Tuesday, 24 March 2009

One Done, Four to Go

Last Monday I celebrated one month since my departure from Portugal.

Since I've been in the Netherlands I've visited a few cities. I wanted to make a post for each one but I haven't found the time to do it. So I thought I should just make one post and write a bit about each of the places that I visited. I won't add pictures now because I don't have them with me now. Maybe I'll do that later. I won't promise, because it might slip my mind.

This was probably the city that I liked the least. Maybe because there weren't many people in the street and we didn't have that much to see. I think Rotterdam is known for it's modern architecture, built after the city had been destroyed in the Second World War. So most of the points of interest are buildings or constructions (or survivors, like the only building that survived the Second World War). Sadly some of those are not that interesting, at least not for me.
Some cubic buildings

This building is called "The Pencil"... because it looks like a pencil... amazing, no? =p

But maybe it's because I don't know anything about architecture. Personally I rather look at monuments, sculptures or paintings, than buildings. At least to those buildings.

This hippo was part of a strange sculpture, that was close to the train station

Together with this rhino they were some of the funniest things I saw there

Anyway besides looking around we also walked a bit (a common thing here in The Netherlands) and we went to the Erasmus Bridge, which is not that amazing, but it's Erasmus Bridge, and I'm in Erasmus so... you can see the "importance" of it.
The Erasmus bridge!

It's funny because I always heard that Erasmus is a Bridge to Europe... never understood that they really meant that. ;) In Rotterdam there's also a Zoo, but I didn't have the chance to go there yet, maybe another time. And if I go to to Zoo I'll also try to climb to the Euromast which is a building that it's famous because it's really high, so maybe it's nice... maybe.

This was not the first time that I visited Amsterdam, and I know that it wasn't the last (I hope). At least there are still a lot of museums to visit. This time I went to visit the House of Rembrandt and the Jews History Museum. I found the first really amazing, taking us back 400 hundred years and showing some of the habits and objects of the 17th century. There was even an actor showing how did Rembrandt's pupils prepare their paint. It's a must visit! The Jews History Museum is divided in two parts. The first is an introduction to the Judaism and to the habits of the Jews. It has lots of information, maybe too much for someone like me who doesn't know that much about the subject. But I think I learnt a bit. The second part is the most interesting, and shows the history of the Jews in The Netherlands. Portugal's name pops a lot in this part of the museum, mostly because a great number of Jews came to The Netherlands from Portugal and Spain after the Portuguese and Spanish inquisition... Not the best moment for Portugal... Anyway the museum is really well organised and with lots of information, from the time of the Inquisition until the present day, focusing in also the impact of the Second World War in the Dutch Jews. Besides the museums we also visited the Red Light District, which wasn't as shocking as some people have told me. The city is not that big but it's big enough for long walks and during one of the walks we found a Portuguese delicatessen shop, where I bought a bottle of Monte Velho... Portuguese wine for the win!=)

In my second weekend here I went to Utrecht. It was a Saturday afternoon and it was raining, but the city was filled with people wandering around the center. If it was in Portugal probably the streets would be empty, but not here, and yes they also have Shopping Centers. I didn't visit much, just wandered around watching the movement and the city.
A random Sun Clock

A nicely parked bycicle

The only thing I visited was the Cathedral which was partially destroyed due to a hurricane, leaving the main part of it separated from the bell tower.
The Cathedral

This time I didn't climb to the bell tower, because when I arrived there wasn't any suitable time to do it. One of the things I enjoyed seeing in Utrecht was a bunch of teenagers dressed like Manga/Anime characters, I recognized some of Naruto's characters.
The masked teenagers by the game store

Maybe they were there for some gathering. I also saw a nice gaming shop with many board games, nice medieval costumes and "Warhammer style" figures. It made me think that if I had more money I'd be a lot more geek/nerd... scary thought, uh?

This was the last place I visited and it is the smallest. I don't even think it's classified as a city, but I'm too lazy to check it. It's located in Flevoland the youngest province of The Netherlands, that has been "stolen" from the sea. Dronten is really small and it has nothing to visit.
A nice firetruck

And a (really) big bunny in a pet shop
Notice the roofs... I guess it must snow a lot in Dronten

The sun there is not warm, nevertheless it's the sun, so when it shines one must enjoy it

What I guess it's normal since it is 50 years old or something like that. There I only saw shops, supermarkets, some small restaurants and lots of sport centers. Anyway I wasn't there to visit the city but to visit Gustavo, a friend of mine who is there in Erasmus.
This is Gustavo, the host, in the place where, as he says, risked to eat dutch food =p

Buying food!
So it was worth it. It was really nice to see him and to take a look at another type of Erasmus, completely different of the one that I'm having. The Erasmus there live all in the same neighbourhood, so they all know each other. Also the fact that they are not doing an internship or a thesis allows them to party a bit, should I say a lot, more than me. But I'm OK with it!;) Really, I am.. PLEASE STOP REMINDING ME ABOUT THAT! .. OK, never mind this last part. =P
And that's it! =)

Next destination: Unknown.

PS: I still don't have pictures from Amsterdam with me... maybe I'll update this post with them in another day.


  1. not so bad... you visite 4 cities in less than one month.
    last time you was a erasmus student, we get used to see photos... and now not even one _ good lord you are really too busy!!!
    kisses kota

  2. Duas coisas.
    1st. O anuncio diz que so podes conseguir o pre├žo em Jiba.nl

    2nd. A bicicleta nao est'a estacionada. Alguem a tentou atirar ao canal, e 'e por isso que toda a gente as prende as grades, senao ja estava la em baixo. Atirar bikes aos canais 'e desporto nacional na Holanda e Belgica.