A Travellerspoint blog

Netherlands

The Beach and the Feestfabriek

sunny 25 °C
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Beach day!!!
So the beach lifestyle here i think is soooooo much better than that of Sydney, for one, they build food shops, clubs, restaurants on the beach, overnight, and then for the winter they just get rid of them, they are just movables! its fantastic to be able to lie on a cough on the beach, in the sun, order drinks then walk 10 meters and have a swim, be it that the water is a murkey brown.. its actually the cleanest in Europe!
They have a large pier, that does not have the wood nailed down well (yes it did end up in my tripping over myself!) and you can bungy jump from the end too!
We setup camp along the waters edge and i was told that the water was "freezing" hahahah but it was perfect temperature - didnt even need time to get use to the temp, the only problem with the coast along holland is the sound of the ocean, its so quiet because there are no waves, so instead they just have thumping music from the beach bars :P

we unfortunately could not stay too long at the beach because we had to go get ready for the q-dance Feestfabriek!
My goodness what a night! - it was really what i had been looking forward to the entire trip, we unfortunately got there a little late, because we missed the first train from den haag that would get us there when the doors opened, it also happened to be the express train, so instead we asked someone who we saw wearing orange and they said they were happy for us to just tag along with them, as they knew where they were going. we had to catch one train and then catch another train to get there. It felt like FOREVER, and on the way it was also storming like crazy, however, when we finally got there, everyone was sooo excited, i think holland being in the final for the world cup also helped - they were all singing and chanting together, and as they were in orange (the national color - because of the general Williem oranje (he got rid of all the spanish from holland)) it helped a lot for the atmosphere.

so we got in, and there was thudding music people, it was a fantastic production, the only way to explain it is by photo
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjowie/4786637279/in/set-72157624353925231/) this is not mine but its a great photo, much better than what i could take with my camera! - just amazing, the defqon ferris wheel was there, the qlimax set up, and the middle was the sensation pyramid, but a little shorter as the DJs went onto the decks via a bridge.
so we get in, first things first, merch, there was no way i was leaving without a reminder that i was there to celebrate the 10 years of qdance, i got a shirt. then we went up onto the VIP deck, and i dont think we moved from there the entire night! - it was gabber gabber gabber till our little hearts couldnt take it, .... then dance some more!!!
i dont think i stopped till at least 5am, ahaha one of the dutchie boys there was saying how crazy all the aussies are, because we get so into it, i really did agree, a lot of the crowd were not getting as into it as i thought they would, i was very proud to be there!
there is really not much else to say there on the matter, as not much happened, nor did we move! , although i do have to say that it was a lot hotter there then it was at sensation, because it was raining, the moisture in the air was a lot worse and there was drips coming down from the roof...i wish to say that it was rain, but it was in fact a mixture of all the sweat from everyone and also the rain....yuk!
although we really didnt care, it was all about the music, and it was just good song after good song! the top 25 had to be the highlight of the night for me! goodness gracious - just fantastic!

Nat and mark left early, as mark got sick, too much to drink, then chris wanted to leave at around 520, so we caught a taxi back, and then had a small breakfast, then straight up to bed, although i did not get to sleep till 10 am, was still too excited from the night, i didnt want to leave!

anyway, yesterday was grand final day!
the poor dutchies! - we went out to amsterdam and went to see it with the MASSIVE crowd that was out in the square, but it was too packed, we could not see the screen, it also smelt like piss combined with sweat from the hot day and also pot, not the greatest of combination's! - so we just stayed a little while, just to witness all the dutchies singing constantly "VIVA HOLLANDA" is pretty much what i learnt! - and then we decided that we should just find a bar to watch the game at, i was so thirsty that i had to buy a $6 bottle of water (o wait, 2 of them). And there didnt seem to be any bars in sight! - then we missed about 5 min, when i saw a little restaurant, italian, that had the game on the TV, i called over the rest of the gang and asked for a table for 4, they let us sit, and we were able to eat AMAZING italian food while watching the game. it was lucky that we left early as a lot of other people tried to go inside, but it was full.

when the game finished, we were walking through the streets and it was dead, jsut disappointment from everyone, i wish i had been able to celebrate.... as i was going for spain, but if i had i would have ended up just like a small group of spanyards we saw, nearly get attacked by the orange crowd! - i wish i had been in spain for the win, it would have been an amazing once in a lifetime experience, but o well.

then it was off back to the hotel, which we did not get back till about 1am, i was falling asleep on the trian, then in the taxi.
slept like a baby!

Today was a very very relaxed day, it was raining and 19 degrees so i just packing and had a little bit of a walk around, i wish i had known more of den haag, the city is actually very pretty, but its a place where its important to know someone that is familiar with the town, as unlike in amsterdam, its more of a maze. next time!

well tommorrow its off to Grecia! - so hopefully i will be doing nothing but swimming and relaxing!!!

Posted by valentinaa 09:21 Archived in Netherlands Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Den Haag

Fire, Airports...and then.....Den Haaaaaag

sunny 29 °C
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Well, it was Adios to spain .... and hallo Den haag!

but before we left, we had to find a place to see the state of origin for chris, i googled that shit and found an Irish sports bar that was playing it :) - after that we did a bit of shopping, i love stradivarious, and i bought a few bits and pieces there, could not resist! also got a few souvenirs, it was SO hot that day, it was a max of 40!!!! so walking around was getting a bit much, however, i had the strangest ice cream thing.... i went to the ice cream store, and saw that "ice milk" was on offer...so i asked what it was, got a strange reply, but got it anyway, in a massive cup it was milk....in ice cream form sort of, with cinamon on top, and in the middle....YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....i would have gotten more, but we had tapas again that night.
Because it was so hot, we decided to have an ice bath, we bought ice and brought it back to the room, then we filled the bath with water, and all dipped out feet in it, was soooooo nice, drinking grey goose with don simon orange juice, living the life i must say. after we had finished the grey goose, time to hit the sun, so rooftop for about half an hour, which i think anymore time and we all would have gotten burnt, it was THAT hot! in fact i felt asleep on the lounge chairs....was so nice.
we had tapas, and we got a paella, yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum i'm going to miss the food in spain, they really know how to do food, and the sangria was fantastic as well, the guys didnt like it that much, so it was mostly me drinking it all :P
i found out that sangria also has other ingredients, like vodka, and contreau :S - taste great!
once dinner was finshed, it was time to get serious , GAME TIME
we watched the game in the hotel again, tiny screen, but it didnt matter, great game! and i was sooo happy to see spain win! because afterwards it was time to go out! - they spanish were going NUTS! - jumping in the fountains, and running amuck around the streets, the police had closed off quite a few of the streets so that people were able to just run around and celebrate! :D
I then was able to see a little bit more of Madrid, but only from the outside, as everything was closed :S - the national library, the national palace, and a tomb that was a gift from the Egyptians to the Spanish , stone by stone was brought from Egypt!
pretty cool stuff, also found out what part of the Spanish flag means, the four different pictures within the crest are the original states of Spain, underneath the monarchy (crown).

Next day was a little bit full of bad omens! - the weather had cooled down , it was overcast (haha it seems everytime we leave a country that its overcast and cold!)
there was a massive fire next to our hotel pretty much! still trying to figure out what it was from, so we had breakfast at macca's , and oh my goodness, maccas has their hotcakes....with chocolate sauce AND they serve breakfast til noon! W.I.N.
so after breakfast we went straight to the airport, and checked in, the ride to Amsterdam started with a massive amount of turbulence, i'll admit i was a little freaked out, but there was a storm coming in so im just happy we made it through! - the poor girl next to me looked like she was going to puke :S

