Monday, November 26, 2007

Amsterdam in handbag

This is a chilling morning, and I set off to the train station ("Bahnhof" in German, sounds "barn-hof"), for a 2D1N trip to Amsterdam, with a handbag. Yup, you are right, and I'm right, I'm not "backpacking", but "handbagging". I have a big handbag, big enough to put all my daily necessities inside, together with my wallet, camera, phone, travel book, etc. So now I'm ready for a trip!

Of course some preparation is needed. Train ticket was bought from, where as long as you book 3 days in advance, normally you could get at least 50% off on return ticket (i.e., you pay for single trip, and get the return ticket!). Hotel was booked via, a recommendation from a friend who using it quite a lot, which I also found very efficient. But hotels in Amsterdam is REALLY expensive! 70 Euro per night only get this kind of room:

Recently I've taken quite a lot of excercises on stairs. Last time in Himeji Castle, the stairs should definitely be military usage only. And this time the hotel in Amsterdam is basically just a canal house (when you say "canal house" in Amsterday, the first impression you should have should be long, narrow and steer stairs). And my room was in the attic, which means I climbed roughly 50 steps up from the street!

Upon arrival, I visited the Museum of Van Loon. It seems to have nothing related to the writer Dr. Van Loon, but it's still worthy visiting, for all its brilliant collections. It might be equivalent to some royal collections!

Early the next morning, I visited the Museum of Anne Frank, which really impressed me. I have never read the book "Diary of Anne Frank", but I've heard of this story. Visit to this museum still gave me quite a big shock, especially when I saw the movie stars' photos on the little girl's wall. I mean, who ever not did such things in high school? I think the thing that impressed people most, is that Anne is a girl that loves life so much, but in the end lost her life in a tragic war. Someone says that knowing Anne's story makes people perish the life, but once people think about there are countless people dying just like Anne, we might even lose the courage the live any more. That is true. After the visit, I took a short break in the museum's cafe, just to let myself come back to real life.

And then is the Dam Square. This is the centre of the city, and almost all most important buildings are clustered here. No doubt it is the focus of all cameras. The Royal Palace, church, National Monument, and so on. Just curious that this square is so small! Cannot just compare it with its counterpart in China, the Tian'anmen Square.

The trip back to Luneburg was a tragedy. German railway system fell into a mess after 6pm on Sunday. Every train was delayed. So I was delayed, and delayed, and delayed! Finally when I arrived in Luneburg, it was 10pm, 1 and half hour later in total! I swear that I will never take German trains continuously for more than 4 hours any more. I should take a plane actually.

Here are the album of this trip:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Birthday dinner at a more than 500 yrs old restaurant

Finally could call it a day, and I decided to have dinner in the oldest restaurant in the town of Luneburg, as a small celebration.
The name of the restaurant is Krone, where I visited with some colleagues before for several time. It was built in 1485, so hope after another 500 years I could still have dinner here, hahaha.
This is a combo-poster hanged in Krone, which I like pretty much. Reason being? My name is in one of the posters! Could you find it out? (Hint: It is in a sharp color, at a sharp position.)
Looking for the answer? Well, keep read on then.

After one day's tough work, don't expect my pose was as good as these brilliant girls above.
And finally this is the dessert I had, Black Forrect Bowl. (BTW, Black Forest is actually the name of place in Germany.)
OK, now here comes the answer to the million-dollar question: What's my name? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LAURA!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Birthday!

Today is my birthday, but I'm still struggling with emails, bugs, managers, etc.

This is an interesting picture when I happened to look at the clock on my laptop on an interesting moment:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Quiet morning in Lubeck

Due to the jet-lag, although I went to bed 1:30 am, I got up at 6:30 am, to find out that it was all dark out there. I enjoyed my breakfast in the hotel cafe, where I was the only guest during the whole 20 min. I never felt this hotel's breakfast is so delicious, possibly since I basically not ate since for 12 hours! (SIA sucks! My lunch was bloody cold, and the rice for the dinner was even RAW!) But I had to praise their self-service waffle. The materials are so fresh, and you could smell the fragrance of 50's. Together with their homemade jam, this is definitely gonna be my must-have for breakfast during my next two weeks' stay here.
I managed to catach a train to Lubeck (thanks God the railway drivers stopped strike during the weekend), a small but famous port town north-east to Hamburg. One hour's train ride, I only observed less than 10 passengers on the train at the same time (anyway the train only has two trunks). There is a small twon called Mollen on the way, which has a lake that reflects the whole town inside it. I almost rushed off the train for this beautiful town.
Lubeck looks quite similar to Luneburg, City Hall, churches, just not that well-preserved as Luneburg, because it was half-destroyed during WWII, thanks to its military importance as a port. But it has its own symbol, the Holstentor, or the Holsten Gate, which is often observed on many German culture-related things, even the Euro coins.
The morning was so quiet that when I walked down the street, I hated my boots because of the noise. But around 10:30 am when all churches began to ring the bells to call for people, I wondered how they built those things to make such huge sounds!

And here are the full album of my photos taken in Lubeck that day: