Netherlands + Brussels Summary

9 Apr

Hello hello,

After a week of absence, now I’m back. Quick update, I’ve settled here in Karlsruhe, the place which I will spend my summer school in. Now as you all know, I went to Netherlands for a trip plus visiting my old friend. I want to share you what I saw there, and maybe it will be a good reference if you’re planning to go there, too. Alright, here we go!

Day 1 – Brussels

Buildings at Brussels Centrum

At Brussels Centrum

I went to Brussels, Belgium on my first day. It was only 2.5 hours away with train from Den Haag, where my friend lives. I actually stayed at a city called Delft, which is about 20 minutes away from Den Haag. The price for the train to Brussels is quite good, only about 39 Euro per person, round-trip. Brussels is really a tourist city. It has old buildings and it’s just a great scenery to enjoy. There’s a cathedral that I went to, and I thought it was an amazing place, even though it’s not the biggest or the tallest church.

The Catholic Church

Cathedral, Brussels

Inside the Church

Inside The Cathedral

And the most important thing to try in Brussels is the Belgian Waffel. I tried it at a cafe at the Centrum (central area of the city) and it was totally different from ordinary waffels you get everywhere else. In addition, if you get the waffel with chocolate sauce, the sauce is very delicious, I’m not sure why but my friend and I guessed it’s because it uses Belgian chocolate which is also very tasty. Two awesomeness in one dish, nothing can’t go wrong with that! If you’re going to get the chocolate as a gift, I would suggest you get the brand Neuhaus or Leonidas. Those two are very famous in Belgium. Sure you can get Godiva, but it’s way too common that you can get it anywhere in the US.

Day 2 – Keukenhof & Den Haag

Indoor Tulip Garden

Tulips Collection

Keukenhof is a flower garden/exhibition place on the outskirt of the city of Leiden. I was lucky to come around spring time, because they only open during these time periods, around March to May, and then they will close for the rest of the year. Knowing that Tulip is the trademark flower of Netherlands, it was obvious that there are a lot of them in this garden.

Bold Red Tulip

Bold Red Tulip

There was also a flower arrangement competition being held there, so I was again fortunate enough to be able to see the winners’ flowers and they were stunning.

Blushy Red Rose

Blushy Red Rose

The place also has big lakes, fountains, and big trees, very peaceful place indeed.

The Lake

The Lake With Swans

After that, I went to Den Haag, the center of the government. Honestly, there was nothing much that I saw in Den Haag, because it’s more of a government capital instead of the real capital, the city itself is not as crowded and lively as Amsterdam. The city, however, is really pretty.

Den Haag Stadthuis

Den Haag Capitol Building

In front of the Capitol Building, on the left of it, there was a small shop that sells the Dutch’s traditional food/snack: Haring. It’s basically a raw fish, cleaned and washed, served with lots of onions to “help” you fight the smell. I think it tasted good, but the smell can be too strong for some people, even for me, after having three bites. I still finished it, though. =)

The Original Dutch Haring

The Dutch's Original Haring

Day 3 – Amsterdam

The capital, the diverse and democratic city, the sin city, you name it. This is Amsterdam, and it’s one of the coolest place to visit. People from different part of the world is here to live and to travel. It was so packed when I went there, even when the rain was pouring. They seem to can’t get enough of this place, the red light district, the china-town, the “coffee shop”, the awesome Patat, and the liveliness of it. I guess for this one, pictures are better than words.

Stadthuis Under Construction

Stadthuis Under Construction

Iamsterdam Sign #1

Iamsterdam Sign

The canal that you might have seen in pictures about Amsterdam.

The Canal

The Canal

The red light district. Way bigger than the one in Hamburg.Has a lot of “coffee shop”. When it says coffee shop in Netherlands, it means a place where you can buy and smoke weed. By the way, I think it’s a common fact that weed is legal (not actually legal lawfully, but there’s no law to it) in Netherlands.

World Famous Red Light District

The Huge Red Light District

Lots of Birds

Lots Of Birds

Patat is basically french fries. The difference? They peel and cut the potatoes fresh. No frozen, precut fries. Served with sauces of your choice. I chose mayonnaise and satay sauce (peanut sauce).

The Best Patat I've Ever Tasted

The Best Patat Shop

Day 4 – Delft & Rotterdam

Random Cool Building

Random Cool Building

Delft is a small city but it’s very historical, which made it a tourist destination. It’s also a student town, because one of the best technology universities is there. I was short in time because I needed to go to two different cities on that day, so I couldn’t visit the university, so sad. =(

Okay, first of, there is a downtown area with churches and other buildings.

Another Church

The Slanted Church

Delft Church, Canal View

Another Church WIth Canal View

However, what I really want to show you is the Delft Blau. It’s a porcelain gifts that are really famous. You might have seen them, and it’s really closely related to Netherlands, like when someone goes to Netherlands, this is the gift they most likely bring back.

Delft Gift Shop

Delft Gift Shop With The Huge Shoe

The Famous Delft Blau

Delft Blau

Let’s now move on to Rotterdam. Rotterdam is different from other cities because the city was destroyed during World War II and so they had to build new buildings. As a result, the buildings they have are all modern kinds. Think New York.

Modern Centrum, Rotterdam

Rotterdam Centrum

Shopping Area, Rotterdam

Shopping Area

Rotterdam also has a big number of immigrants. I went to this market and most of the people who went there are the Turks. It’s interesting to see the market, still. They sell different stuffs, from fresh produces to fabrics and clothing.

Market, Rotterdam

The Market

Fabric Section

Fabrics

Fabric Section

Clothing

There is also this unique house cluster. Each cube you see below is actually one house. It’s just unique because of the rotated orientation. And I heard the rent is pretty expensive, too. =D

The Cube House Cluster

The Cube House

Another Bridge

Bridge

This is the famous bridge. Erasmus bridge, well-known because the construction of it, only having one column and held by a lot of wires.

Erasmus Bridge

New, Erasmus Bridge

Lastly, the Walk of Fame. It’s just like the one in Hollywood, but this one has a lot of local celebrities so sometimes I stared at the ground wondering who are those people. But apart from that, there are also US celebrities like Nicole Richie, and Toni Braxton.

Walk Of Fame

Walk Of Fame

And the Walk Of Fame concludes this summary. School will start soon and hopefully I can keep up with both classes and travel at the same time, and I’ll be sure to keep posting. =)

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