Sunday December 19th 2010
Amsterdam Centraal Station
|Amsterdam was apparently |
the first city to have lamp posts.
I dont know if that means
electric or fire power..
but still impressive
I started off sitting next to a very friendly (and chatty) Australian guy who was originally from Holland. HE informed me that this area of Europe has been absolutely bombarded with snowstorms and that a couple of main airports had to shut down (including his) forcing people to take the train. That explained the large amount of people and why the trains were running so slow.
Our original train was malfunctioning so we had to switch to another when we reached Kohl. A couple stations later I found out I was sitting in someone’s reserved seat. Absolutely all the seats were taken, so I joined the other 15 people on my end of the car who did not have seats as well.
|The National Monument|
It kind of makes me wonder why people bother buying seats. People will gladly just stand for an hour or sit on their own luggage for free. If I didn’t have a pass I would totally do that, if it were allowed.
Needless to say, I snuck back into a seat later on.
The scenery on the way was absolutely beautiful. Everything was covered in snow. That is including my windows. I guess they were covered with water droplets. I did not end up taking any photos after the first couple just ended up focusing on the droplets. It really is a pity.
Each town has their own house style going on. I noticed northern France was filled with all the large brick farm houses; the kind you see in movies and not at home in the prairies, which already is different from the style of homes in southern France. You already know about those homes though. Pretty much as soon as we got into western Germany last night and left this morning, you could find the “typical” German houses: shop in the bottom and larger home on top, very triangular with the dark brown or black triangle pattern. I went by towns that were very triangle based and ones that were squarer and even rectangle based. They even changed color schemes from different pastels to mainly beiges and even solely browns. The Australian guy noticed this too and we chatted about it a bit. I guess Canadian and Australian homes do not change too much from town. At least not like Germany.
Since I got in a bit later than planned, and the fact that the line for me to reserve my ticket for tomorrow is grotesque. I do not think I will be able to go on my tour. Which really is too bad. I am going to have to sprint to my hostel, then to the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh museum all before 6pm. AIya. Wish me luck! 15:41
This is in Amsterdam.
I eventually got out of the train station. I have no idea how long it took me. Nobody seemed to know anything about where the Tourist Information Center was. Which was ridiculous because it was just outside, they all spoke perfect English and they work in a HUGE train station.
The tourist center did not help me at all. But I managed to get a free map off of the woman by looking really lost. He he he. This map came in very handy when I navigated my way to my hostel.
It sure was slushy and a good thing that I brought my shoes and not just boots. The “cold” was comforting. Somewhere between -5 and -10 C. Just as the Australian guy said today (yes, we did have quite the chat) “There isn’t really a difference between -5 and -15. It’s all just cold, just throw on a coat and go.”. So true.
This hostel, the Flying Pig Uptown is pretty cool. Of course it is very colourful, and rather narrow, but at least six or seven stories tall plus the “basement” where the kitchen, lounge and reception are. The people seem friendly, but they’re all kind of doing their own thing, just as I am. I still have not asked if they have computers. I should probably go explore.. 19:46