Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Europe: Summary and Video (Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium)

Merry Christmas, peeps!

I can't wait to share with you my lousy 15 minute edited-using-cellphone video. I really need a good camcorder. This video has been blocked by YouTube many times due to song copyright and I edited it like more than 3 times already. Some more the crappy app is so not user-friendly and has reduced the quality. 15 minutes seems lengthy but I tried my best to squeeze 2 weeks into one video clip. The rest will be deleted sadly due to lack of memory.

 Here's the video, enjoy!
It's so Christmasy. Love the winter wonderland feel omg!

Cologne, Germany
The only attraction we visited here is the Kölner Dom. It is so huge you will surely find it amazing. Construction began at 1248 and completed on 1880 with a few years halted. One tip to get a good view of the whole architecture and to fit into your camera screen is to view from behind the fountain which is situated in front of the cathedral. Another strategic spot to enjoy the view is across Hohenzollernbrücke, a steel bridge with semi-circles. There's a huge empty space in front of Cologne Cathedral enough for everyone to lepak. There is a Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) right beside it usually from November 26th till December. Overall, Germany is clean but with graffiti here and there and most of the guys and young ladies are slim, chic and pretty. "Washed my eyes" a lot in Germany.

Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg is a laid back small town I nicknamed it retirement town. It has far lesser tourist than most mainstream cities and will immediately feel relaxed once you step in. Too bad when we arrived at 6pm it was already very dark due to winter season. So I suggest to go during late spring or summer if you wanna visit. Heidelberg is famous for the castle and Karl Theodor bridge also known as Alte Brücke to the locals, both visible from each other so you can have a walking tour. There was a Christmas market at town center too with carousel and lots of shops and bars surrounding. Highly recommended to visit if you want a peaceful trip.

Titisee, Germany
Here's yet another small retirement town. This place is famous for the cuckoo clock maker, black forest as well as the cake and the lake. I can't say its huge coz I've seen larger natural lakes meaning not result of mining or dam. We visited a spa town which lies on the north shore of Lake Titisee. What is a spa town? It is a specialized resort town developed around a mineral spa and in this case the whole town mainly caters for tourism revolving Lake Titisee. Seriously there are no residential homes in Titisee, only commercial ones like gift shops, resorts and restaurants. So if one plans to retire here he/she might wanna manage a gift store or pork knuckle restaurant. The shore surrounding the lake is full of wild ducks and families where they play games, have picnic or just stroll.

Schaffhausen, Switzerland
As you might guessed that pink fella busy taking pictures is me lah. The only attraction we can find here is  the enormous Rheinfall and its surrounding castles that converted into hotels, gift shop and restaurant lmao. The waterfall is situated on the borders of Germany and Switzerland. Rheinfall is the largest plain waterfall in Europe. Large? I don't feel so. Maybe a plain waterfall means waterfall that only has one level. It is not high but could say it is wide. I was expecting a bit like Niagara Falls...dream on, babe. However the thunderous sound of water flowing made me wanna sit on that bench for hours. The environment was so calm and peaceful. Laufen Castle is on the right of this picture overlooking Rheinfall. Today it serves as a restaurant and youth hostel. There is another castle called Wörth Castle located on a tiny island on the river. It used to be a customs house but today it is a tourist cafe.

Engelberg, Switzerland
This is another retirement town. Don't you feel the tranquility just by looking at this picture? It's so tiny I bet there are more lodges and skiing resorts than cottages. We barely visited this town coz our purpose is to go up to Mt. Titlis. There's not much to see in this little town except for the lake, the fairytale-like stream, the cute cottages and lots of pine trees. There ain't snowing yet when we arrived but everything will turn white in mid December.

