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Amsterdam and the Netherlands in general...


Mihail
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Were great! I just got back from there, having been on a trip to there with my family, and it was abso-fucking-lutely AWESOME! I'll start off with the bad points, though. :P

*Cyclists - oh how annoying many of them can be. I'm sorry, sir, that I'm standing on the bike path, but I'm not used to such a bike-friendly country, no need to get angry over it! I've come to learn that a "Hallo!" from a cyclist is not, as it may seem, a friendly greeting from a native to a foreigner, but rather a expression of contempt for blocking the cyclist's way. It translates roughly to this:

"Get out of the way, you stupid ignorant *American/Brit/German/Russian/Aussie/Latvian*!"

Most were not like this, needless to say, but there are those few.  ;) I had a pretty hard time coping with all of the bike trails in Amsterdam/Delft/the Hague/Haarlem, since I wasn't used to so many of them.

*Weather - the Netherlands has very spontaneous weather. It had been sunny for a while, then the day after we arrived it started raining. :P Not very bad, though, and when it did get bad enough to not be able to walk around, we sat down in some nice cafe and had a drink. By the way, the price for a cup of coffee is outrageous. 7 Euro?! No way, man.

*Maneuvering with a car - I don't want to get into this too deep since it brings up horrors of trying to navigate the tiny cramped streets of Amsterdam and other cities. All I want to know is WHY DO THEY MAKE THE STREETS LOOK SO BIG ON THE MAPS?! :D

*Hotel costs - Or in this case, hostel costs. We stayed in a hostel. In Haarlem. And it still costs us 120 Euro for every night. I shudder to think how much hotels cost in Amsterdam!

Now the good:

Everyone speaks near-perfect English, and are SO helpful! That was really great; the people of the Netherlands are generally very nice. Many things are cheaper than in Latvia, like books and some clothes. I got a book with 600 pages for 13 Euro. In Latvia it would have cost 20 Lats, easily.(1 Euro = 0.70 Lats) I also got a great sweater that went for 20 Euro, about 14 Lats. In Latvia most normal shirts cost 14 Lats and sweaters easily go for 20 or more. There are tons more good things that I can't remember right now, so let us move away from this topic. In its stead, I'll give you a rough travel plan.

We flew into Brussels on Monday, rented a car, and drove to our hostel in Haarlem. From there we explored Haarlem, after which we went to Amsterdam. Walked around, saw the coffeeshops and the Red Light District, and had pretty much great fun.

Day Two. Museums! The Van Gogh Museum, the part of the Rijksmuseum that was open. You really have to see Van Gogh's and Rembrandt's pieces in real life to appreciate them. You're standing there with a gaggle of other tourists, looking at his piece "The Room" or "the Potato Eaters", and it strikes you like a hammer to the heart - this painting was painted a hundred years ago by a dead man! Or 400 years ago, whichever you like.

Day 3. The Hague! Delft! The beach! That was really fun. Especially seeing Rembrandt's self-portrait and Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring"(whitch, BTW, is a real masterpiece!) in the Muishuis in Hague. Then we went to Delft and took a look at Vermeer's house, or where it was reckoned it was, and walkde around and stopped by a nice little cafe.

Day 4. AMSTERDAM! Nothing but Amsterdam the whole day. The Jordaan, the Bloemenmarkt, shopping and the multitude of Wok to Walk Chinese cafes that serve delicious noodles.  It's a shame I didn't meet Timenn! ;) And the best thing about Amsterdam is not the fact that weed is legal and it has all of those coffeeshops and the RLD, but the atmosfeer[/n](As the Dutch say it) that the whole thing makes. An atmosphere of friendliness and openness. Everyone was so cheery and nice. We didn't see ANY skinheads or shifty-looking types there the whole time, except for drug dealers, but they weren't shifty per se either, but open and sort of laid back. I really wanted to get into a coffeeshop, but my plan didn't succeed.  :(

Still, it was GREAT! I've decided that as soon as I either turn 18 or finish my schooling, I'm going to go live and work in the Netherlands, preferrably Amsterdam.

P.S.: The canal tours are great!

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If you have been to Amsterdam and The Hague you have seen the worst cities to drive in. :)

And you didn't just missed Timenn. Half the forum lives in The Netherlands :P You just missed me if you went last week in The Hague.

Nice to hear you enjoyed The Netherlands though. Although you seem to have missed Rotterdam ;)

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I love The Netherlands because they speak one of the few languages I can somewhat understand untrained. ;D And it sounds so fun to speak.

I'm in The Netherlands several times every year, though only in Schiphol for transfers.  :P

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Nice that you had such a good time in the Netherlands. I agree that cyclists can be quite rough, but I admit I'm one of them.

I probably should have told you that driving a car in the centre of Amsterdam is one of the worst things you can do, and that the catering industry is ridiciously expensive. :P

*gryphon, shouldn't you be going back to Rotjeknor?

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@dunenewt: Maastricht is near my place...

@clemenza: Have you also bought some toys in that "red-light-destrict"???

The streets are so big on the map because The Netherlands is just that small...

For the expensive coffee.. Are you sure you was not at some coffeshop?? because there they make "special coffee"

The "Hallo" thing is just where the accent is like Hallo! (like the english Hello!) is just friendly but if its like

Hallooooww....... its more like "You mtfkng ba**rd get out of my way ..."

And you mean the Canal tours.... (see attachment..(gryphon you know that one... :P))

post-4133-12833239393543_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

on seeing the title of this topic I was afraid it was going te be another slandering of Holland like it was when i last left

nice to see things have changed..

Holland is great, go east man the coutry is much more relaxed there (Zwolle!!!!)

greetz it is nice to be back

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  • 2 weeks later...

on seeing the title of this topic I was afraid it was going te be another slandering of Holland like it was when i last left

nice to see things have changed..

Holland is great, go east man the coutry is much more relaxed there (Zwolle!)

greetz it is nice to be back

Wahhh, I live there :O

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