i would like to firstly apologize for the length of this post as its going to be massive.
the day after my last post was written a very dear friend of mine came to see me in amsterdam.
it was the first real day of sightseeing i suppose i did as we actually went out and saw things instead of just randomly walking around and finding these weird little boutique style shops.
Dont get me wrong, the little boutique style shops have been awesome, some of the most random stuff you find in there is just so different its awesome, although not worth the markup some of the places have put on it.
So on the day that Marleen came to visit me, we went and saw the house of Anne Frank who i am pretty sure most people know about or at least have heard about.
It was a pretty humbling experience to be honest, having read a little bit of her book "Diary of Anne Frank" in school and knowing some of the story behind her, it was cool to walk through the actual house she lived in, and see how they lived for quite a long time, a few years.
there were no photos allowed inside so i havent got any from that, we then went for a walk and went to the Pathe Tuschinski which is Amsterdams largest movie theatre.
Now a bit of a background on this, albeit a small background. it is an old theatre, from the age of plays and i assume opera's. Its now been outfitted with quite comfortable chairs (IMO) and a massive screen over the stage. this is by far the coolest movie theatre i have been to outside of Australia..... and within australia.
the entire experience was better then any australian movie i have been to, from the seating, to the actual theatre itself, and even the sound and the screen. the screen was easily the size of the IMAX theatre at southbank in Brisbane.
End prognosis, Pathe Tuschinski theatre in amsterdam is a must if you are in the area and want to watch a movie,
we also went to the Australian bar "Coco's Outback Bar" where i was able to get my first drink of a real rum, BUNDY!!!!!!!
one of two bars in all of amsterdam to stock it. :D
after all the festivities Marleen had to leave but since the sun had come out and the rain had f*cked off we decided for a picture at one of Amsterdams many canals before it was time to go to the train station.
|Marleen and Myself|
Since that day with Marleen, i have had the pleasure of also visiting the Heineken Experience which although i dont drink beer practically ever, i had a few here throughout the tour because they were included haha, i dont have any pictures as my camera was out of battery, some of the other people that i went with though took pictures and im just waiting for them to upload them to facebook or something so i can poach them haha.
The Heineken experience was pretty bloody cool, it starts out with a bit of history of the company and its founders, to going into how its made and a walkthrough an old section of brewery thats no longer in operation and has been adopted to be educational and in some places demonstrational (not a word but it'll catch on im sure :P)
in the end you get a few free beers and then the offer of a free canal tour which goes from the factory to the brand store, in the hope of getting a few people to spend some of their hard earned coin im sure haha.
last friday i caught a train to Leiden to try and avoid the weekend prices at my hostel (from 22 euro a night to 50 euro a night for friday and saturday).
So on the friday i caught a train to Leiden to stay with some passengers that were on my very last tour with groovy grape in australia.
the train ride over there was quite uneventful, it was only a 20-30 min trip so i spent the majority of that just looking out the window watching the world go by. I did get curious though at the speed of the train as its a fair bit larger then the trains we have in brisbane as its a double decker train. it was a really smooth ride however. It just so happens that i have an app on my iPad which is a GPS speedo haha, from back in adelaide when i had a little $300AU car and the speedo was a bit wack.
So i opened the app and lo and behold i was moving a lot faster then i thought i was haha.
i'll let the picture speak for itself.
What can i say about Leiden, its a very beautiful city, once again i had trouble getting my camera to see what i saw.
myself, Paul and Marjolite (sorry about spelling) ended up going for a bike ride around the city. To see it in a more dutch setting.
After ~ 5-6kms on a bike where the seat was too high for me i think i have briused my tail bone, but im not really regretting it as we saw some brilliant things.
first off we rode to an old orphanage near the centre of Old Leiden, this place has been around since the 1600's. After coming from a country where in the 1600's there was nothing more then what the aborigine's needed this is quite dumfounding and humbling.
|Doorway inscription in the old orphanage|
|Paul in the Circular Fortification|
We then went and saw the University of Leiden and walked through their botanic gardens and saw the observatory where quite a lot of the early astronomical findings were found. at this point it was raining so i was hiding my camera within my hoodie to hide it from the rain so i didnt get any photos.
i did however get a lot of photos from the next place we stopped which was the museum of really old things (not actual name).
this place was massive, well probably not in comparison to a lot of the museums in capital cities around the world but it did take us quite a large amount of time to accomplish, and i got photos :D
One of the first things i saw when we walked in was this section of temple that looked like sandstone,
upon closer inspection it was a section of the old temple of taffeh, built approx 2000 years ago 50kms away from Aswan in africa.
as are their roman and greek empire periods.
for dinner they drove me to Den Haag, to show me the beach at Schevinengen.
now i wasnt expecting much from a beach in europe, not after growing up 30 mins from the beaches at the Gold Coast in australia. However, it was quite a surprise when we got to the beach and it looked nearly exactly the same, with the exception of all the bars scattered across the beach.
there were decent waves, lots of sand (obviously) the sand wasnt as golden but thats a minor thing to pick.
