European Trip, Part 3, AMSTERDAM, GERMANY

Hi ! It’s me , Ren. Are you bored yet ?  Please don’t get bored, I beg you, coz there are more to come !  ( After all, it was a 27 – day tour ! )

One thing, I used up 3 memory cards and  got a few shots from my cell phone, which I didn’t get to use much, by the way.  I also brought some trusty disposable cameras, just in case.  In fact, I dropped my camera one time, and I thought it was a goner. Luckily, I could still use it, thank goodness.

So, anyway, I said i’d post a few more photos of Amsterdam.

.Central Station area.

.More of the Red Light District. Normally, there are a lot of people on the street, but that was taken at 11 PM. In fact, we almost missed the last bus at 12 midnight.

.A beautiful structure along Amsterdam’s canals.

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.Eh. I can’t resist showing these rocks.  Well, ladies, there’s the price.  1 Euro – $ 1.28. The rate varies everyday and Gassan is the name of the diamond center. Do you see that 35, 705 Euro ring ? (  ~ $ 47,000 ) To be honest  even if I had that much money to throw away, I wouldn’t buy that. These rocks are earth-made…… can be man-made, too, given the right temperature. I’d opt for gold.  I mean, gold originated  from nova – explosion. The rare element travelled  thru the wide expanse of the universe and settled on this planet.  Talk about rare.  Just the same, I ‘d like to have the pair of earrings shown above, please. And the ring, too.    ” Give me a ring… and I don’t mean  the  phone …. the one from Tifanny’s. ”   *hug*                ( >*v* > )

Diamond earrings  and a ring,  dream on, Ren ! I couldn’t even afford to buy the combo meal for  5,50 E.   I got just the frites  without the Coke for 3, 85 E .  I needed all the Euro I could save for other things.  Oh, and guess what, see the fries on the menu board? It’s supposed to come with sauce. . But we were given frites without it , and I was like,  eh,  ? Well,  I had to pay .65 E extra.   >.<

.Do you know how pitiful we were ? I had to share the fries with my cousin. That was our lunch.

.I can’t  say  “finis ” to Amsterdam without showing you a typical Dutch windmill.

.I don’t know if I heard it right, but the tour guide said that could be  the last of the windmill that is still in use.  She could be right because the photo below  shows  the typical landscape  we now see all over Europe.

Not a thing of beauty but still  a good thing. People have to harness wind power,  a resource  that is inexhaustible and free.

Above is what we saw  travelling from Amsterdam to Germany. These little pockets of villages that dot the landscape  are so postcard pretty. The real thing is  more beautiful than the photo. It really is stunning.

I just realized I have very few pics of  Germany.   Well, maybe because we stayed there for just one day. We did stay there overnight, though,  in the  city called Bruehl. It is about a few kilometres from Cologne and is also located within so-called Rhineland.   We didn’t see much of the town, actually, though from there, we took  the ” OPTIONAL ” Rhine River cruise, where we saw the famous Lorelei rock.  So, okay, here’s something about OPTIONAL tours……… These are tours that  are  not included in the package.  We had to pay  extra to join one.  28 Euro each for this cruise. . So, future travellers, caveat emptor . Always check out the details….. and bring plenty of cash and at least 3 credit cards.  American Express is the best, but some small stores do not accept AE……. Mastercard is alright, it’s accepted everywhere , but, this credit card company will automatically shut off your card use when it suspects there are unusual transactions from far-away lands.  So use the 3rd card , or pay cash.

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.After the Rhine River cruise was Heildelberg, Germany. It is famous for its university, the University of  Heidelberg.  The city is beautiful. What else can I say? It’s like a fairy tale land.  Oh, wait, something else….. I googled Heidelberg  and was surprised that its No. 1 notable inhabitant is Jose Rizal, who happens to be the Philippines’ National Hero.  He lived there for a long time, and that was where he wrote his books, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, and with the help of his German friends, had them published and printed, and smuggled into the Philippines in the 1800s.  Noli Me Tangere ( Touch Me Not ) is actually a tragic love story, but it not only tells the story of the 2 lovers…. it  depicts more  the terrible  social conditions  of the Filipinos under Spain.  This book brought down almost 400 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines.  There are several parks and streets named after him and there’s a  statue of Jose Rizal in  a Heidelberg park  and the house where he lived has been preserved.

As always, I digress.