Once we arrived in amsterdam, we caught the train to Den haag awesome train ride, guys from the company came onto the train and asked where we were from and when they found out it was just jokes and jokes about koalas, jack, skippy etc... one of the guys spoke spanish as well! - thats one thing i love about Europe, everyone speaks 4 languages! im very very jealous of that , they were so lovely they even allowed us to take a photo in the drivers cabin! :D (ill upload it now)
we then had to catch the tram to our hotel, which was quite hard to find :S mostly coz we didnt look, i went into a police station and asked and got laughed at because it was across the road, we just didnt see it! - whoops.

so then it was mostly just getting settled, had something to eat (it was already 8 - 9pm) and then to bed, we were all pretty tired from all the traveling.

Next day, was just shopping to try to find orange things for 10 years of qdance! i hate that i want ot buy almost everything here in europe, the clothes, the shoes, oh my goodness the maxies..... i would buy a suitcase full if i could!
i also found this awesome shop full of geeky toys, little star wars things etc...

so then went back to the room, chilled out for a while, then dinner, and then to the beach! :D
i also found out that den haaaaaaaag is an actual city! :O i thought it was a suburb....but no its huge! 800.000 people live here ! goodness, and the beachfront is beautiful, we were sitting at a bar and drinking in the summer heat, just fantastic, one of the guys there also was studying audio engineering, so it was great to chat about audio with someone on the otherside of the world!
finally at 2am however it was time for bed, as tomorrow we were coming back to the beach to actually swim, and also do our laundry, woop woop!

next installment.....10 YEARS OF QDANCE!!!!!!

Hasta pronto!

Posted by valentinaa 13:49 Archived in Netherlands Tagged food Comments (0)

Recovery Day

overcast 22 °C
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On such days of course, nothing really happens, mostly its just eating and resting, so not much to report on from this day, however, I did eat a massive lunch, which was at about 3pm, steak and fried mushrooms, yum yum yum. We also had had a big day of eating planned because we had left so much to try, till the day before we leave, of course hahaha. My one main food was to try ben and jerry’s ice cream, and yes, it was delicious!
We also did our laundry today, not the most exciting activity on the planet, but a necessity. I also wanted to try on a watch I had seen at a shop on one of streets where a lot of retail stores are, I went and tried about 4 but no winner, ☹
Nat and mark met up with us to do their laundry as well, and then Chris went with a friend to the beach clubs that are on the coast, meant to be amazing, but I was not in the mood to party, was tired and I just felt like relaxing, maybe taking a nice walk, which is what we did. We went around the parts of Amsterdam that we had not seen! And I found a subway! :D didn’t try it though, must put that on the list when we come back. We walked for about an hour, I took a few photos, I am still amazed at how the actual city looks, and we were saying how they have no rubbish bins, because there is no space to store them! So they just leave their plastic bags on the street: S
And of course, the bikes were everywhere; the obesity rate in Holland must be at about 2 percent! Maybe we should introduce it in Australia that would help all the kids who are overweight!
In fact there are so many bikes that on buildings they have free air to pump up the tires! How cool is that?
Another fun fact is that you do not need a license to drive a vehicle that does not exceed 40K…moped anyone?
One last fun fact, because so many of the buildings are protected, to renovate they pull apart the building and rebuild it with the same materials! :O i’m still trying to figure out whether that’s safe: S, so many buildings are lop – sided and/or leaning forward, Rome may have the leaning tower of pizza, but Amsterdam is an entire city full of leaning buildings!
So when we finally got back to the food area, mark’s main concern was to get a kebab, because they don’t look like the kebabs back home, not even slightly! No tabuli, no hummos,, its basically that’s crappy meat….in a sandwich…. FAIL. But he wanted to try it anyway, turns out it was a major let down, it was not on my list, however, maccas was, so while nat got her giant cone of chips (they are famous here, chips with mayo, have to say they are pretty good chips) I went to get a “lion” and kit kat Mcflurry, first let down….you cant combine two flavors…. sad face. So I just got a lion mcflurry, I was not too sure what a lion was, but it seemed to be just chocolate, caramel and biscuit…. Now where this mcflurry does win…is that he put the chocolate bar in with the soft serve…and ALSO put caramel sauce :O :O :O :O – NOMNOMNOM, soooooooooooo good, I was so glad I had gone for that walk …..My body had an explosion of calories hahah.
So once we finished off our food, the sun was just setting, which meant it was just after 11pm, it’s the strangest concept, the sun setting at 11…but I have to say im jealous, long summer days, ahhhh Australia does fail at this.
So went back to the hotel and pretty much then just went to sleep, because the next day was what I really was looking forward too…. ESPAÑA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by valentinaa 22:33 Archived in Netherlands Tagged food Comments (0)

