Thursday, February 18, 2010

Eurotrip 2010: Amsterdam

Hie guys.. Sorry I haven't been updating about my Euro trip.. When I got back to Moscow, I fell sick, so I wasn't really feeling up to writing, and then class started.. and I got busy.. huhuhu~

So.. This is the update you've all been waiting for.. hehee..

First Stop - Amsterdam, the so-called "DisneyLand"... :P

25th January 2010

- There are 4 of us on this trip: me, bB, Naqqib and Azam..
- Left the hostel at 12:40 pm
- Arrived at Vnukovo Airport around 1:15 pm
- Ok, before I left my room, I updated my FB status with "Off to Europe, anything contact me via my Celcom number".. and I actually meant as in EMERGENCIES! I should've put there EMERGENCY ONLY. So, we arrived at the airport and decide to have a drink first at Shokoladnitsa.. Suddenly, my phone rang.. It was a Malaysian number.. I was wondering who it was.. I answered, "hello?” The person replied "ANNA, PERGI EUROPE KE?” So I said, "haah".. I asked, "sape ni?” He said "MAT".. WTF?!?!?! WHO THE HELL IS STUPID ENOUGH TO CALL ROAMING NUMBER?!?! JUST BECAUSE I SAID I'M USING CELCOM NUMBER, IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THE CHARGE WILL BE THE SAME AS THE LOCAL ONES, IT WILL BE CHARGED LIKE YOU'RE CALLING AN OVERSEA NUMBER!! NOT ONLY THAT, MY CREDIT WILL ALSO BE DEDUCTED!!! WTF?!?! So I quickly said, "Mat2.. My credit kene tolak, dah kat airport.. gotta go!" and I just hang up.. grrrrr~ geram giler rase kat budak tu!! ruin my whole excitement.. ;( Sampai sekarang pon rase geram lg!! Then he sms-ed asking me to buy a Chelsea jersey.. Of course I didn't buy it coz I wasn't going to UK.. Bongok! Ingat Europe kecik ke?? and even if I did go to UK.. I still won't buy it!
- Alright, off to the check in then.. and we found out our flight to Berlin is delayed.. for 3 HOURS!! All of us were like so damn scared if we couldn't reach in time for the bus to Amsterdam.. cuak gile! We started calling the EuroLine office in Germany and they said, the next bus to Amsterdam is 7:30 pm the next day.. Dang! What to do? What to do? There’s nothing we could do really.. tawakkal je la.. Kalau terlepas redha je.. This is one thing I hate about travelling.. Flight delays.. *sigh*
- Our flight took off at 7:00 pm instead of 4:00pm.. It's a 2 1/2hour flight.. And our bus leaves at 9.30 pm local time.. (Berlin and Moscow is 2 hours apart)..
- Arrived in Berlin Schönefeld Airport at 7.30 pm local time.. Immigration check-up went by swiftly.. We don't know how far and how long it'll take from the airport to the bus terminal.. None of us check in our luggage since all of us were carrying hand-luggage (that was time saving!).. So we withdrew some Euros and decided to take the taxi instead of the metro.. And it costs us €40.. [erkk!] So we divided it into 4 and paid €10 each..
- We arrived 20-25 mins later at the bus terminal.. fuuuhhhh~ how relieved we are to be arriving on time.. and we even got 1 hour to waste.. So we just hang around, bought doughnuts and sandwiches for our dinner.. And also some chips and mineral water for the trip.. :)
- The bus came at 9:15 pm.. We didn't get on the bus until 9:25 pm seeing that there were so many people queuing for the bus.. BIG MISTAKE!! If you're one of the last to get into the bus, you'll get the seat next to the door.. And it's so damn COLD!!! Since its winter time.. Seriously BIG2 MISTAKE! and we got the seats near to the door.. and Azam was sitting exactly next to the door..
- The bus didn't move until 10:00 pm.. They were waiting for some people (I think).. So the door didn't close for another 1/2 an hour and my butt already started to freeze.. Even though I was wearing a winter jacket, it didn't make a difference.. I didn't wear my leggings inside my jeans.. Didn’t thought it would be this cold.. Moscow felt warmer somehow.. Even though there was a 10 degree difference between Moscow and Berlin but it was snowing in Moscow and windy in Berlin.. Hope u get the idea.. ;) I was wishing I had brought my sweater along..
- 10:00 pm, the bus door closes.. Alhamdulillah! but it was actually still cold.. I don't understand, I don't feel the bus heating system.. :( but toes started to have the tingling effect (kebas) because I was wearing my boots while I was sleeping.. I decided to take off my boots, but my toes went numb instead due to the cold.. kat tempat kaki tu berangin gile! So terpaksa pakai boot balik.. and I just played with my toes for a while to get rid of the numbness.. ;P
- The ride took 10 hours.. and it stops for 10 minutes every 2 hours.. So it wasn't that bad.. I went down twice.. and their gas stations toilet - waaaaaaahhhh!! cantek dan bersih sangat!! and of course I didn't take any pics.. coz tgh mamai time tu.. huhuhu~ :P

Flight to Berlin - Late AC Arrival

We got a Merz taxi.. :P

Amsterdam 21:30 Gate30

26th January 2010

- Arrived at the Eurolines Amsterdam Terminal at 8:15am.. (Situated at Amstel Station)
- First thing! Toilet!! hehee.. then we hang around for awhile.. Thought of having breakfast at Burger King but the counter wasn't open yet.. so we just bought coffee and sandwiches at the stall next to Burger King but we ate inside Burger King.. Since they have chairs and tables.. :P
- We couldn't check in until 12pm.. So we just hang around a little while until 9 something (I think). ;p hehehee.. We took the metro to Centraal Station coz our hostel in somewhere in the Red Light District called Durty Nelly's.. [It’s an Irish pub]
- We found our hostel.. It wasn't that hard to find.. :) And we checked ourselves in.. but we couldn't go into our room until 12pm.. We did get free breakfast though.. (kalau tau, tak breakfast kat Amstel station tadi.. oh well..) :P
- So we had our breakfast (again. since its sort of free ;D), do some planning, used the internet, etc2.. By 12 we got into our room.. Our room consists of 2 double Decker beds and a bathroom (bB requested for a private bathroom).. and what a pleasure it was to have a bath! :D
- After everyone was ready, we headed out into sight seeing.. Just walk around the Red Light District, check out the Coffeeshops, just you know - basic sight seeing..
- We headed out to Damrak.. Coz that's where all the shops are.. H&M, BERSHKA, NEWYORKERS, etc.. and it's WINTER SALE! The guys did some shopping.. :)
- didn't do much on this day.. We hang around inside Bulldog Coffeeshop for few hours. Then we went back to our hostel and slept till around 7pm.. And we got hungry... :P so off to dinner!
- There are a lot of Halal restaurant in Amsterdam.. but the ones in Red Light District is so much better that the one in Damrak..
- After dinner, another tour around the Red Light District.. It was probably the only happening place in Amsterdam after 6pm.. The malls and shops close at 6:00pm!!! wth?? So basically, there was no chance of doing any shopping.. :P and yes, we went by the "girls by the window".. ;)
- And that is basically our first day in Amsterdam.. :)

My hotchoc and camera at Dampkring

nice view!

My first dinner in Amsterdam.. although the burger tasted better! [x amek gambar lak burger tu sbb lapar sgt, tros telan! :P]

Red Light District

27 January 2010

- We woke up around 8:30 am. I was the first to use the bathroom (ladies first.. :P)
- We got ready by 10 am and had our breakfast.. After breakfast, we headed out to the I Amsterdam center in front of Centraal station for the Free Tour.
- The tour was supposed to start at 11:00 am.. but the tour guide came at almost 11:30 am.. We were sort of afraid we had missed it.. but seeing that there were quite a number of people waiting as well, so we figured we couldn't have missed it..
- So anyway, Avril the tour guide (she's Irish btw.. studying law in Amsterdam) brought us to the Dam square where the tour is actually starts.. :P
- She started by telling the history of Amsterdam, how prostitutions and drugs came in, the economy, etc2.. Then start bringing us to all the landmarks in Amsterdam.. there's a break at a food court called La Place which I don't know where it is actually because my sense of direction is really bad and Amsterdam's streets looks pretty much the same anywhere you go.. but the food court is really really nice! and had so many varieties.. but I had a sandwich instead because me and bB were kinda saving.. ;D then we continue on our tour.. The tour ended at 3:00 pm..
- So then, we head back to Centraal station coz we wanted to go the Sex Museum.. It costs €3.. Wasn’t much excitement there.. It was kinda disgusting in a way ;P.. Then we bought tickets for the Torture Museum and the Amsterdam Dungeon.. ;D
- And off we go to the Torture Museum.. It cost €7.. and it was so much better than the Sex Museum.. Never knew that there was so many ways to torture people.. Although, why do all have to be naked? hrmmm... we plan to go to Amsterdam Dungeon the next day.. There’s an English bookstore near the Torture Museum and I got all excited! Since it’s so hard to get English books in Moscow.. Plus all the books in that bookstore costs €4 - €6!!! So I bought one book.. Wendy Holden - The School for Husbands.. and Naqqib bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Hardcover) for €5!! CRAZY!! I even saw Gray's Anatomy for €5!! but didn't buy it though.. Kinda regretting it now.. ;(
- Later on, we head back to Damrak.. We had Fries in a cone which tasted sooooooooo goooooood!! It was sort of raining-snowing while we were in Damrak.. That sucks.. Then we had our dinner. I had a burger and it tasted really really goooood~!! but I forgot what the restaurant is called.. but it's inside the Red Light District.. :)
- After dinner, back to the hostel.. Tiring day, slept off quite easily.. :)

Dam Square

This is actually a mall.. but I forgot what's the Plaza is called..

The smallest house in Amsterdam.. [due to the high land tax in Amsterdam, the people decided to build small and smaller houses to pay less tax. So this person is either cheap or poor. And the houses are all senget-benget due to the foundation. The city is build on top of piles of woods.]

Anne Frank's house. If you ever read her book.

With Avril.

Entrance to the Sex Museum

me and Naqqib at the Torture Museum

One of the torture equipment. errkk!

28th January 2010

- Woke up at 9:00 am.. Again, I was the first to bathe.. Everyone got ready by 10:30am.. Had breakfast, etc.. We have to check out at 12pm but our bus to Paris will be leaving at 10:00pm.. so we put our bags in the luggage store instead and go jalan2.. :)
- 11:00 am, we headed to the Amsterdam Dungeon and we arrived 20 mins later.. We bought the tickets yesterday, together with the Torture Museum tickets.. Amsterdam Dungeon cost us €17/each because we bought the non-peak hour (10am to 12pm and 3pm to 5pm) price.. Peak-hour costs €21/each (12pm to 3pm).. We were the first to arrive there! Maybe coz it was still early in the morning.. and it's only the 4 of us.. How creepy is that?!! I mmg dah start cuak dah bile masok lift tu.. I didn't let go of bB's hand.. but it was so much fun!! so scary!! Although I think it didn't scare the boys that much.. but everyone had fun!! hehee.. If u ever had the chance to go to Amsterdam, please don't miss out the Amsterdam Dungeon k! ;)
- After that, we decided to go and fine the I Amsterdam sign.. It’s near the Van Gogh Museum.. We took the tram to get there.. took some pics. There, we saw Hard Rock Cafe sign with arrow.. So we headed out to find the Hard Rock Cafe.. It's really near the I Amsterdam sign, about 10 minutes walk.. The guys bought some Hard Rock souvenirs, and we had a break there..
- After Hard Rock.. We head out to find the Windmill.. We took the tram again.. It’s the main transportation in Amsterdam besides the bicycles.. and took some pics.. :)
- I did some googling to find cheap souvenirs in Amsterdam, and it says Waterlooplein.. so me, Naqqib and Azam head out there since bB wants to go to the coin shop instead.. The place was actually a flea market.. wasn't much choice unfortunately.. Lots of vintage clothes though.. The t-shirts there are cheaper than Damrak but it's hard to find a size.. and there was a Halal stall.. so we had a break and ate lunch there.. It's better to find souvenirs in Damrak.. There are some cheap souvenir shops there too with better choices (kalau rajin cari la).. ;)
- After some shopping, we head back to Damrak.. and met up with bB.. and we did more souvenir shopping..
- Later we went and get our bags, hang around for awhile in a coffeeshop nearby.. and off the Euroline Terminal in Amstel Station..
- We were determined not to make the same mistake.. As soon as the bus came, we were the first to get in.. heheee.. ;)
- And that's it.. Our 3 days 2 nights trip in Amsterdam..

The Amsterdam Dungeon

It says there, 'This is your last chance to go to the toilet'

and this is how the toilet look like.. how la wanna go?? [i'd rather hold it then go down there]

Van Gogh Museum

I amsterdam sign

the menu on one of the Indonesian Restaurant in Amsterdam.. GADO-GADO anyone??

Hard Rock Cafe


And oh! I hope it's not too late to wish HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!

Next Stop: Paris, the City of Love

1 comment:

Jonathan Mack said...

Nice post!
By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Red Light District, you should check out The Amsterdam Red Light Guide