Saturday, October 20, 2012

Amsterdam 2012

The first time I heard about the Netherlands was during primary school?  The country was known as Holland, or "Belanda" in Malay.  I first learnt about the country not in Geography, but History.  The Dutch once ruled over some territories in the Malay Archipelago  in the 17th century, one being Malacca,  a state in present-day Malaysia.  Further reading from the Encyclopaedia Britannica (the wikipedia of the 20th century :)), introduced me to the country which was famous for its canals, windmills and clogs.  Learning about the Netherlands in Geography a few years later, I remembered being intrigue with the fact that a considerable part of the country was below sea level.  Just can't imagine how the land would look like...

Well, as fate would have it, I did reach the Netherlands many moons ago.  Remembering what I learnt in Geography class, I was scrutinizing the lands along the highways for any 'abnormalities'... hahaha!  Manalah nak nampak dengan mata kasar, kan??  Tanah di bawah aras laut... :P

After the stopovers in Den Haag and Lisse, we proceeded to Amsterdam.  I don't remember whether it was the satnav or the forever map @IPad which eventually led us to our hotel, but Alhamdulillah we safely reached our destination without much hassle.

Our budget accommodation

Our hotel, T.Inn Hotel, in Spuistraat, was right smack in the middle of the city.  I knew that the red light district was a few minutes walk away but I did not know that business had now spread beyond that area...  practically up to the hotel's doorstep and backyard... Ayoyo! 18 SX!! :P.   Walking out of the hotel and into the street, you practically have to keep a 'straight face'!  That aside, halal food was aplenty on this stretch, among them, a kebab take-away and an Indonesian eatery.  Depan pulak orang 'berniaga'.  

Dalam halal...

... ada haram :P

Our hotel was within walking distance to Dam Square, where the Royal Palace, the New Church, Madame Tussaud Wax Museum and the National Monument were situated.

the neo-classical Royal Palace

15th Century Gothic Niuewe Kerk

The National Monument

Madame Tussaud's Amsterdam

Giant clog in Dam Square

to be continued...

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