Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Travel Experience, Part 3 (Europe & Amsterdam)

Part 4 (Europe, Amsterdam)

Not wanting to travel alone, I shared my prize with a friend. The tour that I won was a budget tour. In fact, the itinerary was so compact that we stayed in every country for only two or three days. So much to see but so little time to utilize, I would say it was quite a challenge. The countries that we had covered were France, Holland, Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy and so on. I had vague memory on this tour, since the schedule was too congested. During that time, Euro was not established yet and therefore, we had so much fun in exchanging foreign currency in each country. As the first time to explore Europe, European countries were very similar and very different to me. Odd enough, their languages were so different in pronunciation but yet they shared the similar wording. They had their own food and cultures but soccer was pretty much dominant throughout the whole Europe. As much as I like French food, Italian food was exquisitely comparable to Spanish and Chinese food. Brand name, such as Gucci, Prada, Armani, Porsche, Ferrari etc. became too common in Europe.

There were two small but intriguing European countries worth to mention in this tour. Liechtenstein was the smallest country in Europe. It was famous for its stamp publication. The country still has their king system. Similarly, Monaco was small and scenic, popular for its winding F1 track and world-class Monte Carlo casino. Unfortunately, I still used film camera at that time and none of the photos were taken digitally.

Bridges in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam was the most typical harbour city to me. Local sailors bid farewell and travel far ashore while foreign sailors stopped by to refuel, to rejuvenate and even to get laid in the red-light district. That was always the image in my mind and it was exactly how I felt when I set afoot on this city. Amsterdam are world-renowned for many things – clog, cheese, tulips, window girls etc. Afterall, Amsterdam is always branded with XXX – Sex, Drugs & Rock n Roll.

Sea of Tulips.

The cutest snapshot in Keukenhof Garden.

In Keukenhof garden, I had seen the prettiest and the most variety tulips in my life. Their colours were so vibrant as if they were artificially painted. We spent more than 3 hours to snap shots but none of them justified the freshness and perfection of those tulips. You got to see with your naked eyes, for once in your life! Strolling along the notorious red-light district, I did feel some kind of pity and, well, kinky. The truth was raw and savage. Inside a transparent cubicle, the prostitutes elaborated their body to attract customers. The customer could even negotiate the price before making a deal. How pathetic… but somehow, prostitution was legal, so did the drug taking, and no one was complaining about the free window browsing.

Can you believe that Tulips originated from Turkey!?

No comments: