Published: December 31st 2009December 31st 2009
Sorry folks I know Im a bit late with the next travel blog installment, but batching it has sidetracked me... but anyway with the spacecadets safely given to the V-kids hostie I begin my solo traveller tales.... stayed another day in London and took in all the War Museums what else is there to do when you’re stuck in the middle of a snow downpour... I must admit very cool!
Museums were fantastic it seems the poms can’t keep their noses out of every god damn war created by mankind. Visited my first (one of many) Holocaust exhibitions. They do these very well and the original artefacts from the concentration camps were quite mind boggling. The thing that blew me away even more was when I turned into a room and there was a real cattle train carriage where they crammed in the Jews to transport them to the camps.....heavy shit...and sad!..BTW the exhibition is PGR.
Anyway made my way to the Hook of Holland Ferry Port in Harwich (now that’s a FERRY) absolutely luxury my single cabin was better than the one we had once on the P&O cruise. Did not feel a bump or vibration, I showered
and crashed big time all for A$77. Best value for money so far on this trip apart from the $10 bus fare London to Edinburgh.
Anyway made it to the land of the weird, wonderful, alternate lifestyle and most tolerant society on earth! The Netherlands.... and then I hit a hurdle......due to the snow all public transport was limited or not existent. We (other aussie travellers) had to catch 3 different trains via Rotterdam then to Schiphol then finally another train just to get to Amsterdam. Now that’s not so bad, except when you don’t speak Dutch, the trains are stuffed and you are seeking alternate arrangements...... there is a wee little problem.
BTW before I forget I would like to mention that Dutch girls are all so much taller than the norm! Amsterdam is about the size of Edinburgh but 800 years into the future!
Anyway I was only in Amsterdam for 36hrs so had to cram everything in first on the Sandemans free walking tour done a few of these now, actually they're not free you just tip the guide whatever you feel like...benchmark around 5€...it’s worth it and highly recommended if your into that
sort of thing.
Well I went window shopping and took in some coffee all I am going to say absolutely #@$%& amazing tolerant society. The weed is actually illegal to cultivate but decriminalised for use.....so I beg the question who supplies it to the €400M coffee shop industry. I’m staying in the St Christopher’s chain of hostels and it just happens that the Amsterdam hostel was right in the middle of all those quaint little windows with red lights. Quiet funny actually it feels like you’re in art gallery going from one painting to the next. Word of warning no photos! The tourist guide calls the RLD 'a variety of culture and entertainment' go figure, who ever thought of that spin doctoring was a genius!
Anyway I preferred to do the alternate museums such as the Sex Museum, nothing new there, Cannabis Museum (this is a real museum run by the university) Hemp and Torture Museum and the narrowest house 1.6m wide... I know these Dutch are weird and one for the chickiebabes they have a handbag museum are you listening Lou...handbags! it has 4000 bags on display and finished of Amsterdam by visiting a more mainstream museum
Anne Frank’s House.
OK this is my take on Ann Frank albeit a sad story of a girl who escaped the Nazi uprising from Germany landed in Amsterdam hid in the back a of a house for 2 years without going out, someone dobbed her in, she went to Auschwitz and died 2 months before the war ended and the camp was liberated, all whilst putting her thoughts down in a diary. Now that is not unique I’m sure there were plenty of others that did or tried to do the same, however what the Anne Frank story symbolises is the fundamental human right principle of freedom in all its forms, free spirit and youth. I wish princess was here to see it, our kids could never understand those dangerous times. It was interesting to read that Nelson Mandela read the Anne Frank Diary when he was in Robben Island prison...interesting Synergy don’t you think!.
So that’s your history lesson for the day.
Now beer is cheap especially the €1 shots (bugger if I know what I was drinking) for food you must try the local delicacies whenever you in a different country so out came the
French Fries with Mayonnaise ...wtf the bloke looked at me as if I had 2 heads when I asked for BBQ sauce. The old Mayo on Fries not bad actually. Then there is 'Karnemelk' literally churned milk (eeewww)..It has a thin substance and is rather sour. It is supposed to be quite healthy but admittedly you must acquire a taste for it.
Amsterdam also has a bit of a problem men relieving themselves in alley corners so they have installed wee wee protectors covering the corners so if you decide to relieve yourself you get wet....Now I have a solution... STOP CHARGING people to use the toilets. They charge everywhere even in the malls and the food halls around €0.50c (haven’t been in Maccas yet) oh well at least it’s not €1.50 like in Venice. Be warned when you’re travelling in this part of the world.
Amsterdam as you know is like Venice and surrounded by water well you gotta see the building they are literally leaning forward sideways and backwards. You initially think your eyes are playing tricks on your but I can assure you the way the foundations were built over the years building start to
sag...its the funniest thing...Lucky the narrowest house in the world is squeezed between two other houses otherwise it would look like the leaning tower of Pisa
Finally Hello in Dutch can either be Hallo or Dag now if the Dutch put these 2 words together they could become Aussies by saying...hallo dag! The streets here have the weirdest long names and they all seem to have letter combinations of poo or wee in them, and al ending in racht or straat!
So that’s all folks would of loved to stay longer and I will do that next time but with cheap connecting travel plans and at this time of the year you gotta take it when you can so onto Berlin and one mega history lesson can’t wait!
Happy new year groupies