Sensation White 2010 Amsterdam Areana

:O

overcast 20 °C
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HOLY. MOLEY.

Ok so my goodness what a night! - what a great night!! I honestly did not expect sensation to be this good!
so night began with dinner at the place where i had the awesome BLT, nomnomnom, and then came back, showered, dressed etc... unfortunately the night and a bit of a rough beginning due to issues with our tickets, but finally by 11 o'clock we went down to the central station to buy tickets....now this may sound like a bit of a "duh" moment....but buying tickets in dutch....when you do not read dutch, is terribly difficult! - especially when you have no idea which train/stop that your looking for!!! so we asked someone else dressed in white, but the machine would not take the credit card, and these machines don't take coin or notes! so about 20 min of walking around asking different people for help finally a security guard was able to help us, turns out the reason that the credit card was not working was because we were picking the wrong pay option (there was, debit, maestro.... and a few others, we were meant to pick credit card, but we were picking maestro (mastercard in europe)) so anyway, we also asked which platform, with some luck there was a train waiting at the platform that we were able to jump on straight away! the ride was a total of about 10min, and we basically just followed everyone else dressed in white.
Simon, the guy who was getting us our tickets, also happened to be on the same train, but we didnt know and we met up with him as we left the station, the gates for entering and exiting the station are the strangest thing, i still dont understand them, it seems you can buy some sort of card that allows you travel like a travel weekly...but we could not find the exit with the paper tickets that we had... those are the kind of moments where you really feel like a foreigner.
Finally we did find the exit, (Yayyy!) then after about 15min of walking we also then found the crew/artist entry as well, and we were able to go inside!!!! the first hour was a lot of running around just getting some barrings and finding a spot, we all had deluxe tickets so we were in the sectioned off area, but it was packed in the grand stand, the area is actually a football field so we were in the seating area standing and dancing.
First off, i must mention the pure effort of the production, it was just FAN.TAS.TIC. the main stage was a giant pyramid and the punters (audience) were actually able to get onto the pyramid and get within a meter of the the spinning DJ booth! above the pyramid there was a line of hanging lights, and the lighting rigs were with white sheets that had little lights also on it, strobes and all other sorts of lights, i always find this SO amazing, the work that goes into building this kind of stage is just phenomenal, let alone trying to THINK of this stage in the first place!!!!
Photos will better explain! - and the videos as well
now not only is the main stage a mind blowing production thought, but the entire place is decked out in white carpet, all the deluxe rooms also have stages that have different setups, one in particular had white cardboard and there were pictures of buildings being projected onto the white cardboard, another stage had massive arrows that were actually lights, just incredible!

So now Ive rambled on about the production, next is the music...... just awesome. the mix, chuckie, swedish house mafia, wow wow wow wow, house for 6hours straight, and i dont think i hardly stopped dancing! - from the moment we arrived every tune was so well mixed, each track made you just wanna get your dance on, just awesome! i dont think ive heard that kind of quality of house music in a loooooooooong time, hardly any trance which was great for me, although nat was a little disappointed, but she still had fun!
the crowd has also been given fluro gloves and the DJ played "we will rock you" so everyone in the crowd had their hands up with these gloves on, and there were UV lights on so you could just see alll these hands in the crowd shine, my good it looked amazinggg (dont worry there is a video!)
after abour an hour in the grand stands chris wanted to go for a walk to some other part of the arena, my main plan was to get onto that pyramid and to enjoy the atmosphere in the crowd, being next to seats gets really boring, really quickly. so we split up, nat and I on our mission to the pyramid, and mark and chris doing their own thing.
This for me was probably the highlight of the night (that and maybe one more little event that did happen, not to worry i will get to that.) nat and I had a BLAST just dancing, I of course had to represent Oz and had a good shuffle throughout the night, which ended up being the way that conversation was started, excellent ice breaker!
We first tried to get onto the pyramid, but they were not letting people up, so we gave up after while and decided to go underneath the pyramid and check out that little dancefloor.... it had a MASSIVE fan down there...and at this point i had realized how much i was really sweating, before we had arrived chris was saying how the arena has no air con because Holland is always so cold that they dont need air con. inside the arena its usually an estimated 38 degrees, and i was REALLY feeling it!!! so we stood in front of the fan for a fair while trying to cool down, but of course as soon you start dancing again....well i just stopped caring what state i looked like, i was having too much fun to care!
after we spent a little bit of time downstairs we then went back out to the dance floor, at this point it was almost time when we had to meet back up with the boys, and mark was keeping in contact with us and saying where he was, but it was directly on the other side of the pyramid from where we were! so we decided just to take our time and not try to push through 50.000 people , this was really lucky as at one point we stopped for a dance and the DJ told everyone to sit down, so here we are, 50.000 people sitting down and waiting for the break of this song , finallly when it starts all this cool smoke comes down for the rig and nat and i are just jumping and laughing , was just awesome!!!!! especially as it cooled us down a little as well :P

so i should make a little note here on the actualy crowd, they are from all over europe, all different ages as well, at one point i saw a 70+ man wearing fairy lights (they were lit) and dancing like a 20 year old, i have to say, it was generally a very cool crowd! but i was laughing and mentioned to nat, that every crowd still smells the same, sweat, ciggies and BO, hahahaha.

By this time its about 4am and the place is still packed, even though the main act had just finished (swedish house mafia) however, one opportunity i did see was that the line for the pyramid had gone down significantly and i saw the security guards letting people through :O so of course i pulled nat into the line and 3 min later, BAM - entry onto the pyramid!!!!!!!!!!
we went straight up to the top and went right next to the DJ booth, here i was confronted with how everyone spoke Spanish! hahah, i met a Mexican and a fair few Spaniards as well, we did not stay on the pyramid for more than 20 min as at the top it was just sooooooo packed in, but we took photos that we WERE there and then went to find mark, which ended up being a huge mission as we didnt know really where he was, we thought we did but we were not allowed onto the deck that he was talking about, he was fairly pissed as his night was spent running around more than being able to enjoy the actual night! :(
but we had a dance and eventually, eric (a dutchie who works for ID&T) was able to get us all onto the VIP deck. now i must mention, VIP really does not live up to the hype, all these people are often quite snobby and dressed to look their best, while nat and i are there to dance around, so i was feeling quite short hahahah. but we had fun anyway, at one point mark tapped us and pointed to a girl carrying a box of little bottles, i asked what they were and mark shrugged and said everyone was drinking them, so we all took one, seemed that it was vodka of some sorts, but im not honestly sure!
(http://www.flugel.com/ this is the site of the what it is)
after this we were just dancing and having a good time as the sun was coming up, as the area has a glass roof we could see the light come through, now this is where my other highlight of the night came up......i met D-Block and S-Te-Fan .... WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, got a photo also, which... i have to say made me happy and all hell, could not wipe the grin off my face! they really are tall as buildings though! seem lovely as well, did not think that was going to happen! :D

so buy this point its 6am and both nat and i are wreaked , my feet were killing me and I wanted to have a shower to get all the sweat and dirt off me! we left straight after it finished, caught an overpriced taxi back to the hotel, showered and just passed out.

