The Netherlands – Picture Entry
Just got back from the Netherlands (aka Amsterdam aka Red Light District). I can finally say I’ve been to BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg), although I feel like we didn’t really do much in Luxembourg (not that there’s much to do there, I guess).
My dad drove there, and it took about 2.5 hours, I think. Not that far. First we went to see the windmill in Sloten (b/c you can’t really go to the Netherlands without seeing a windmill, right?). It was … a, um, windmill. We didn’t go in because that’d be 5 Euro, and we weren’t that interested. So, snapped a couple of pictures and left.
Next we headed to the zoo. Yes, you read right, THE ZOO, Artis Zoo to be precise. I like animals. I like seeing animals. And when I heard there was a zoo in the center of Amsterdam, of course we went. 🙂 Besides, it’s the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, and one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Definitely saw more animals this time than when we went to Muzha Zoo in Taipei the summer I graduated from high school (they were all hiding from the heat *sigh*). This time around, there were so many cute animals! Big cats, small fish, birds, etc. 🙂 ‘Twas fun!
These four monkeys were just chilling on the fence. They weren’t exactly fenced in or caged, but they didn’t run around the zoo wreaking havoc. They’d just sit on the fence or run around inside their fenced area. So 乖! and cute. and furry. 😀
After the zoo we went to the hotel, which was a 30 minute drive away (we were staying near the airport because it was cheaper than staying near the center). Then, we took the train back out to the center in search of the Red Light District, more precisely, Chinatown! Yup. the RDL wasn’t that hard to find, I guess. Just had to follow the masses. We went a bit earlier, so there weren’t any ladies in their windows/doors, just yet. So we went in search of dinner. A lot of the restaurants in Chinatown were packed, and the first restaurant we went to had terrible service. They didn’t even talk to us! And we were left just standing there! So rude. So we left and went in search of another place. Finally found one that didn’t require any waiting, so we decided on the place. It was nubbad, but we ordered too much, as usual, and it was way filling.
Post-dinner we decided to go walk around the RDL and see the sites. Heh. Heh. It was awkward. There were ladies in underwear standing behind glass doors and knocking on the doors to get your attention! I didn’t dare look left or right and definitely didn’t dare take that many pictures for fear of taking a picture of the wrong … thing (taking pictures of the ladies is forbidden). Even so, we did get some pictures in. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. There was also a lot of pot in the air, and no, I did not smoke any. Can you imagine my parents letting us smoke pot even if it’s legal? But I did inhale a lot of secondhand smoke. Hmm. Nasty. I have been warned by my parents to never come back to the RDL again. Even with friends. Haha. It does seem to get rowdier as the night goes on, which isn’t surprising considering how there are drunk and high people all over the place, but there were also a lot of cops patrolling the area, so I guess it’s still relatively safe(?).
Since we couldn’t, wouldn’t really do anything at the RDL, we called it a night and went back to the hotel.
Rainy day. Fantastic. Made us not want to do anything. The plan was to head into downtown on the train again, take a canal tour, and then head to the museum area to check out the Van Gogh Museum. As it was rainy and wet, we drove into town, headed straight for the museum, and then left Amsterdam. The museum was nice. Lots of Van Gogh’s hanging. Too bad there were so many people. I don’t like crowded museums. >.< Since we couldn’t take pictures inside, I bought some postcards and a little poster of my favorite pieces to hang on me wall. 🙂
After the museum, the idea was to go home back to Belgium, but I guess my dad felt it was too early. So we went to Delft, known for its Delftware (really, really pretty stuff man). It was raining when we arrived, so we walked around in the rain, looking at churches and visiting a Delftware store. Traditionally it’s blue and white, but this store also had black painted ceramics with colorful designs. The stuff is really pretty!!
After the short and wet trip, it was time to go home (after a quick stop at Burger King where the cashier forgot about my chicken wings, and I had to go and get it from him 😦 But it was yum :P).
OH! Forgot to mention. While we were in downtown Amsterdam, we saw these circular fenced areas, which and we’d see guys go into. We couldn’t figure out what it was for at first. Then we realized it was for guys to urinate in! Right there on the sidewalk! So. Random.