20 May 2010

Europe - Amsterdam (Part II)

As have been mentioned in the previous post, we went to the town hall first before taking the canal tour. The town hall (I think they call it Dam Square) is just marvellous!!! (apart from all the rubbish lying around everywhere.. hehehe). There were the Royal Palace, De Nieuwe Kerk (New Church, where royal inaugurations and royal weddings are held), and Madame Tussauds. Actually Nieuwe Kerk can't be considered as "new", coz it's a 15th century church.. ahahaha.. maybe it's considered newer than "Oude Kerk" (Old Church).

[caption id="attachment_1275" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="De Nieuwe Kerk"]De Nieuwe Kerk[/caption]

Hmm again, I must say, the photo doesn't do it justice. The real one is really nice.. I think I must improve my photography skills hor? ;)

The royal palace was just beside the church, but unfortunately it was undergoing a major renovation, such that almost everything is covered. There's only 1 side where we can see a bit of the palace.. Wah I'm sure that if the cover unveils, the palace must've look magnificent with all the carving details!

[caption id="attachment_1276" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Royal Palace"]Royal Palace[/caption]

And beside the Royal Palace lies Madame Tussauds. I really wanted to go in (I've never been to any Madame Tussauds before), but sadly we didn't have any spare time at all. Our times in Amsterdam was very limited :(. Anyway, I just took photo of the building lo.. LOL

[caption id="attachment_1277" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Madame Tussauds"]Madame Tussauds[/caption]

And behind the Royal Palace, there's a verrry nice building.. I remember seeing it from the tourist bus and saying to my colleague: "that building is nicer than the royal palace" hahaha.. well, mostly coz the royal palace was 90% covered.. That nice building is apparently a mall called "Magna Plaza". It looks like a palace to me..

[caption id="attachment_1278" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Magna Plaza"]Magna Plaza[/caption]

After going around the Dam Square, it's finally time for our 1-hour canal trip. The time was already 2 pm, and we haven't had our lunch! Due to time constraint, we decided to just grab a bread in a nearby bakery and eat it during the canal cruise.. Hahaha! Save time hor? ;)

[caption id="attachment_1279" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="In front of the canal cruise ^^"]In front of the canal cruise ^^[/caption]

I read somewhere that city of Amsterdam is built to be seen from the canal. So trip to Amsterdam is not complete without taking the canal cruise. Well I don't know how true, but it's kinda unique experience.. I've never taken a cruise before (I think).. or have I? (Singapore excluded). Again we see the pretty narrow houses with their narrow doors. It's just lovely :) I still feel like I'm in 19th century or something like that..

After the canal cruise, we're left with about 2-3 hours before we need to get on our train to Cologne. Not much time left, we went to the last must-visit-list that I have: the flower market! Well, basically I have few wishes in Amsterdam:

  1. Dam Square (checked!)

  2. Canal tour (checked!)

  3. Windmill (checked!) (at least saw from the bus..)

  4. Madame Tussauds (not possible already :( )

  5. Flower Market to see tulips (as I got no time to go to the famous Keukenfof flower garden)

  6. Red light district

  7. Try stroopwafels

Well, so our next stop is Flower Market.. and while going there... we see this shop having a tiny windmills!! Ahem... we didn't take any photo with the real windmill.. So we got excited to see this tiny decorative windmill..

[caption id="attachment_1280" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Can you see the tiny windmill behind?"]Can you see the tiny windmill behind?[/caption]

Waahaha.. feeling satisfied, we proceed to go to the flower market... and we found it!! It's the world's only floating flower market, but it doesn't look like that from the front, as only half of each stall is actually floating.. haha.. and they sell lots lots lots of flowers of various types and souvenirs.. And I'm looking for tulips... sadly all I see is only tulips seeds or wooden tulips.. Aih so sad... :( I was thinking maybe the tulip season has passed? :( Hmm.. again, I bought some windmill miniature for souvenirs.. hehe..

[caption id="attachment_1281" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Souvenirs"]Souvenirs[/caption]

Oh oh do you see the cute wooden clog shoe? It's Holland's famous clog shoe. And yes, it's meant to be worn by real people. Some farmers/villagers are actually still using it 'til now. It's kinda cute, I tried it! Not as heavy as I thought.. And just look at the cute rows of small houses here.. the real houses in Amsterdam really look like that.. how cute..

[caption id="attachment_1282" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="I feel like buying the whole row.. LOL"]I feel like buying the whole row.. LOL[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1285" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="A dutch lady & me"]A dutch lady & me[/caption]

And then.. and then.. and then.. I saw it! Right there! In the last 2 stalls, there lies the real tulips! So many of them! I was so happy to see it.. At least I've seen the real one in many colors.. (even though it's in a market, not in a garden..) haha..

[caption id="attachment_1283" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pretty tulips"]Pretty tulips[/caption]

Afterwards, we start going to our final destination of the day: the red light district! It's quite a famous thing in the world, apparently..  It's a long street of 4 storeys narrow houses, each storeys having few full-length display glasses. And do you know what's being displayed there? It's women with sexy costumes..  Yeah it's how the prostitutes does their business there. And prostitution is legal there, btw. The ladies pay for the "room" rent. Each small "room" have a different decor. Some with chairs, flowers, etc. And when the ladies have a "guest", the display glass curtain will be closed.. Oh, and each of the glass window is bordered with small red lights, which I assume that's where the district get the name from..

Hmm.. we just want to see the district la, as it's quite famous. When we're there, it was only about 5 pm, so most of the windows are still empty.. only few ladies has started "showcasing" themselves..

Having most of our checklist in Amsterdam done, I'm left with one.. the stroopwafels! Yeah I haven't forgot that one.. It's quite famous too, according to my friend. It's 2 very thin wafels layered with caramels. I found it in 1 of the bakery there. Hmmm... it tastes quite nice, but not as nice as my expectation actually. Maybe my friend sings praises of it too much 'til I expect some kind of "heavenly taste".. hehehe..

Well, we're left with not much time to walk around, and I'm desperately thirsty. My water bottle has been empty for a long time now. We went to a nearby (quite big) supermarket, and bought a few snacks (and stroopwafels too!) for bringing home. And I was looking for a mineral water too. What I want is just a plain, very normal, mineral water. To my surprise, the big supermarket don't have it! OMG.. What they have was just sparkling water (mineral water with soda). Wow.. It's a supermarket leh.. How can they don't sell normal soda-less mineral water... As what I can find is a soda-water anyway, so I decided to get a soda-water with some taste. That'll be better, right? ;) So I grab an apple juice with soda. European certainly like soda.

I can't buy too much snacks, as my luggage will certainly can't keep much more things.. Haha! So we proceed to the train station.. and pass by this beautiful church (that I'm not sure what's the name is)

[caption id="attachment_1284" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Beautiful church"]Beautiful church[/caption]

And then we saw something interesting.. It's what have been mentioned by our other colleagues.. It's a male urinal.. Right in the middle of the place where passerby walk pass.. Tsk tsk tsk.. They don't feel shy to "do their business" there.. I think almost all guys there are used to it..

[caption id="attachment_1286" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Interesting thing"]Interesting thing[/caption]

Well well.. It's time for our train now.. Taking one last look at the magnificent train station..

[caption id="attachment_1287" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Amsterdam Train Station"]Amsterdam Train Station[/caption]

And and and... it's only a few minutes left for the train! Oh no! We need to buy our dinner first, coz when we reached Cologne, it will be 9.30 pm+. All food places might've closed by then. No other choice, we just grab Burger King (as it's what the train station have) and had our dinner in the train.


Annz.. said...

erna.. OLEH2!!!!!
hahahahh.. ^^

asik banget bisa kesana huhu..
*pdhl g blm baca semua, tp yg penting komen dulu ^^*

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