.That’s the City Hall.  I went in there to use the toilet, ha ha ha. ( Marked my territory )

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.We had a quick lunch of  pastries and sandwich  and a Coke.  I never really had a decent lunch since the start of the tour ( except in London , our ” free” time ).  There just wasn’t enough time to go to a restaurant and  have a decent meal.  That’s the disadvantage of going on a group tour. Everything is regimented .  We stop at a place to see the sights, and we’re given just 3 hours to do that. We don’t want to waste our time seated waiting for food. We want to see as much  within  the time alloted.  So, we buy something, and go , walking and  eating at the same time.

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.So, that’s it for Germany.

My father said he didn’t get to see these places when he was in Germany. Well, it’s because he didn’t join a tour, and confined himself to cities.  Munich , he said, is very, very modern.  Yes, it would be nice to see that too, of course, but I would prefer to see  places that are completely different from any other modern city in the world. That said, there’s one thing I noticed about  the beauty of Europe…… it’s man- made……… the architectural designs of buildings and churches took my breath away .  Europe is, indeed,  stunningly beautiful.

Alright, this is all for now. Next is Switzerland.

Good day and PEACE.

43 responses to this post.

  1. I know too well what you mean about having lunch on the go. When you go to tours like this one, you eat a heavy breakfast in the day, light lunch in the afternoon, and then maybe a heavy dinner in the evening. Though, it seems to be reversed for Europeans I believe? The first time me and my family went to Europe, we made the mistake of sitting down and waiting to be served. I remember how stressed my mom was about not being able to make it back to the bus on time because the Europeans aren’t as rushed when it comes to eating a sit down meal. They relax and talk for hours. It’s expected that you would take your time before finally asking for the bill!

    As for the credit card thing, it’s a good idea to call the credit card company and bank ahead of time when you go abroad these days. That way, the credit card companies and banks know you are going to be overseas, and if they see charges from outside the U.S. then they won’t flag it down as “suspicious activity.” My mom learned her lesson the hard way when she tried to use her ATM card in the Philippines. After a while, the bank flagged it down as unauthorized charges. Good thing she still had a good amount of cash with her anyway.

    Reply

    • Oh, yeah, simpleek. I guess Mom didn’t know about informing the credit card company. American Express doesn’t do that, though. It’s supposedly the best card for international use.

      Ha ha ha… do I know about the heavy breakfast ! !

      Reply

  2. you had little to eat there, dang! the views had better be worth your time, hehe 😉 hello, Renx…

    Reply

  3. I’m so very with you on rather seeing older unusual places than a modern city. I can see a modern city anytime. Seeing something unique like the places you went to probably felt like you were traveling to another dimension in the past.

    Reply

    • Mooselicker, you are so right. there are places like Toledo, Spain that have not changed since medieval times. Toledo , for example, has been listed a Living World Heritage too…. living meaning people reside in those old houses, but they’re not supposed to change anything. Renovation is partly shouldered by UNESCO.

      Reply

  4. Only one day in Germany? Too bad. The German people have innovated a lot of wonderful products, but I’d have to put myself at the top of the list.

    Glad you got to take Rhine cruise. I did that once and really loved it.

    Some thoughts on Amsterdam. You didn’t mention the coffee shops. Then I won’t either.
    I was in Amsterdam with my girlfriend, who had lived there for a year. She took me to the Red Light district (which I thought was a little nasty anyway), but it was like being a kid in a candy store without any money. I was there with my GF! I couldn’t even comment!

    Canal cities (Amsterdam, Venice) are beautiful, but they stink like a corpse!

    Reply

    • well, one and half days, he he he.

      Oh, I didn’t smell it….. but Dad said it did stink when he was there. Maybe they cleaned it up already?

      ha ha ha ! My father went there solo… He said he just looked, and one bouncer/pimp did manage to convince him to enter one establishment, he did, but then told the guy he had 2 small kids , apologized and ran out fast. Do you believe him? He he he

      Reply

  5. My folks were born in Germany so I have seen quite a bit of it. Stuttgart is an amazing city as is my dad’s hometown of Bremen. if you are in Spain, Bilbao must not be missed, nor San Sebastian or Seville. And you must go the Renia Sofia to see “Guernica” 🙂

    Reply

    • I wish I had seen more of Germany. We had no control over the places we had to see. I suspect places we didn’t get to see were out of the way of the travel route.

      We went to Bilbao ! !

