Friday, April 17, 2009

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We had recently returned from a very interesting European city experience in Amsterdam, the capital city of The Netherlands. Famous for its tulips, windmills, clogs, canals and the Red Light District, the city is very much like how I perceive a typical European city will be. With only three days minus one day of travelling time, we had to pack a lot of sightseeing into our itinerary.

We flew from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.


Upon arrival, we had a little bit of a language problem, as practically everything was in Dutch. After asking around, we were sent to the wrong railway track a few times before finally ending up at the right track for the Amsterdam Centraal Station.


Oh, look. They have double-decker trains.


It was about a 20-minute ride to the Amsterdam Centraal Station from Schipol Airport. Upon reaching the Centraal Station, the first thing that hit me was the heat. OMGosh! The weather was so hot that it felt like I was back in Malaysia. It was just about 18 degrees celcius though, but coming from Liverpool, it felt like we were being thrown into the desert. I could even feel a headache developing.

This is the Amsterdam Centraal Station.


From there, we took a tram to our hotel. It was about a 10-minute ride.


Finally, we reached our hotel, the NH Tropen hotel.


Something different that I have not seen before is the lift. It opens like a door and has a small round window like those in a ship.


Our room was quite comfortable, though I would say that it was a little small for chubby kid to roam around. But it didn’t matter, as we would not be spending much time in the room anyway.

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After refreshing ourselves, we decided to explore the area opposite our hotel. Here are some shops opposite our hotel.


There is also the DapperMarkt, located in Dapperstraat, a street market similar to the Sunday market in Kuching.


All sort of stuffs are sold here, including flowers, clothes, fish fillet and cheese among others.

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One thing about Amsterdam that I quickly grasp upon arrival is that bicycles seem to be one of the main mode of transportation. There are bicycles everywhere. On each road, there will be bicycle lane and pedestrian lane. A few times, I mistakenly walked onto the bicycle lane and was almost knocked down by passing bicycles that came in very high speed. What surprised me later on was that most of those bicycles do not have brakes on them. What the heck!

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They even allocate special space on the train especially for bicycles.


Another bigger and longer street market called Albert Cuyp Markt was some distance away. By the time we reached there, almost all of the stalls were closed already. It was just too bad as I was really looking forward to visit that street market.

So, we decided to just walk around and explore the areas nearby. The view of the canals was great.

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Those big boats parked at the side are actually people’s houses. People actually lived on a boat here.


Just right next to our hotel is a really big park called Oosterpark.


Because of the fine weather, lots of people were having ball games and picnics there.


By the time we got back to our hotel, it was almost 9pm. It was time to rest and prepare for more sightseeing the next day.


Korea-Seoul-Map said...

very nice blog!
Are you interested in Korea?
If so, Feel free to visit to my blog.
Have a great day! ^^

mindcaster said...

the bikes do have brakes, the old ones mostly have coaster brakes. Glad you liked my town ;)


Nuha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chuasteph said...

korea: sure i would love to visit korea one day.

mindcaster: yeah, i really enjoy my amsterdam experience.

nuha: eh, apa pulak u remove comment? hehe...i dah lama tak naik basikal. enjoy jugak i lihat org lain naik basikal.

Nuha said...

hehehe....saja je. menakutkan kalo naik basikal xde brek...