Day 18: Beach on Zandvoort

All right, I have a confession.  I lied.  I didn’t go to Amsterdam.  Actually I failed at planning a trip to Amsterdam.  I somehow booked a hotel for Zandvoort and didn’t check until the day I had to leave Groningen.  Actually, I booked it on and I just picked anywhere close to Schiphol.  It said 10 km so I didn’t think it was that far from Amsterdam Central.

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But, whatever! I’m here and honestly this place is amazing!  There’s beaches (tons of them), lots of food, places to rent bikes and segways!  And the best part of this trip, my hotel room.  The hotel room is SO nice.  Probably the best place I’ve stayed at my entire trip thus far.  It’s super clean, looks like it was just renovated.

Shotel Ate another dish of shawarma and fries and then for dinner I had fries with satay sauce and a dutch cheese pocket. Super healthy, right? After that, headed to the local grocery store and grabbed a 1.5 litre bottle of water and then headed home.

Waited around until 9:45pm so that I could go out just before sunset.  Got a few shots of sunset and even using one as my background now.  If you want a full resolution version let me know.  I’m really liking these ones.

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Day 17: Groningen Museum & Shawarmas

Ended up going out much later today.  Left around 3PM today.  We all headed out to Groningen Museum.  Future Chair It’s a museum of modern art and as per usual with modern art museums, it had some really weird stuff.  Walked around like usual. Snapped some photos and then at the end of museum, there’s this AWESOME info centre.  It’s like a futuristic office room.  Here are some photos of the room.

The guy working in the info centre was really nice too.  And he spoke English perfectly.  I haven’t really found anyone in Groningen who could speak English properly.  I told him about my trip to Amsterdam and he gave me some tips to where to find some museums in Amsterdam.  I’ll probably visit the museum with the Van Gogh collection.

Kapsalon After the museum I took my family out for food.  We ended up eating at this place that sold another famous dish of Dutch culture.  I got this thing called a Kapsalon.  It’s not a hair salon, but a dish with salad, cheese, fries, and shawarma meat.  It was really good! It’s more or less their version of a poutine; or at least according to wiki it is.  This is definitely one of the better dishes I’ve had here.

Once we finished eating, we headed back home.  Before heading home though, I grabbed my train ticket from the train station to Amsterdam.  Honestly, if you’re travelling on the ICE or IC lines, getting tickets straight from the train station isn’t any different them buying online.

Now that I’m home, I’ll start working on the photos and finish uploading the rest of them.

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Day 16: Gay Day & IKEA Foods

Saturday. Today is everyone’s day off.  Woke up to the noise of screaming children and slamming doors.  Ended up waking up super late again but had breakfast with the family and showered before 11.  Gay Day Concert We headed out again today to the city centre.  My folks had no idea what festival was going on today.  I sort of had a clue from all the colourful flags but I couldn’t be sure because I couldn’t read the signs.  But of course! It was the GAY PRIDE PARADE today.   Full of music you’d normally associate with gay pride, and enough transgenders to fill an entire building.  It’s nothing compared to Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade, but its definitely not a bad day to come out.  Lots of free food, and even some places were handing out free beer!

Groningen Clock Tower I ended up going up this clock tower with my uncle and my cousin Dennis.  Man, I didn’t realize how much vertigo I would feel going up to such a tower.  Really it was those steps up to the tower.  It was in that spiral shape, but it was so steep, and there’s no handles, just a rope in the middle.  It was however, worth it.  Went to the top and took some shots of the city.  Take a look at the photos below to get an idea what the city of Groningen looks like!

After coming down, I needed to eat something.  Ended up having these snackings called Tzatziki Burgers.  They’re really tiny.  About the size of Junior Cheese Burger at McDonalds.  Also grabbed some famous fries and a sausage.  So good.  Earlier we dropped the two youngest cousins, Rick and Kevin at Chinese school.  So once they finished we grabbed them and headed back home.  Before going home though, we stopped by IKEA and picked up some hot dogs and something to drink.  I ended up eating 2 IKEA dogs and got my favourite drink at IKEA, LINGONBERRY JUICE!  The hot dogs weren’t much different but they do have 2 extra ingredients we don’t get in Toronto; fried onion bits and pickles.

My aunt made BBQ tonight. Smells really good.  So, hanging out with my little cousins while we wait for food.  Like I said before Google Translate has been such a life saver! It sounds really awkward and IT IS! But, so grateful for it.  Speaking with the youngest one, Rick, is pretty funny too.  I’ll talk to him Chinese but he always responds in Dutch.  Even though he knows I don’t understand he keeps on yapping away.  It’s fun though, I’m picking up a little bit of Dutch along the way.  I think I can finally hear the difference between German and Dutch.  Before I couldn’t even hear it at all.  I have some basics down now too, like “Thank You”, “Excuse Me”, “Sorry”, “You’re Welcome”, “I”, “You”, “Nothing”, “Beer”.  Even though I’m not doing as much sight seeing here, it’s definitely an experience I definitely love!

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