Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Europe Here I Come - Part 6a

Amsterdam, Holland.
There are too many pictures for this post so I have to break them into two parts, Part 6a and 6b.

Beside the wooden shoes or clogs, Holland is symbolized by the windmill. I will always remember Holland for Xaviera Hollander the author of The Happy Hooker who wrote a book mostly about her profession as a prostitute as she was from Holland.

The people of Holland prefer to call their country as The Netherland but of course it would be easier for us to refer to this country as Holland. If you recall it, most of Holland is below sea level meaning any breach of their dikes or any rise in the sea level will render most of Holland to be underwater. With the global warming up and ice at the poles melting very fast, that catastrophe remains a possibility sometimes in the future.
We left Paris in the early morning heading for Amsterdam the capital of Holland.

Along the way I saw this signboard informing motorists of the interesting things that can be sighted in the area, such as wild deers, the wood and I cant comprehend the other symbol, I asked Eddy the driver on the possibility of sighting a wild deer. Immediately he sighted one and pointed it out to me. If it was in Malaysia, that deer would have been dead meat ready for cooking. But not in Europe where protected wild animals are really protected not only by the government but also by the people.

We reached the toll and I saw Eddy paid the toll. It amounted to something like Euros80. Quite a big amount but then this is the only toll so far. Malaysians will be able to boast that we have the highest number of tolled roads per city in the world.
This is also a windmill or the wind turbine. This kind of windmill generates electricity which is fed to the national grid.

At a rest area we found this colorful flowers. Mekyam said they were the azaleas.
A building with Brick In The Wall on its wall reminds me of a blog by the name of Another Brick In The Wall which is a social political blog. Read it if you like sopo blogs.
It was a holiday in Europe and people were moving about to holiday somewhere. Since Holland have many water bodies such as lakes and even the sea, jet skis are the in thing for those who have them. Others brought their mobile homes and bicycles are always seen hanging somewhere.

When we stopped for lunch, we saw this father and daughter doing the same. She was having a banana while our group (below) ate whatever we brought along.

This bridge reminds me of either the Penang Bridge or those new bridges in Putra Jaya.
Amsterdam is straight ahead.
before we reach our hotel, we sighted a windmill and that really excites me.
This is our hotel Dutch Design Hotel De Artemis, Amsterdam.
Lounging around before getting the keys to our room.
Puan Zainida of Poto Travel distributing the keys to our rooms.

We were supposed to have a free time but since our hotel was located outside the city area, some of us decided to pool resources and collect enough money to convince Eddy to take us to town in his bus and later take us home. Thanks to Tuan Haji Mustapha for taking the initiative. It was indeed a very wise decision. A win-win situation for Eddy and us. Me and my wife was the last to be informed of the arrangement and can you imagine how fast it took us to dress up since everybody else were already waiting in the bus?

We sighted thousands of bicycles being parked here. I tell you this was just a section of them. It seemed that this was near the central station and rail commuters will park their bikes here before taking the train. Come another working day they will pick their bikes and go to their respective offices.

A sinking ship?

Its the Nemo where somebody had this idea of creating a science center based on a sinking ship. I don't really know much of what there was in this Science Center. From afar we could see people sun bathing on the deck of the 'ship'.

A cathedral I presume.
Shopping areas. Souvenir hunters will be contented to be here.
A tourist bus seems to be a normal sight in Europe.
Fridge magnets anyone?
These policemen obliged when I asked for a photograph with them.
Tourist taxi. A ride costs Euro 10 for half an hour using leg power.
This pretty lass pedal one of the city taxis. Here she is waiting for customers who have booked her taxi. She had been to KL! Can't recall her name though.Two buskers doing their bit.

The inner lanes. Somewhere behind this lane is the Red Light District. A write up by a VTer about the redlight area. The area may be reformed into a shopping area by 2015 so if you want to see it as it is, better visit Amsterdam now. The area is also famous for it's coffeeshop where you can buy and smoke cannabis freely. Is this the Parliament House? A reader commented below that it is the Central Station in Amsterdam. Now we know why the many bicycles were parked around the area.

Our official tour of Amsterdam started the next day with a visit to a diamond cutting factory.
Free drinks were provided at a place outside the factory so that guests can wait for their guide to take them for a tour of the factory.
Our guide is a handsome yaoung man by the name of Teddy. Teddy is an Indonesian and has been with the factory for 12 yers.
A craftsman at work

Ain't that a beauty?

Another gen in gold. Don't get carried away as it wasn't photographed from the chest of a lady.
Some rings when the flash didn't fire.

As seen under the flash. How beautiful the ring looks on the finger of a young lady.
In the middle of the sales pitch, Teddy was interrupted by the arrival of the factory's management staff. They have come to give Teddy a bouquet of flowers for being his twelfth year with the company. Teddy must be a successful salesman.

