Sunday, January 24, 2010

Summaries of Amsterdam

Honestly, by now the Amsterdam parts are almost blurred together. With so much time has gone until I finally have the urge to do this post, I think it's best to just sums it all up. I think I will have to start a seperate traveling blog... Otherwise I won't write anything else until the trip is finish.

Somehow I have managed to meet most of my friends who live in Amsterdam. I did the free walk tour again and I have seen the famous canal pride. I went to the central station. I also went into one of the sexshop along the way. I buy sandwiches from A&H, the biggest supermarket chain there. Things are quite expensive in Amsterdam than Prague, naturally.

I also noticed that Jack Russell Terrier seems to be quite popular. I saw quite a few people walking that breed in the city. My friend also have one, they named him Max. Max is a rotund JR terrier with personalities to match. They definitely spoiled him a lot :) He has a sizable pile of toys in one corner of the house and love to chase them when you throw it for him. Max also have a habit of fall asleep on his back with all of his four legs in the air.

I visited bars, museum (with entrance fee *grumble*, I guess I have been spoiled by the free museums in London), the china town area, and many hash shops :P One of my friend treated me to his favorite chinese restaurant which serve wanton noodle. The portion was great, with about 10 wantons in the bowl. They also have chilli paste, which perk up my palette considerbly. I added that a bit too much though :P.

My friend remember my birthday which I forgot since I was traveling :P. He gave me a birthday card ;)

I also visited a windmill park courtesy of my friend's hubby. It was a nice, relaxing, and free to enter park with several still functioning windmills with different purposes. One was use for making paint, another was use for making flour, etc. There is also a clog making demonstration which we were able to catch. They also sell Netherland style waffle crack. They were very sweet, heavier than they look, and quite delicious. The hubby recommended this as the souvenier to buy. I ended up buying a few for my family, colleages and myself. Before we left we had a pancake meal Amsterdam style. The Amsterdam style referred to the way the pancake was cooked which is a tin slice on hotplate on wheel being rotated into hot oven. It was quite good as well :)

On my last day, I went into the city for the last time and bought a rice chocolate cake from A&H that I has been eyeing for a few days. It was a half round piece so I planned to share it with my friend and his husband. After I returned, I began packing my stuffs, with sometime left I decided to check out one last place I wanna see. I went to a lake not far from my friend's house which is also the cruising area. The beach areas of the lake were pack as it was quite hot that day. Once I got back, I finish packing up, shower, and eat. My friend was also there taking me to the airport. He told me that his husband will be home late that day. So I told him of the cake I bought for them. He also worried whether I will make it in time to the airport as I scuffle down leftover pasta.

My friend could only drop me off at the terminal. We hugged and said goodbye and then I went to the KLM counter.

When it was my turn, the counter lady told me that I will be put on reserve, that there might be a chance that I will have to take the next flight, and that I should went to the gate as soon as possible. I was slightly panic by this but the staff told me that in that case the airline will pay for accomodations and what not. So quickly went to the gate. But I also have the time to stop and look at several paintings that were on loan from the musuem. I also texted my friend to inform him of the situation.

Half of me wants the overbook to happens since it would be means another day of vacation but the other half do wants to go home already. Eventually, I got the seat alright and the flight home was without a hitch. It was older model of airplane though as there were no enetertainment system in the back of the seat. The A/C was way cold as usual, the food was so so, the movie was Duplicity.

The taxi home was slightly cheaper than the last times so it was nice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 6 Tuesday: Final Day in Prague & First day in Amsterdam

I woke up, wash up, went to breakfast, swipe a bunch of tea from the tea station and went back to my room to finish packing.

Then I leave the hotel to get to the airport. I went to the subway station, the one that's downhill from my hotel and the one that I walk through quite a lot this trip. I decided to buy the ticket for the ride since I did not want to risk it. I was traveling with a suitcase after all, so I will be noticeable.

The trip to the airport went smoothly. Although I got off the bus at terminal 1 instead of terminal 2. So I ended up walking quite a distant to the right one. There was a security check at the inner terminal entrance. I ended up finishing my water bottle before reaching the entrance. Inside there were some duty free and souvenir shop but I did not buy any.

I arrived at my gate well before the boarding time. So I playing game on my mobile phone. My NDS almost ran out of battery because the stupid charger short-circuited on my second night at the hotel.

It was a fairly long wait but eventually it was boarding time. The plane ride was smooth, the snack was the same croissant sandwich as my arrival flight. I eventually my phone ran out of battery. I was panicking a bit, thinking how will I contact my friend now.

Luckily he was waiting at the terminal exit to pick me up. We got into his car and he drive back to his house. My friend's house was only about 5 minutes walk to one of the tram stop, which makes city exploring quite convenience for me. He shows me my room for the week. It was quite small but enough for temporary stay and it had a computer with internet connection :) I went into the room, used the computer a bit, and settled down.

Before diner time my friend take me to the near by supermarket to introduce me to how to buy and use the stripe ticket for the tram, the best way to get into the city. Then we went back, his husband finishing with dinner preparation and we start eating.

Later that night we went into the city where my friend shows me the gay district and all the bars and what station to got off, to get back, where to buy cheap food and what's to looks for.

After a bit of crash course of life in Amsterdam and hitting one of the gay bar which has been renovated recently, we went home around midnight and I went to bed.