Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Amsterdam and Dresden

Cologne, to Amsterdam, to Dresden, followed by a ridiculous 34 hour journey to get to where I am now, Oxelofund, Sweden. Should of been in London last night, but that volcano is keeping me grounded.
So, new plan: Going to Oslo, Norway to visit another friend. Will get there Wednesday afternoon and assuming all goes well and the volcano chills out for a bit, will fly from there to London on Saturday, thus capping off my now seven week European adventure.

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Amsterdam was both fun and shady. Things like the red light district are giggle-worthy for a good 30, maybe 40 seconds, and good giggles at that, but then it gets a little....less. And then more less. Then a little more, cause of the awkward, but then it takes a final plunge into the land of no giggles. But Amsterdam (apparently) has really cool history and culture.

Dom Square
I Amsterdam. Yes, I am.
This is the building where all the guilds used to meet. The stonemasons had the tower on the right. The test to become a stonemason was to build a window in the tower, which is why that tower has so many windows.
Houses in Amsterdam used to be taxed on their width, not the length or height. This is the narrowest house in Amsterdam.


And Amsterdam has some really cool canals too.


And sunset in Amsterdam takes me to Dresden, Germany

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Dresden, by the way, exists in the future.

This pay phone can video, text, go online AND make phone calls.

Dresden in also the only place in the world that they make VW Phaetons, VW's adventure into luxury automobiles. This is also a no-picture zone, so that's why it's a little crooked. Not bad for a shot from the hip.

Here on the left is where the engine meets the body. They call it marriage. (They also call the application of the VIN's 'baptizing')
Pretty city. Was mediocre weather, so imagine a warm spring day. I'm told it's quite nice here on warm spring days.


And leaving Dresden began the 10 or 11 train, and 34-hour journey from hell! HELL!! Ugh.


So my friend and I look through the schedules on how to get to Sweden from Dresden. Dresden to Berlin to Hamburg to Copenhagen to Stockholm, and get off the train early. Was going to have have to spend the night, midnight to six, in Copenhagen, but the internet says they have a nice Burger King. Four trains, several hours, no worries.
Train to Berlin, done. Train to Hamburg, done. It's on this train that I realize the train to Copenhagen that I wanted (which was the last one of the day) only runs during the summer. No worries. I'll take a train from Hamburg to Fredericia, Denmark, (you following me?) and from there to another Danish town. That town's not far out of Copenhagen, so I'll spend the night there, and be maybe an hour or two late to Sweden. Nope.
On the train to Fredericia, and they everyone off the train. They say it's a technical problem with the train, that they'll be a bus waiting to take us to another train station and another train. So we all get off the train. I already know at this point that I'm kind of boned, because I only have like a ten or fifteen minute layover til my next train, and trains don't wait the way planes do. So two things happen. One, all of us do nothing. We just stand there like sheep with no shepard. Two, the train continues on empty. Turns out it was the wrong announcement, that there was nothing wrong with the train, and it went on as planned. Dam.
Things happen, hours pass, and eventually we all figure out to get on a train that almost takes us to Denmark. I am so lucky, and I make a friend on that train who's friends are going to pick her up and take her to Denmark, and who will let me sleep on her floor for the night.
OK, so I'm in Denmark. Wake up at six for the six thirty direct train to Copenhagen that DOESN'T EXIST. So I take the seven to Fredericia, as planned for the night before. Get to Copenhagen with relative ease, and then after a few hours (cause everyone is trying to get home. Again, stupid volcano) hop the train to Norrkoping. Which sucks, cause I'm supposed to go to Nykoping. Why would they put two stops like this next to each other? Well, it's no biggie, because Nykoping is the next stop after Norrkoping. So I figure I'll just stay on the train, hide out on the bistro car. Except this train doesn't stop in Nykoping. This realization, combined with watching the station go by at 180kph made me a sad, sad man. So I get to the next station, and the next train back the other way is few hours later. I take in, and half an hour later, I finally get to where I was going in the first plane. Finally. And I was a happy, tired and relieved man to get here.

And that's that story.

But on the bright side, this is what I got to wake up to in Denmark.


And then these are from the train's in and around Sweden.




There will be some more Sweden pics, I'm sure. This is a really photogenic area of the world.

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So from here I'm going to go to Oslo, to visit another friend. I am now the most North I have ever been in the world, and that will be true again in Norway. Oslo will be a lot of fun. Might as well make the best of this volcano.


Oh, I also wanted to throw in this:
Cause I think I look good in a jacket:)

I wasn't allowed to wear an undershirt under the button down. It would of been too American and geeky.

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And I wanted to say hi (give a shout out?) to Lauren and Iddo and their beautiful new baby Lyla.


She's so cute. Love her hair. I can't wait to meet her.



-Matt

1 comment:

  1. haha, what a great, if tragically funny, travel story. glad to hear things are going well.

    ReplyDelete