A world of contrast awaited us upon exiting the factory

A Honda Civic Hybrid where electricity is partly used to drive this 1300 cc Honda Civic. The non hybrid uses the 1800 cc engine which only petrol driven.
The old and trusted Morris Minor which should be about 40 years old now.

The next part of our tour is the canal tours.
This is where we take off.
Most of the passengers were from our group except for a few others.
Just like Paris, there were boat houses lined up on the river banks with a backdrop of beautiful buildings.
Three roses and a thorn waiting for their boat on a bank.
I wonder if DHL makes deliveries by boats too in Amsterdam. 'Yes they did' said CvG a reader of this blog. He mentioned that there are bicycles on this boat which were used by the staff to deliver the consigments to their customers. What a great way to deliver parcels. The boat itself is a great advertisement.
An apartment for sale. This is a posh area of Amsterdam so if your pocket is deep enough, you may make inquiries. A 95 sq meters of apartments costs something like Euro 460,000 which translates to over RM2.27 million. (Thanks to GvG for the info)
This can't be a boat house. Effort are being made to curb the construction of such houses as they are not really a boat house.
Faces of Amsterdam.

A dame with large ear rings
Two elderly ladies
Netherlands welcome people from countries they have once colonied such as the Indonesians or Surinams.
The serenity of a canal devoid of houseboats and and other moving conveyance.
There is much more to see of Holland and it will appear in Part 6b.


Azmy Omar said...


Wow.How I wish I could travel like you.

Holland.. yaep, a country mostly below sea-level. and Amsterdam is one of the busiest port in the world.

Anything special there? Tulips they say, are very popular over there. Any chance of planting them here? You are an agriculturist. Do something!

Well nice piece of information. Keep it up!

Good work.

Pak Zawi said...

Tuan Haji Azmi,
Too many special things about Amsterdam. I wanted to see the Redlight District but there wasnt time and I was scared to enter the area on my own.
Tulips is being grown on Maxwell Hill in Perak. Even then the bulbs had to be germinated in Holland. It is quite a chore.

uncleawang said...

You make a fantastic shots:)
Thanks for the tour.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

aiseh, no stop-over at the infamous museum? hehehehehe...

but thanks anyway pak Z. your postings have been very informative. i thoroughly enjoyed the pictures, especially the river canal.

edelweiss said...

Pak Zawi..

alamak...i rasa mcm i was transported back to 1997...went there for a short break...memang cantik. Sempat ke Zaan Schaan tengok windmill, boat ride & pusing-2 amsterdam dan sempat jugak ke red lite district hehehhehhe.

yang tak dapat nak lupa i nyaris dilanggar tram!!!!!!!!

sempat lagi beli klompen,wooden tulips, windmill miniature etc

Pak Zawi said...

OK ke shots macam tu? Saya sendiri lum puas hati bab banyak hentam melalui cermin bas je.

Pak Zawi said...

Tak ada peminat nak pergi sex museum la. kita pergi berdua nanti ya?

Pak Zawi said...

edelweiss,More to come in part 6b especcially the windmill, clog making and cheese making.
Nak kena langgar tram? Alamak bahaya tu.
Kami tak banyak membeli bab takut excess baggage. nanti u baca cerita di Heathrow Airport tau la kenapa.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Salam Abang Zawi!

Wind power generators work in low-lying, flat countries like Holland but not in hilly countries like Malaysia that doesn't have a steady supply of wind, except in the coastal areas.

I know it is a beautiful, neat, orderly little country that is proud of its native flora and fauna. My housemate Jake is proud to be half Dutch (the other half Indian) and to speak the language relatively well. I hope when he goes to visit his relatives there one day, I can tag along!

You look good in the beret! Very artsy!


Pak Zawi said...

Thanks for the info about wind generators. We could do with solar panels because we have more of the sun than the wind.
I admire their willingness to preserve their fauna. From what i heard they get paid when they allow the fauna to thrive on their property. That is good incentive.
If you have the opportunity to tag along with Jake then do it. It will save you a lot of Euros especially for accommodation.

GvG said...

A coule of comments on the photos.

That brown sign with the deer isn't a warning sign. It indicates an interesting site (as do all of the numerous -similar- brown signs in France), in this case a forest. The sign for crossing deer (actually it is a sign from crossing wild animals, although it has the picture of a deer) looks somewhat different. (http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panneau_A15b_signalant_le_passage_d%E2%80%99animaux_sauvages_(France))

The DHL boat has bicycles that are used to deliver packages. In the centre of amsterdam it is the fastest way. They've been doing it since 1997.

Your Parliament House is in fact Amsterdam Central Station (trainstation). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam_Centraal_railway_station)
The Seat of Government is in the Hague. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binnenhof)

GvG said...

Oh yeah...

That 95 m2 appartment is 460 000 Euros (MYR 2 271 165)

Pak Zawi said...

