Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week Thirty-Seven: Amsterdam! (Part One)

Hi everyone! Normally, I'd be going on about political things. This week was planned about how cities should become more bike friendly, as so many of them are, frankly, terrifying to ride a bike it! But I had a bit of a problem,and that problem is Amsterdam.

You see, my family and I traveled there for MLK weekend. And, well, I did a rough draft of what I wanted to talk about each evening before I slept.

And then I looked it over.

It's an awful lot, so rather than one shortish post and then one super long post, I'm going to divide it in half! You're regularly scheduled opinion post will be in two weeks time, just like it's supposed to be. But now! To Amsterdam!

Okay, so, it's probably a good thing that Germany and the Netherlands are a part of the E.U, because my passport has been temporarily misplaced due to bout of cleaning. In other words, once again, I cleaned my room, but the important document in a secure obvious place...and promptly could not find it. It is in here somewhere though! I swear!

Seriously, I need to choose a place and stick with it.

So the entire time up the road, I spent listening to A Red Badge of Courage, which isn't my usual style, but I wanted something to listen to, not to read. I needed my eyes to observe everything new and amazing, after all!

Honestly? There wasn't that much difference in appearance. I promise, you can not tell the exact point you crossover, and there was not even a welcome to our country sign!One moment were were in GErmany, and the next, in a town with a name I am not even going to attempt to spell or say.

But there were a few fun sights in Holland! Like two or three Shetland pony farms! They are so tiny and cute. It's like someone squished a horse! "Well, technically it is a mini horse, but still. Shetland ponies are adorable, and all these had their winter coats, and some where wear clothes.
I was amused. Shaggy winter coat Shetland ponies, in a horse blanket made to look like human clothes. Some one out there had a seriously sense of humor.

The fences fascinated me and I spent a good twenty minutes staring at them, trying to determine if they were one fence, or two. The answer? One. But the bottom third looks like two! Why? Well, take two fences, lay them so the holes don't match, and you have what those bottom thirds looked like! A finer mesh, with holes a quarter the size of what they had been! The visual effect was curious indeed!

There were also two solar farms, of solar panels on hill sides where they'd get sun all day long. Then there were the light posts! Dutch light posts look like grass, tapered at the top and bent slightly, like in France. Only in France,when you have two lights on a poles, it splits off so the lights are on separate levels. No so in Holland! It looks like a split hair at the top when it shares a pole.

Oh! I also noticed something about the license plates. They all have the initials of the country they're from under the EU circle of stars. I hadn't noticed before, but German license plates tend to be less standardized. Or rather, the license plates from other EU countries were yellow with a blue EU flag on the right. There were the initials of the country under the circle. Now, German plates can have a similar format, but are white, not yellow! I suppose that's why I hadn't noticed. German plates though are odd. Some are rectangular, some are square. I don't quite understand them yet.

Oh so, we got there about 3ish and checked into to out hotel, which was near the World Fashion School or Shop or what have you, but at night the colors of the building changed thanks to the lights shinning on it, which rocked. Mostly, we walked around the central station that day for several hours. We went into a museum that said it was a history of intercourse, but wasn't. Or if it was, it was rather pitiful. Either way, it was a very boring museum over all, and I was tempted to take a nap in one of the chairs. It would have been a good nap.

Then we ate at the Grasshopper which had excellent food, wonderful service and a good atmosphere, but was pricy for the placement and offerings, and had a very small menu. Oh well. It was good food still.

So we skirted the Red Light district which is basically Right Next to Central station and if you cut through it, you can reach other tram stops, that take much longer to get to by tram. Really though, there was nothing to see there but shops selling what Amsterdam is famous for among the young and foolish. Personally, I found it offered more than those two things. The next day would be a big one, so we bought pass cards for 24 hours, to be activated the next day, then returned to the hotel to gt some sleep. Oh! The hotel!

The room was in reds and browns and the beds were comfy. There were, in fact, four beds in a room that would be a double bed suite in America. They were smaller than a traditional twin bed, but still comfortable. Any way, that's all for this post, but don't worry, there's plenty for the next!

One Final Byte: Look up your politician's voting history. Be Shocked!

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