phew! i will post photos as soon as i get them from nat, she was the one with the camera that night, in the mean time, these are the official photos from the site, http://www.sensation.com/netherlands/en/photos

well now i'm off to eat! im just starving!!!!!!

hope everyone is well and hopefully i'll hear from you all soon!
Teusssssssss

Posted by valentinaa 05:21 Archived in Netherlands Tagged events Comments (1)

Day Three

We visit the royals while hungover and get a little taste of pancakes!

overcast 25 °C
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Hulllo!!!

So today was pretty tame, woke up after our little adventure last night not feeling in tip top shape, i had wanted to go on my bike ride, but was not really feeling up to it, so instead we went out for breakfast, which ended up a disaster!
We went to the same place that we went for breakfast yesterday, however, it was a different guy as the main waiter, and he was an absolute *insert insulting word here* Chris went to order and just as he was about to ask for "instead of..." this waiter cuts him off and says that he was having problems with the chef and we could not change the order?? - it was a 5 minute story on something that was not OUR problem as the customer! finally we got that the chef will only cook what is on the menu, nothing different, WHAT A JOKE, we should have left right there and then, but we didnt because the gang was so hungry, so i ordered an omlette with mushrooms, ham and cheese, problem number one, my omlette shows up a fair while after everyone elses food shows up, then, the omlette is probably one egg (it was less than a MM thick) and no mushroom, ham OR cheese! - ?!?!?!?!?!?!? so i send it back... and its the same thing, one scrambled egg friend, and then mushrooms thrown onto the the middle and one slice of cheese and a slice of ham, ..... i was so angry, and i said, "nup, not eating this, i have more respect for my stomach" so we left and i went for a walk and looked for something else and found the most beautiful little cafe that had the best little cakes and things, so i ordered a BLT with cheese......magic...just magic, crunchy bacon, crisp lettuce, melted cheese tasty tomato a little bit of mayo.... on brown toasted bread...... i did not know food could taste that good when having just been so let down.... just fantastic, i really would like to go back for breakfast but tomorrow we get a free breakfast at the hotel, so maybe ill get lunch when we come back from spain... or on sunday, who knows! :D

so after this nat, mark and i went shopping for gifts for all of you :P - i wont write too much on this seeing as it is a surprise !
after this we then went and meet up with a friend who is also here for sensation and we (him, chris and i) all went to see the palace that i had wanted to go to before, it was AMAZING! :D i was so happy that i went to see it, the entire place was filled with marble sculptures and fabulous paintings and the most delicate furniture, and just to think, people use to call this home! unfortunately i forgot my camera, so i have no photos.... but Chris had his so you will all have to wait till i get the photos from him so that i can share it with all of you ! !

in fact i did learn something new today that i will share instead! - the national symbol for Amsterdam is XXX, but it actually has nothing to do with the fact that the city is a hub for... X rated things, but that during the pirate days, XXX is the postcode for Amsterdam! - and its what they knew the port as, so actually XXX means the Amsterdam port! but because their were so many sailors coming into the port, all the women decided that they could make money off of the sailors, and thats how the Amsterdam is now a hub for such things! - pretty cool!

anyway, other than the palace we went and had dutch pancakes as well! blue berrry!!!! yum yum yum i wish i could bring some back with me for all you... :P maybe ill get the recipe!

anywho, watching the football now, GO GERMANY!!!! 3 nil!!! woop woop woop!

and soon there is SENSATION!!! so we gotta go eat, then get ready! i will make sure to keep you all updated hope your all well!

DoEi!!!! till tomorrow!!

Posted by valentinaa 08:10 Archived in Netherlands Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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