Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Soppy Hmv for Hubby

My laptop could not have chosen a better time to go KAPUT!  With all the writing to be done... GRRRRRR!

 Alhamdulillah, I married a techie - THE BEST, one could ever ask for (in a techie and a hubby :)).  Yeah, who would sacrifice a week's sleep (thanks to the 7-hour time-zone difference), patiently guiding an impatient and banyak songeh 'client'-cum-wifey, to trouble-shoot online??? :P

Thanks Jeej.

Thank you for your time, patience, money and LOVE.  God knows how much you have sacrificed for me all these years, and not hope for anything in return. I'll try my best to finish this PhD before I get permanent HEART damage... coz I miss all of you  terribly! :(

So, for your birthday, I've made this very soppy hmv for you... :)

Ngeee.... jangan malu marah eh! :)  Love you!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Amsterdam 2012: 'Foot' Notes

As I said countless time, the best way to explore a place is by walking.  Oh...er... my well-travelled half told me that, actually, but I must say that he was right.  Yeah, it's tiring but at the end of the day, you will be happy with the experience, have loads of nice photos and will definitely sleep soundly.  Bom meletup pun tak dengar, penat sangat...huhuhu!.  

Anyway, to explore a city on foot, you have to stay in the centre itself.  The downside is, room rates can be a bit pricey compared to accommodation out of town.  However, you can ronda-ronda from dawn till dawn the next day (kalau larat la :)).  If you stay at the outskirts, yes, accommodation is cheaper but you will have to travel by bus, tram or train into the city.  You would have to pay a bit for your journey to and fro, not to mention the time spent on the road.  The problem is not so much with the fee (tambang), really.  Ada duit semua boleh jadi, kan??.  Rather, public transport is not available 24 hours.  So you will have to plan your journey so as not to miss the last bus/train that goes to your lodging outside the city.  Anyway, it's your money; you decide what's best for you and your family :).

Continuing where I left off, in Amsterdam, we went from place to place via boat and walking.  The canal cruise was like killing two birds with one stone - we got to experience the boat ride and it got us from one place to another...

As we took the Museum Line, our first stop was at Rijksmuseum.  However, we did not visit the place because it was under renovation.  After 10 years (mak ai!!) of building work, renovation and restoration, the museum will be open to public again on the 13th of April 2013.  Boleh pegi lagi ni... Ngeh!Ngeh!Ngeh!

Tak taulah mana satu depan, mana satu belakang muzium.  Yang pasti, masa tu under renovation :(.  So, we just took pictures and rested for a while at Museumplein which was at the back (or front?) of the museum.

The iconic I amsterdam.  Mesti ambik gambar kat sini! :)

The I amsterdam was the main attraction at Museumplein.  It was the first, of three.  The second one was erected at Amsterdam Schipol Airport in July 2012.  The third one changes location around the city, making appearances at shows, festivals and major events.  I know my sister and her friends had their I amsterdam photo taken at NEMO 2 years ago.

There's loads of people here, btw. I wonder how some of my friends managed to take their I amsterdam photos, privately.  Datang subuh-subuh kot!  During our visit, there was even an 'invasion' of British school children...hehehe!  Saksikan... :P

Anak sapa la ni... :P

Our I amsterdam!! :)

From Museumplein, we walked to the Van Gogh Museum which was just nearby. There was a long queue to get into the museum.  Luckily we had bought tickets, online :).  Memang peminat Van Gogh, gitu...huhuhu!  Kagum, because he was a self-taught artist who only started painting at the age of 27!  Whoever said that you need talent to be an artist!  Well, maybe he HAD talent which he wasn't aware of, earlier on :).  Among the permanent collections here were Van Gogh's Self-portraits, The Bedroom, Irises, Almond Blossoms and and of course, Sunflowers :).  As usual, no photos allowed in the museum.  So we had to content ourselves with photos outside the museum.

Some fancy pebble work... @ the new entrance of Van Gogh Museum
designed by Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates

During our visit, Van Gogh's work were being exhibited at the Hermitage Amsterdam (from 29 September 2012 - 25 April 2013), as the museum was undergoing renovation.  Yeah, one thing about Europe:  there is bound to be restoration work everywhere you go.  If you're lucky, artefacts will be moved to another place/museum.  I remembered seeing Rembrandt's "Night Watch"  and Vermeer's "The Milkmaid" (which were permanent collections in the then-closed Rijksmuseum) either in Amsterdam or Paris, but not too sure whether they were originals.  But then again, do museum's really show  originals??  Maybe I watched too many spy movies... :P

From Van Gogh, we hopped on the boat again, but I'm not going into that, as I've blogged about it.  I'll just write about the places that we explored on foot.  Well, our quest for a place to pray led us to Fatih Camii Moskee in Rozengracht, Jordan, Amsterdam.  It's a Turkish community mosque named after an Ottoman Sultan.  What's unique about this place was that it used to be a church.

Around the area you can find many halal restaurants.  Next to the mosque was a Turkish pattiserie which sold turkish delight and cookies.

From Rozengracht, we walked until we reached Prinsengracht Canal.  There were many places of interest there such as Westerkerk, Anne Frank House, a Delftware shop, not to mention the canal itself.

Canal, bicycles and the beautiful buildings... uniquely Amsterdam :)

Clockwise:  Cryuff, grafitti, tingkap belanda and dutch politeness

We strolled along Prinsengracht, took photos along the way and discovered a thing or two about the place, like... have you ever wondered why the buildings have those giant hooks at the top??

It turns out that it is used for hauling furniture into the building.  I guess the buildings are similar to those in England - narrow stairs, and equally narrow doors :).  But, here's the interesting part:  according to our travel companion Amir, in the olden days it was used by women to haul up their drunken husbands into the building... thus the origin of the word 'hangover'.  Hmm... Iyolah tu Mir?? :P

Anyway, it was nice walking by the canal and tau-tau, we had reached our hotel in Spuistraat.

Up next:  Redlight District