Your comment and correction is extremely appreciated. I will amend the caption to reflect the right info.
Oh my god, that expensive huh? For that amount we will get not just a 95 metre sq apartment but a villa in Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

Pak Zawi said...

I hope you will come back and make comments again when I post Part 6b of Amsterdam.

Akmal said...

man, i thought i was there with you! i should have sneak into your baggage, i knew it! :D
please get the 6b come fast, alright? as the saying goes, waiting is a torture hehehe...

Pak Zawi said...

After your graduation and upon becoming a doctor, make sure you do your specialization in Europe. That way you can tour Europe to your hearts content. if you want to go early you organize a trip to Europe and the organizer usually get to travel almost free. Knowing your ability to organize things, I know you can do it.
Don't worry 6b will be coming soon. Just give me a bit of time.

mamasita said...

Pak Zawi..
beautiful snapshots as always..
I wish I was in Holland..naklah duduk kat sana puas2 baru balik ke Malaysia..beautiful place.

mamasita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mekyam said...

wonderful, pokwi! again great set of pictures with your vintage easy travelogue which make us feel like we're there with you. :D

i think the third symbol in the brown road sign indicating things of interest to expect ahead is that of acorn & oak. so it's probably saying one is approaching a wooded area [always special in much-urbanized western europe] with deers and oaks.

those flowers look like pink and purple azaleas.

€10/30 mins for those trike-taxis, or pedicabs as they're called here, sounds quite reasonable. probably because amsterdam is flat and not so back-breaking for the drivers. over here, the rate is abt $1/min [maybe it's gone up to $1.50/min now] + 15%-20% tip. drivers here are young ppl of both sexes too, usually students or actors between gigs.

looking forward to part 6b! :D

p.s. u look really stylish in the beret. :D

rauhunt said...

Pak Awi,

How impressive for such a short trip but you manage to make a precise coverage.

You didnt see the Redlight because you've got no time, did you? I presumed it was due to no permission from your other half ..hehe

Pak Zawi said...

Kita pergi sama sama. Datin sewa apartment sana untuk sebulan dan kami sewa bilik ngan datin. kita dok sana sebulan. Anytime tahun 2011. Masa tu Fatthiyah dah pencen jadi boleh pergi bila masa je. Amacam?

Pak Zawi said...

It's the only way i know how to tell a story, a BBB (Blow By Blow as you described it) in simple language due to my limited vocab.
Yes i wanted to interpret it as oak but just wouldn't dare to say it. Unfortunately GvG didn't offer any interpretation on that score.
I would have tried the city taxi if we had the time as the lady pedaller was not only pretty but speaks fluent English. Anyway she was booked up and was waiting for her passenger.
Now for anything to cost Euro 10 is normal. it seems to be the price of a single simple meal. A kebeb could cost more.
It wasn't a beret, it's the Italian cap. Though somebody in the shop said I looked cooler in the beret, I chose the italian cap because I already have 2 berets at home.
Part 6b will be coming out soon.

Pak Zawi said...

You are spot on. Another bachelor member of the group who was there with his mum did go around the redlight area on his own. He must have enjoyed himself immensely though he may have not tried it hehehehe. I bet bachelors like you will never miss the chance.
Any contact from Tomas Hedgens?

xplorer said...

i love amsterdam , one of my favourite places to visit in europe.Seeing your picture reminded me of my trip last year.you should visit the rijkmuseum which is accesible via the hop on hop off canal cruise.i'm not a fan of painting but after seeing REMBRANDT masterpiece i suddenly drawn into it

Pak Zawi said...

Did you blog about Amsterdam? Would be nice to see your take on the city.
Unfortunately we did not do any of the museum. I was in a package and the package was drawn up based on the preferences of the previous group. I guess not many among us love to visit museums as most would love to shop more than do anything else.

GvG said...

I didn't comment on the oak/acorn symbol, because it looks self-explanatory. And that's also the idea. It should be easy to see what it means in a glimpse, so you know what you can see in the region.

Besides, there are no "standards" for these signs, so whoever places them (probably the local governemnt) can put whatever they want on them.

Pak Zawi said...

Thanks for the confirmation. To Asians like me who have never seen the oak tree, we may not be able to relate. Mekyam is a Malaysian who resides in New York and she knows more than most of us who have never been away from home.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Pak Zawi,
I am sorry about the incident of your being arrested. I was only joking, and then they made you run some more. Belgium can be cruel.

You asked for help with that picture of the big building. Well, as you can see from the sign on the right, it's a very big Chinese restaurant.

Pak Zawi said...

I know you were just joking. I like that kind of banter, it was coincidental that the next post was about my arrest. Belgium wasn't cruel and the officer Van hallen treated me well with the utmost friendliness. He was just doing his duty.
Thanks for the identification of the building.
By the way where are you from? You seems to be friendly enough to be accorded the status of a friend. Why not be my friend? Email me at mohdzawi@gmail.com. Who knows we may cross each others path one fine day.