Mt. Titlis, Switzerland
Mt. Titlis is 10,623ft above sea level located on Uri Alps. For a person that has never seen real snow, this might be the place for you coz it snows all year round. I would prefer it to have snowflakes falling down instead of these static ones coz they were kinda hard and solid. To get to the summit you have to ride 3 cable cars for an hour. First one could accommodate 4-6 persons, second one is squarish non-seated and third being the most famous and most crowded is a revolving cable car. I assure you will be sandwiched. As you arrive you will see some gifts and chocolate shop. OMG Lindt is super cheap here. Next we entered the glacier cave which has nothing but ice. Would appreciate more carvings and deco. At the end of the tunnel cave you will come upon the cliff walk which made my heart drop all of a sudden. Then you will get abundance of snow to make snow angel and snowman. And of course the main activity here is skiing. Do try the Ice Flyer chair lift that will take you down to glacier park and snowtubing down in high speed.


Lucerne, Switzerland
Ok, we have talked much about retirement idk maybe coz I'm growing old or European countryside is too peaceful. Lucerne is definitely my number one city to retire. The balance between culture and heritage with modern and convenience is just right. Here we visited Lion Monument which is a sculpture of a dying lion carved into stone wall to commemorate the Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 during the French Revolution.We also visited Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) and the premium watch shops surrounding the city. I love this part especially because all the buildings look so pretty with Christmas deco and the lake adds more beauty. I have no words to describe so you got to see for yourself.

Paris, France
Paris is well known for lights, fashion and romance. Everything here seems so atas but let's cut the crap and hear from a tourist's perspective. Sure enough the city center is gleaming with noble mega structures but approaching the city from highway we saw countless of so called art leaving no empty walls and rubbish piled up on every corner of the highway. We were in great despair as it's not a good impression for tourists. To top on that, horrible traffic that lasted hours. Oh, and one more pickpockets and scammers are very common here. First is the gypsies. We were surrounded by them at Place de la Concorde asking for our signature for God knows what petition. The plan is to quietly steal your belongings while you sign the petition being surrounded by dozens of  them. Secondly, there is an Eiffel tower souvenir syndicate run by a race that I shall not mention as it might be offensive. The key chains are cheap though and I managed to get a good bargain so I have no complains for them. We also found out Eiffel Tower was supposedly a temporary structure built for 1889's World Fair.

Brussels, Belgium
Belgium is all about chocolates and waffles to me. Approaching the Grand Place you will pass by some ghetto. The city needs to be beautified. However historical buildings surrounding Grand Place is grand indeed. I do not know the names to the buildings surrounding the square but some of them has gold embroidery on the exterior. Normal days you won't get to see this huge Christmas tree so we are lucky to to be able to see it in December. It was very very chilly though, -3 degrees Celsius. We had a great mussels and steak lunch at La Brouette somewhere behind from where I'm standing in this picture. On this season you mustn't miss the Christmas market. It was a large one and wish we had more time. Don't forget to visit the Manneken Pis which is just 2 minutes walk from

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is all about windmill, tulip, clog, lots of cows and ducks and beer. It's a very liberal city which I hope to spend more time here.We visited Zaanse Schans, a traditional Dutch village that has wooden windmills still working today. This is a must visit place for all tourists in Amsterdam. At night we visited Dam square and walk through Red light District. You won't get to see fully nude women but you can see them in lingerie. Let me remind you DO NOT take pictures or videos while you are passing through or say goodbye to your camera. If we stay here for a week or so we would like to try on some "cakes" and "cookies". In the morning we ride on canal cruise which reminds me of  the scenes in "The Fault in Our Stars". The cruise is about 45 minutes. There are hundreds of museums to visit in Amsterdam being Anne Frank's and Rijksmuseum as the famous ones.

Volendam, Netherlands
Volendam is the windiest and nearest town to the sea I have ever been in Europe. Plus this chilly weather I could easily freeze myself. Volendam is just half an hour from Amsterdam and it is a harbour community. What caught my eyes are the pretty row of houses and shops. There are lots of souvenir strores and seafood outlet here. It was too cold in December for us to enjoy the sea breeze so this a visit in late spring or summer would be better.

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Najwa, thanks for dropping by my blog. Your support means so much to me

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  2. wat airline. airbus?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      We took Etihad Airways A332. Yes it is airbus

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