      But not San sebastian nor Seville. I also wished we’d seen Segovia. My great grandfather came from there. ^__^

      Reply

  6. Stunning Photos! Wish i can do this too!! 🙂

    Reply

  7. very nice photos, i really like the photo u took on your way to Germany fr Amsterdam – looks so peaceful and relaxing…

    Reply

  8. Hey, there’s Halal Food restaurant behind you! I think i could survive there… well being a moslem, we don’t eat pork. Halal is a guarantee pork free meal 🙂

    How can you couldn’t afford proper meal… Are they more expensive than in the US?

    btw nice photos Ren!

    Reply

    • I didn’t even know it was there until a saw the picture. It’s a Moslem resto, right? What does Halal mean ?

      Ugh ! definitely more expensive food in Europe ! Waaaaaaay more expensive ! !

      I’ll comment about that later.

      Reply

      • Halal is an Arabic Languange mean allowable.

        In this case halal food mean food that allowable to eat.
        (Have you heard term Kosher Food, for Jewish people? it’s almost the same.. they don’t eat pork either…)

        More on Halal you can read on Wikipedia here 😉 >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halal

        And yes you should write one post about food, you’re good at that 🙂

        Reply

        • I’ll comment on food , that’s for sure. I’m just worried some people will get offended. You see, after about a week, I was already screaming for KFC ! ! or McDonalds, or Chinese food, or Japanese, and definitely American…. baby back ribs, roasted corn, soft white bread, peanut butter, coleslaw, potato salad, anything barbecued !!!!!!!

          Reply

  9. These photos are great. The scenery is gorgeous…I had no idea you’d been posting all this time (I guess my subscription to you means you show up in my reader, which I don’t check that often…so I rely on e-mail notifications…which I didn’t get). Hmmm…it sounds like you had a great trip. Yes, Europe is ridiculously expensive! Often it’s just better to pretend the amounts are in dollars so that you don’t think about it!

    Reply

    • Oh, in fact. I psyched myself to pretend it was in dollars, but some were really ridiculously expensive, especially if one knew what the price is in the US. Ex: Burger King with fries, small coke, and I guess that was Whopper. Over here that wouold be less than $5… and soda is bottomless. But the one we had was 12,70 E, almost $ 15. How could I ignore that?
      Pfffft ! !

      Reply

  10. Posted by REBECCA DAWN on August 8, 2012 at 5:12 am

    Oh I wouldnt mind having one of those diamond rings and a bracelet. Maybe some of those goodies! Why is it that everything looks better in Europe, the buildings and the land. Where in Canada and some parts of US not so good.
    If my apartment building looked like the front of the Hotel Ritter I would be happy. I dont think my building has been painted over 20 years. but they cheated -there is siding lol.
    Too bad you really couldnt enjoy a meal there. You should have told the driver “we need to stop for a nice meal!” LOL

    Reply

    • Oh, man, how the diamonds sparkled, like seducing me, and saying, buy me buy me ! !

      I don’t know about Canada, but girl, Europe is just soooo beautiful ! Well, we have natural beauty here in the US too, like The Grand canyon, but…. the buildings there, the cobblestone streets, and the idyllic landscape…. they are just divine. And I mean that !

      Reply

  11. ooohhh.. i really envy you!!! thanks you again for sharing your wonderful photos… and the pastries!! now i am hungry…

    Reply

  12. I’m really loving your European tour and all the sights and photographs.Its a real lifetime adventure which you will never forget and your enthusiasm is infectous. I know what you mean about being caught a bit on rials by the time table but, overall, the experiece looks fantastic. More pleeeese

    Reply

  13. Fabulous !

    Reply

  14. […] sending the Versatile Blogger Award my way. I think the first person to give me this blog award is Ren before. Thank you guys for your appreciation and thoughtfulness, warms my heart very […]

    Reply

  15. Exquisite post,beautiful pictures,Couple years ago we were in Europe.,but l don’t think we saw as much you did.Withing the best.Jalal

    Reply

    • Thanks ! We joined a group tour. The tour manager is very professional and I guess the tour company knows exactly what they’re doing and of course where they are going.

      Cheers, Jalal Michael Sabbagh !

      Reply

  16. I had been to every place mentioned here in my 2009 Euro Trip… It was an amazing trip! You just put me through nostalgic memories!!! Great clicks! 🙂

    Reply

  17. One of my close friend got into a German University, i don’t know the name. (German is really tough, how do they pronounce such names!)I can’t go there but i can see it in your pics (for free ;-))

    Reply

    • It’s unfortunate that I am bad at taking pics. Add the fact that there was really no time to focus properly. We had to walk fast, just behind the the tour guide. ~_~

      Reply

  18. amazing pics Ren..good trip

    Reply

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