Sunday, May 31, 2015

In the lovely Amsterdam

It has been a good few days. On Thursday we got the Eurostar to Brussels, Belgium, only stayed there one night but it was good. We went to Mini Europe this place with 1:25 ratio miniatures of lots of different places in Europe including places in Paris and London we'd been to not long before, and Athens too. In the afternoon had great difficulty finding our hotel, even the girl at the tourism office had no clue where it was. We went where she sent us and it was the wrong place, some nice lady told us to go down the road, had to ask a number of people before we finally got there, very tiring and frustrating. It was ok though. Had a rest then went to town on metro thru dodgy part of town (obviously I didn't know it was dodgy before I went there) good thing it wasn't late at night. Went to see Mannekin Pis this cute little boy statue peeing and the Grand Place Brussels main square which is amazing, very cool buildings and huge! I also got to try a delicious Belgium waffle, and later after a runin with a nice aussie couple, some delicious fries. That was all my plans for the evening as we had a 6:20 train the next day to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is lovely. I got a city pass which allows me to go lots of places for free so have spent all of yesterday and today cramming in as much as possible. Yesterday went on a canal cruise and to the Museum of purses and handbags. Today went to the Royal Zoo, the Dutch resistance museum, Oude Kerk (old church) which was unbeknownst to me in the middl eof the red light district. Oops. Then the Nieuw kerk (new church) which is 600yrs old, where they're hosting the world press competition of the year winning entries, some very moving and emotional ones. Next went to Stedelik museum of Modern art I don't know who Matisse was but they have a exhibition of his work. Then Van Gogh museum where I learnt more about this man I'd only vaguely heard of as the one who cut off his ear and painted sunflowers. After that stopped by this park with a big I AMSTERDAM sign its quite famous, tried to photograph it but too many people in the way.

Went to the Tulip museum its very cute, It was close to Anne Frank House which I wanted to go to but did't for 2 reasons, the queue was massive and I didn't have enough money. Trying to avoid having to draw more cash since we're leaving tomorrow, haven't quite figured out how I'm getting to the hotel. As long as I can get to the airport I'm all good as theres a free shuttle from there, but this morning after I'd bought a ticket on the train I found out all the airport trains were cancelled today due to some kind of maintenance work. So we had to get a bus partway then hop on the train.

I had an interesting experience on the train where I was chatting to this nice girl I'd just met, American but lives in Ghana and was here for an 8hr stopover, didn't get her name, coz then this black man gets up and starts screaming at us in dutch. We had no idea what he was saying except for the word 'blah blah' which I gathered to mean he was angry that we were talking. At one point he made a gun motion towards us which I gathered to mean he was threatening to shoot us. After screaming at us (I assumed for talking on the train) for about 5mins he collapsed in his seat but continued to yell. I looked at the girl and mouthed to her I have no idea what he was saying, she nodded, followed by I think hes crazy, she nodded again. I didn't feel comfortable in the train, nobody had said anything to him even the ones who definatley would have understood what he was saying. One guy had stood up partway through and I thought he was going to talk but he didn't.

I went out to the back and started randomly talking to this girl who had just watched the whole thing. Another guy goes to me its coz you're a kiwi, it was a kiwi attack. I assume he was aussie though I wasn't paying attention. Then the guy who'd stood up came out so I asked him what it was about, he said the guy was drunk and hungover from a party last night and he was mad that everyone was talking so loud.

Well I don't know why he chose to take it out on us then, coz he was pointedly talking to us, and its rather hypocritical scolding people talking at a low volume then screaming at everyone for 5mins so everyone on the train can hear you. It was an eventful morning, and I was glad to get to the city in one piece.

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