Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course. As you all know, my fellow blogger Theta and I have been planning to meet each other, and now it finally happened!!! Can I get a whoop, whoop?!
I met Theta when I first started blogging and soon we became very good online friends. We talk to each other regularly on Skype, tweet a lot and basically annoy the hell out of each other 😉 What started out as a joke a year ago, him wanting to visit the Netherlands and I offering to play tour guide in Amsterdam, quickly changed into something more serious.
He bought plane tickets and I invited him over to my house, since I have a guestroom, why pay for a hotel? And after what seemed like an awfully long wait, last week he finally arrived at Schiphol airport!
So what do you get when two fellow geeky bloggers meet-up? First of all, a much stressed hot cute girly geek wanting to get everything perfect and in desperate need of cleaning my house. Second of all, a lot of geeky hugs, inside whovian jokes, playing yellow car for 6 days straight (btw I won), going on rollarcoasters, look cake! And much, much more. This will be a more general account on what we did for 6 days and I will post separate blogs later about the museums and stuff.
As I said, we started with me being very stressed and almost running late picking Theta up from the airport. Since I don’t have a drivers license, public transport was the way to go for the next couple of days. But luckily I got there just in time, had an enormous hug and introduced Theta to his first view of the Netherlands.
After dumping his suitcase back home we went into the city centre of the lovely and picturesque (nah not really) town of Gouda, where I live. Let’s just say we decided after that night to do the rest of our travelling either by walking or public transport after a minor biking accident. Guess the old Dutch saying of you’ll never forget how to ride a bike doesn’t take in account you actually have to be Dutch for it to work.
We had a lovely dinner at one of our local restaurants, went back home and it was time for presents. Since it’s hard for me to get hold of the Doctor Who magazine (I can get hold of it, but it is truly overprized) Theta brought a stack of them just for me! Along with some awesome Doctor Who related novels, DVDs and proper English tea! We watched some Doctor Who of course and went to bed early, cause our second day we were supposed to go to the Efteling. Our largest and most famous amusement park!
Although us Dutchies bitch a lot about the national rail service, turns out, it isn’t as bad as the British one. At least they inform us when stuff happens. But we had a smooth trip to the Efteling and pretty much behaved like 12 year olds, going on all rollercoasters and walking around fairytale forest. If you ever get the chance as a non Dutchie to visit the Efteling, you should do so, it’s amazing! Theta ate his first ‘Bossche Bol’. Oh and I got a chance to buy a new book by one of my favourite Dutch children’s book authors. He wrote the story specially for the Efteling, since one of the shows and rides is based on this.
Day three of the ultimate geeky blogger meet-up and we went to Amsterdam! First stop the tourism office to buy ourselves an I love Amsterdam card. Basically it gives you free travel in the Amsterdam public transport and a lot of free access to a lot of museums and a discount for other museums. Even for Dutchies who want to spend the day in Amsterdam going to museums I would recommend buying such a card. Check the website for the up-to-date list of museums and restaurants you can get a discount for and the prices and such: http://www.iamsterdam.com/en-GB/Experience/Deals/I%20amsterdam%20City%20Card
Our second stop after walking through the main shopping area was Marks & Spencers. As far as I know, the only one in the Netherlands and since I don’t go that often to Amsterdam it’s a good store to stock up on British products. (I must confess I’m addicted to their chicken sandwiches, I basically live on those when I’m in the UK) and I also bought a bag of jelly babies. How can I host a 50th anniversary whovian birthday party without jelly babies?
And what would a visit to Amsterdam be without checking out Waterstones. Seriously, I’m not capable of leaving a bookstore without buying a book. I bought Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and together with Theta we bought a present for Lokke, one of my fellow DCC members who happens to celebrate her birthday in a couple of days and who would be playing tour guide the next day. And across from Waterstones there’s the English bookstore, basically the English version of what we Dutchies call the ‘witte boekhandel’. I picked up the princess bride and Theta bought another book for Lokke.
After the necessary shopping we went to see the ‘van Gogh’ museum. A must visit for a whovian or a museum geek, take your pick. I’ll be posting a separate blog about this later this week or maybe next week. Let me just say it was brilliant!
With the ‘van Gogh’ museum checked of our to-do list the next stop was the ‘Rijksmuseum’. As a Dutchie I must confess it was the first time I went and saw the famous ‘Nachtwacht’ painting.
Although not as amazing as the ‘van Gogh’ museum, we still had a good time and Theta felt right at home as a British person with all the queuing we had to do to enter the museum. Seriously, first a queue to get into the museum, then a queue for buying tickets and the last queue to drop of our bags, seeing as you can’t bring your bags into the museum.
As the day was nearing its end we decided to do a ‘canal tour’ as last activity for the day. Packed with tourists I was probably the only Dutchie on board. Our tour guide was a local and he loved to take the piss out of people, which nobody understood as he did it in Dutch. I had the time of my life, and tried to translate as much as I could for Theta.
We were both pretty much dead after two days of running around and it was a good thing I planned a relaxed day in between. Sunday was reserved for a slow day in Delft, meeting up with my fellow DCC member and friend Lokke. She showed us around Delft, introduced us to the best apple pie ever (seriously, Dean would freaking love that apple pie, it was worth it), Theta had his first experience with a ‘Haagse Hopje’ and herring, and basically we had a good time.
Monday was again another day in Amsterdam and we started with the Anne Frank house. Because I know this is a popular place to visit we did this first thing, but if you plan on visiting it, no matter what time of day, prepare to wait at least an hour before you can get it.
I have visited the Anne Frank house when I was about 12 years old, but it still got to me. I’ll try to write a proper blog about it later this week. But I will say one thing. You are not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. This is because of the fact that for a lot of people the visit is really emotional and out of respect you are simply not allowed. And there are signs saying you’re not allowed. And, excuse my language, bloody stupid American tourists, you can read English! Don’t take pictures!!! (Ok, rant is over now)
We needed a bit of a cheer-up after the visit and decided to stop drinks and ‘bitterballen’ before our next visit to the Hermitage.
The hermitage is linked to the one in St-Petersburg and since I’m such a geek for Russian culture I wanted to visit it. We were being told the old exhibit was still open next to the new one, but when we arrived we missed it by a day. But it was still lovely to see. (Again, expect a blog post later this week).
Oh and in between we stopped for lunch at an Irish pub located at ‘Rembrandt plein’ St. James. Best burgers ever!
And our final museum visit was foam. Normally I’m not that big on photography, but they did an expose about David Bowie and we decided it was something we both liked to see. The main museum wasn’t that interesting, but the Bowie expose was amazing. (You guessed it, blog post is coming later).
After foam it was time to make a quick stop at the American and British sweetshop in Amsterdam to stock up with all sorts of goodies. (And again, buying stuff for my birthday party, jammie dodgers anyone?) http://eichholtzdeli.nl/welcome/index.html
Our visit to Amsterdam ended in Waterstones where I picked up an amazing and newly published Doctor Who book and got myself a Waterstones card as well.
This was our last evening together and what better way to spend it with a couple of beers and ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ seeing all the paintings we saw in real life a few days prior.
And, insert sad face here, our final day. We did a quick tour through the city centre of Gouda, bought ourselves a giant syrup waffle, he bought cheese and I treated him to an ‘oliebol’ and it was time to drop Theta off at the airport again. We said our goodbyes with a big hug and I am sure we’ll team up another time, probably me going over to the UK. In the mean time we’ll continue to Skype and tweet and annoy the hell out of each other.
Thanks for the amazing time sweetie 😉
Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.