take the hamburger. Of course, who knows how long that burger was sitting there. You could also order it from the counter and they would make it fresh which is what we did. But still, it was pretty cool! Febo

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We went to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and ordered the same thing we ordered on our first date (which actually was back in early December. Whoops) and it was really nice. I need to get around to visiting Hard Rock Cafe in Sydney at some point before it closes down. Well, it went into bankruptcy recently and who knows what will happen as the new owner has a lot of debt to repay.

My Overall Thoughts
Honestly, I didn't have much of an opinion of Amsterdam. It did feel really comfortable and familiar in way, so it didn't really feel very interesting or exciting or anything like that. Actually, the only impression was that it felt so gimicky. As Amsterdam is known for the red light district, it was just sex stores upon sex store selling things that just had a shock factor. Also, it had a lot of those 'coffee shops' (where you could smoke marijuana) and ridiculous signs promoting it.

Would I re-visit?
No.