I've discovered that without internet I am feeling rather helpless when travelling especially here in Europe. I use the net to help me find out about air fares, train timetables, city guides, check emails, facebook, and upload my pics into online albums. I'm currently in Amsterdam, sitting in a food hall using a friend's mini computer and sucking the life out of the WiFi connection here.
Amsterdam is a small yet historically and culturally rich city. I made a new friend on the flight over and the next day we embarked on a walking tour and familiarised ourselves with the fascinating city. It has been great catching up with my friend Fiona from Perth who just moved over to play a season of professional hockey (the originaly field hockey not the ice variety). The Dutch really love their hockey! I was treated to watching a game on the weekend and it was terrific seeing everyone get involved, from the young children to the seniors.
Fiona and I managed to join Museum Nacht (Museum Night), an annual event where all the museums in Amsterdam stay open on the first Saturday night of November from 7pm to 2am, and has lots of live performances and drinks etc. We went all out and were out and about visiting museums from just after 7pm until almost 2am we visited seven museums! It was such a fun and memorable experience... there were opportunities to be involved with interactive art ie creating stop motion film strip, measuring your height and labelling it with your name and date on a wall amongst everyone else's name and date (the effect is a massive black strip across the entire wall).
Two most memorable museums I visited:
- Anne Frank Huis, a intense and moving museum showcasing the life of a young girl who lived in hiding during the Nazis movement in WWII.
- FOAM, a photography museum that exhibited thought provoking images advocating social justice and life as a migrant.
Foods I have tried:
- Broodje kroket (croquette sandwich)... the croquette here is the Dutch answer to an Aussie meat pie, it is a crispy, crusty potato-based gravy ball full of gooey yummy gravy, and maybe meat
- Fried mussels... deliciously fried fresh from the seafood stall accompanied by mayonnaise (the seafood here is really fresh and good... so jealous)
- Chips with mayo (served in a paper cone)... that's how the Dutch eat their chips... I was slightly addicted
- Broodje haring (sandwich of raw herring with chopped onions and dill pickles)... not as strong tasting as I had anticipated and was pleasantly surprised
- as well as their pancakes (pannekoeken), olliebollen (a type of doughnut), and cheese tasting at the street markets...
Endnote: I really love the variety of food here and I love the city, the buildings and canals are amazing (fact: Amsterdam has more canals than Venice)... tomorrow I head over to Munich...