23 Aug. Amsterdam

Gouda 2006.8.22 NS 8.22 Rotterdam Centraal 8.23 NS 8.23 Amsterdam Centraal

Amsterdam Centraal 2006.8.24 ICE 8.24 Köln Hbf 8.24 train 8.24 Bonn Hbf

I ran to the station to take a train departs at 10:49 but there was also another train at 11 o’clock. In front of the station, they were building something as well as Rotterdam. I checked-in a hostel which is located near the station. I didn’t have time to get ready to look around this city so I started today’s tour at 3 p.m.

The first impression of Amsterdam was so so. I expected it would be quiet like typical Dutch city but it was internationalised city. I didn’t need to try to speak in Dutch from the first time. Most of people in here were able to speak English very well and I found there were not only original Dutch people here but also many tourists like Asians or black people.

Streets were almost well-developed as shopping area which is good for earning money from foreigners. Restaurants were also various.

Frankly speaking, I’d a bit disappointed by this city. Because I expected something `Dutch’.

Of course I was able to find something looks like Dutch at the famous canal sides. This city’s old centre was surrounded by three main canals and also River Amstel. There were several boats always going by water and houses nearby the water were quite narrow. This is the typical image on this country I’ve got.

Van Gogh Museum’s entrance fee was €10 which is expensive but I thought it was worth to pay. Then I was able to see the real masterpieces of Vincent’s including 자화상, 감자먹는사람들, 해바라기, 아를의침실, 씨뿌리는사람 etc. I’d like to possess some paintings when I get old, one of Dali’s, one of Piccaso’s and one of Vincent’s.

I went to Anne Frank House for the last destination but it was already closed. However I saw the house closing floor by floor. It was not easy to see inside but I could hear sounds from inside easily.

I’m afraid that I haven’t visit the Windmills or Tulips fields which is typical in this country.

22 Aug. Rotterdam, Gouda

Den Haag 2006.8.21 NS 8.21 Rotterdam Centraal

Rotterdam Centraal 2006.8.22 NS 8.22 Gouda

Gouda 2006.8.22 NS 8.22 Rotterdam Centraal 8.23 NS 8.23 Amsterdam Centraal

I slept almost half a day. I went out to look around Rotterdam on foot of course.

Rotterdam’s first impression what I felt yesterday was quite good. It was more than I expected. In fact, I knew almost nothing about this city but it was the largest port in Europe and redevelopment had been going on since WWII. The tallest building of Netherlands was also in here but Amsterdam. I could see most of places were well-organised quarter by quarter.

I found Dutch people like to ride bicycles very much as well as Belgians do. And also dogs were loved very much. Sometimes I could even see the person who is carrying dogs with riding bicycle.

I couldn’t miss an art gallery even I had to pay. It was worth to pay because it had a large collection from Rembrandt to Picasso.

The city was bigger than I expected but still affordable to walk.

When I have finished today’s tour I still had enough time, so I decided quickly to visit another city by train in the evening. So I’ve been to Gouda.

Gouda was just a small town but it shows typical Dutch city I supposed.

The city centre was surrounded by canal, and there were a few marvelous buildings at the very centre of the city. I didn’t need to spend much time there because I found the city very quickly so I ordered a glass of Heineken to taste the beer which is very famous Dutch.

I bought chips in Mc and the sales-clerk was speaking English very fluent with me even it was very small city which is not really touristic. Maybe it’s easier than Asians to learn English because there are only some differences, I guess.

I’ll leave tomorrow and arrive at Amsterdam.

21 Aug. Den Haag (The Hague)

Brugge 2006.8.20 train 8.20 Liège 8.21 Bruxelles-Midi 08:46 train 10:38 Rotterdam Centraal 8.21 NS 8.21 Den Haag

Den Haag 2006.8.21 NS 8.21 Rotterdam Centraal

Arnaud woke me up for three times he said, but I remember only twice. Anyway I arrived at Rotterdam, Netherlands successfully with his help.

I heard that there’s very cheap accommodation near the station which I didn’t expect at all. But it was not easy to find. I had to wait until 5pm to open. And I needed to come back before the lockers to be closed. So I decided to visit Den Haag first and visit Rotterdam tomorrow.

Den Haag is Dutch name which is The Hague in English. I’d known that this city was famous for its political history. I learned that when Korea was under Japanese colonist’s control, `헤이그특사파견’ happened. I don’t know that in English. Because I learned that in high school.

There were many international flags around the city and also most of each country’s embassies look located here but the capital, Amsterdam. This is more than I expected. It meant that this city is still playing its own role for this country.

There was also another region called `Scheveningen’, north of Den Haag by seaside. It was facing North Sea. I could feel the past time of Dutch colonial era. I thought that if I get any boat from there, I’ll be able to reach any UK’s port in a minute. I’m missing the time I spent in Britain.

Anyway, I had to take a tram not to lose the train goes back to Rotterdam. I felt asleep a little bit and I realised that some girls were teasing me. They were talking in Dutch but I could feel it. They might have thought that I would never understand Dutch at all. I’d like to speak as many languages as I can.

I checked-in the hostel and went to bed early. I realised today, the weather in this country including Belgium is almost similar with British weather which used to be called as `London weather’. Of course here is a little bit better than Britain I think.