Paul and Marjolite decided that after a quick stop at one of the royal palaces for a photo it was dinner time and for dinner they would shout me dinner regardless of how much i refused to allow them to and we ended up at what i am pretty sure was a argentinian grillhouse.
dip me in honey and throw me to the lesbians, this place was awesome.
i ended up ordering some spare ribs and fries and salad and i was so shocked when my food came out i nearly squeeled in excitement haha.
once again, a picture speaks a thousand words.
thanks paul and marjolite, it was truly a pleasure to stay with you and experience your city.
what else has happened.....
oh yeh, we got a new dude in the hostel a few days ago, Justin from canada.
Turns out he's also a ex tour guide on a Euro trip :D
although canadian, he's actually pretty cool and we got along pretty well.
i think its probably got something to do with both of us having a pretty messed up sense of humor which is akin to all guides methinks.
anywho, i had been wanting to go to a few places within amsterdam that i reckoned would be more appreciated with other people then just on my own so i was quite happy when justin rocked up because being a new guy in the city he hadnt already seen everything haha.
we ended up checking out a few things yesterday which im glad i got to see.
these were Madame Tussards the wax museum, the Amsterdam Dungeon and the Ice bar.
Firstly madame tussards.
this started of with myself and justin getting a photo with the american president, Barack Obama.
now myself being an Australian who's not even bothered with my own countries politics and justin being a canadian this just gave us an opportunity to make poses with the president that you just would not be able to in real life haha.
we did get a copy of this picture (at 9euro a pop) but since justin paid the majority of it he has the print copy and im waiting for my digital version to come through.
now there are a lot of wax statues in there. when i say a lot, i meant a LOT.
from british prime minister Winston Churchill, to POS's like Lady Gaga.
being the carefree fun lovers we are, we had a fair bit of fun in here.
|Robbie Williams i think....|
|C*nt Punting Gaga|
|Justin imitating marilyn monroe|
|First ever Canadian President of the USA?|
|Rockin it with Bob Marley|
|Doing the world a massive favour|
|mucking around with some famous soccer player|
after what ended up being a fair while in there we then left and went just down the street to the Amsterdam Dungeon.
Now those of you who have been to Draculas on the gold coast will know what sorta place this is. those that dont, its something that i cant really explain. you kinda have to experience it to know what im talking about.
If you know draculas this place is essentially the same except bigger, better and more well done in practically every way.
we werent allowed to take pictures within this tour as being quite a dark setting, cameras wont work without flash, and with flash it ruins the setting and blinds every poor bastard there haha.
to try and explain it, you walk through the building guided door to door by actors who each have their own story.
going from the gouls of the black plague era, to the slavers of the east india trading co, to everything inbetween and past each end.
i highly highly recommend doing it.
its not scary but there are some moments when the pucker factor does creep up a bit.
One of the coolest things i have done so far though was the ice bar.
when i say coolest i mean literally.
Its a bar that is carved out of straight ice, the bar, the cups the chairs everything.
the air temperature is -10c to keep it from melting haha, as such you only get 40mins inside, but in that 40 mins you get 2 drinks included in your admission, a 3d movie, and it is genuinely a good time. Because its so cold inside you wear these silver poncho's with a hood and some gloves which make you look like eskimo's from the future haha
i promised mum i would get some pics from the ice bar but its run by Heineken and apparently they have copywrited an entire bar, so no photos were allowed but they took pictures themselves and then sold it back to you. at 9 euro a print it isnt cheap but i got 2 prints.
|(L2R) Justin, our Bartender, Me|
i bid everyone farewell in the hostel and got on a train bound for Eindhoven.
if you read the last few posts in here you woulda seen a picture of me with a crazy dutch guy, i was wearing my amsterdam beanie and reflective aviators.
im now crashing at his house for a few nights to catch up with him and some other mates that were on the same tour.
so far i have gotten lost in the house. Its massive and not even by dutch standards.
this house is bigger then quite a lot of the houses in a normal australian suburb.
we have also gone for a bike ride, and ended up 6kms away at the town of Borkel. Little did either of us know that borkel is having a town fete on haha.
so with over 20 euros in coins in my wallet i ended up having a go at the shooting range, and being the true aussie i am i didnt miss a shot. it pissed off the carnies to no end. i ended up walking away with a few prizes haha
Mark another dutchy off the same tour as Bastiaan came over for dinner and after a few hours of talk and food haha he left and myself and bastiaan ended up at the pub haha.
was a good way to end the last few days.
im sorry for the massive write, and also for the writing itself, im tired and as such wasnt able to get it all written exactly how i wanted but i had to get it all down before i started to forget.
its taken me about an hour and a half to write all this and as i look at the clock i realise that its now the morning of the 12th of june, its now my birthday, Im now officially 21 years old
i think im gonna sleep in haha.
i suppose thats it for the next few days, will put another update on shortly once i got more to write about.