Dienstag, 23. September 2014

Seeing the stars over Amsterdam [1]

Dear Gals,

the last week was incredible with a lot of new impressions of a town I haven't known before.
I went with a friend to Amsterdam as a short trip since I'm on vacation and really needed to get rid of the city.

Since I watched the "Fault in our Stars" movie, I just really wanted to go there. <3

I wanted to catch up the various places of the movie and of course has some other plans to do.
I want to tell you in four parts about all the things we experienced.
Of course with photos. <3

Starting on Wednesday early morning we arrived around 1pm at Centraal Station.

It felt familiar to see the check in and out boxes for your tickets like in Japan.
For the day we didn't want to buy a ticket of public transport and walked the whole way to our hotel.
It wouldn't have been too bothersome if did know how to get there quickly.
In the end we needed twice as the usual time.

Our choice of hotel was "Hotel de filosoof".

The first obstacle you have to overcome are the stairs. Not only in this hotel but all in all in Amsterdam.
Thanks that there is an elevator at the groundfloor.
The tiny stairs aren't safe enough if you're not used to it.
After a warm welcome we went to our room directly - it was somehow in a Japanese style of painting, haha.
But there wasn't a lot of time to rest - just getting off our clothes (because the forecast told us a max of 20°C and we really had 26°!) and getting redressed we walked to the Anne Frank house.

That was the first stop of our trip - the Anne Frank house.

Maybe some of you have read the diary of Anne Frank that tells you the story of a young Jewish girl who had to hide with her family from the Nazis and was finally brought to Auschwitz where she died - not of lack of food or because of hard work and violence but of Typhus - just a little time before 8th May 1945.
If you read the diary you may also had an impression in your mind, imagine the house where she and the others lived.

Believe me - in our habits, you can't really imagine what it was like to live there.
The rooms were so small, the constructed furniture plan shows you that were nearly wasn't any space at all and so it isn't a surprise that Anne later often went upstairs to the attic where she could catch a glimpse of the sky and there it wasn't so narrow at all.

Walking through the floors and up- and downstairs really gave a strange feeling.
Being outside was kind of relieving but I'm thankful for being there.
You could also buy the diary in a lot of different languages in the museum's shop.

Oh, and if you want to go there - please buy a ticket online before!! 
We were so lucky to have them because the crowd is... just too long and you may have to wait 1-2hours!

After that we just took our first round without any map.

Just wandering around we found a lot of nice shops ans restaurants and also a little one where to have breakfast the next day.
You know, foof is expensive there.
You really have to look for cheap and good restaurants or cafés, I guess.
And if you look for supermarkets - you will definitely find two: HEMA and A&H  - the last one reminds me of the German Reichelt or Edeka. Here you can find various exclusive things.
The best ones were definitely the breads - so fluffy and nutritious.
Seriously, I can't eat a lot of pure rye bread here, but the ones there are great. <3

We went to the famous shopping center Magna Plaza.

I love this building. It looks so old in a good way but also pretty... wealthy.
Inside you also will finde more expensive shops but on the 2nd floor is a bigger multimedia shop for vinyl, DVDs, CDs, merchandise.
I found two cute TFIS cups I bought later. <3

We returned to our hotel around 9PM and were so tired after all...

Just falling into our bed, talking a bit and getting up the next morning to be ready for our shopping trip. <3
So now some more photos of the day~

You will definitely find a LOT of cheese shops

Hey, hey Miffy! <3

And a bike with a lot of rubber ducks.
That was a decoration of a toys store

The small houses (max 6m width!) are too cute!
And pretty... slanted!

I said there are a lot more cheese shops!

Mistake? Japanese sweets are common there but they
are so expensive. Wanted to buy a package of vanilly Kitkats
but they cost 10€!

Famous places: Pancake restaurants!

In front of the Café American.
It's funny - the movie hotel was the American hotel but actually
was our hotel. ;)

We always had a quote of the day.
I really liked this one. <3

"What the hell" moments

(1)  Buying things at Albert Heijn (A&H) supermarket will give you an impression of paying with payback card systems. For example: You buy a bottle of water for 1,23€ (0,25€ are pledge you will get back if you return the empty bottle) and can only pay with a 5€ banknote.
Here it's common that you give coins, too, so that you won't have a large amount of change, right?
I asked, if the cashier wants to have 3 cents but she said "No, we only accept 5 cent coins". WHAT?
So the result? I paid with my banknote, and got 3,75€ back.
See? 2 cents that they don't give you back.
They round up and down if it's necessary - whatever is nearer the 5.

(2) CannabisWe were sitting at the canals shore, next to central station and had a snack.
If you haven't known what Cannabis smells like you definitely will on your first day here!
It's so common like smoking any other cigarette here in Germany.
So, after a while two British students came around with a green disc in their hand, definitely stoned, and said "Hey, we're heading to the airport now. Do you want this?"
Okay, I don't know if it's so good that you're heading to the airport STONED but thanks guys, no.

(3) Cannabis stores?So you also will find a lot of Cannabis stores at every corner. Funny thing at the flower market: Starter kits for planting your own Cannabis plant. Eh... no, thank you.

(4) You can't get lost.If you have a main direction where you have to go you definitely find you destination.
It is just not promised that you will be there soon. Oh and walking with a city map is a little bit ridiculous. It's just irritating among all these little streets and houses.

(5) Bicycles
Really it's like you aren't worth anything as a pedestrian.
There are so many bicycles that you just hear it ring all the time.
Watch out or they will just run you down. Promise.
Now you should think: Everyone has a bike, there shouldn't be any thefts.
Eh-eh ... there are a LOT!

(6) Bicycle parking spots

At train stations you have a lot of space for bicycles in two floors!
One picture of it the next time. And if you don't find a space there... just let it be.
Parking on every pedestrian way is okay, too.
Although the shop owners see that somehow different.
(7) Being disabledThat's a big problem!
The paths are often narrow and rough. You have to walk a lot up and down.
If you live in Amsterdam you definitely have to look for a appartment without these typical tiny stairs.
On the other way around these can get you into trouble if you want to go shopping, too.
The modern shopping center of course have elevators and the shopping streets are grounded but if you want to walk the old ways... :-/

(8) Stairs in emergency cases

When we went back to our hotel an emergency occured in a house. The fire brigade was already there but were wasn't a fire. The problem: The stair cases are too narrow and too bold.
You can't go in with a stretcher, that's why you have to go by crane through the window.
On the side I wonder if that's handy because you may safe time if the technique is fast enough?