Netherlands

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Note : Check out the other Europe trip related articles:

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Nearly seven (7) years ago,  a scholarship from the Netherlands Fellowship Program paved the way for me to travel to Netherlands (a.k.a. Holland) for free (see travel for “free” article for more details)!:D  It never occurred to me that I will be able to follow my father’s footsteps because he also went to Netherlands through scholarship when I was a baby. Is it fate? Hmmm…

I must admit, it’s one of the defining moments of my life.  Meeting and gaining friends from all over the world helped me see and understand things in a broader perspective.  🙂

AfroCarribean Party

with Khinna

See below for more unforgettable and silly moments :

EurAsia Party

with my Dutch Sis 🙂

winning team 😀

dancing or giggling?

Filipino & Dutch connection

Freedom Party

Grace (in red shirt) Birthday Party

Flower Auction

My Bhutanese’ Bodyguards. 🙂

Goofing around before Graduation.

I can’t wait to visit Netherlands again (this time, I vow to visit one of the “coffee” shops!) and other Euro Countries in the near future.

P.S.
Mommy Lenah this is for you 🙂 :

“wish” list

And the tower topic continues…  (click here to read the “towers” article)

Below are the towers and buildings (as well as statue!) that I would like to visit in this lifetime (hopefully it will come true… cross your fingers for me please?  ):

(Japan ) Tokyo Sky Tree

  • the tallest tower in the world which will be completed by February 2012 (Source: Wikipedia)
Tokyo Sky Tree

(China) Canton Tower

  • second tallest tower in the world (Source: Wikipedia)
Canton Tower

(Korea) Namsan Tower

  • simply because I love Korea. 😀
Namsan Tower

(Taiwan) Taipei 101

  • I also love Taiwan because Jerry Yan and Ella lives there. 😉
Taipei 101
(Dubai) Burj Khalifa
  • I want to see where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stayed. :p
Burj Khalifa
(USA) Empire State Building
  • because it’s New York! New York! New York! 😉
Empire State Building
(USA) Statue of Liberty
  • it’s not a tower or a building but I would like to see it!
Statue of Liberty

(France)  Eiffel Tower (one more time)

Eiffel Tower

Who want’s to go with me?  The more the merrier!   And if there’s a tour guide out there who’s willing to plan the itinerary and show us  around for free, that would be totally awesome! Ha! See you! :p

That ends my wish list… for now. What’s yours?

towers

Alright… I confess… I have this thing for towers and other skyscrapers (in which I still prefer to call as tower… :p).  Being drawn to towers is one way (I think) of conquering my fear of heights.  Is it psychological?

Towers do make me feel tall (since I’m extremely petite :p ) and powerful!  From the top of the sky high tower,  I feel like I’m the Queen of the world looking down at the “microscopic” objects  and “tiny” creatures called human beings. :p  Well, climbing a tower is more attainable than aspiring to fly. Ha!

fly fly away!

Looking back, below are the towers I’ve visited and climbed so far:

Menara Kuala Lumpur (considered to be the 7th tallest tower in the world)

  • Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Visiting this tower is very interesting because you can also have the option to ride a horse (not inside the tower! ), stopover at the animal “kingdom”, watch cultural shows, and become an “F1 driver”. 😉 Since I’ve been there thrice, I practically did most of the activities except riding a horse :p

my nephew

CN Tower (the 3rd tallest tower in the world)

  • Located in Toronto, Canada
  • I particularly love the “transparent floor”. It scared the hell out of me.  (see related article -> Toronto)

transparent floor

CN Tower

Eiffel Tower  (dubbed as the 30th tallest tower in the world)

  • Located in Paris, France
  • I personally consider this as the most magical tower in the universe! Call me hopeless romantic, but I had goosebumps while watching the sunset from the topmost part of the tower. It’s the most magical feeling I’ve ever felt! And I want to be there again in this lifetime. (see related article -> Eiffel Tower)

with Sonam & Khinna

Petronas Twin Towers  (Menara Berkembar Petronas in Malay)

  • remain as the tallest twin buildings in the world ever built (according to Wikipedia)
  • Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • There’s no entrance fee but you need to queue at day break to be included in the lucky 100.  If my memory serves me right, they only allow 100 visitors per day. One thing that I find interesting about Petronas Twin Towers is the connecting bridge. It’s like the hands of the two towers are “intertwined” tightly with a promise not to ever let go. 😀 (see Kuala Lumpur related article -> lost momentus)

push!

I’m looking forward to checking more towers and buildings …and I surely have a long way to go. Ha!  Check out my “wish” list in my next post. 😉

exploring Paris

We had 3 days and 2 nights to explore Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Eiffel tower was on the top of our list to visit and it’s our first destination when we got there (click here to read the Eiffel tower article).

Aside from visiting the Eiffel tower, our first day in Paris was not that eventful because we were also occupied in looking for our hotel and gauging the cheapest and fastest way in completing our itinerary. In short, we just had the general feel and smell of the Paris ambience as a starter.

Our schedule was fully packed during the second day. First on the list was Museo De Louvre. I felt like I was in the movie, “The Vinci Code” while walking inside the museum scrutinizing one painting to the other (see Museo De Louvre article).

We also got to see the Notre Dame de Paris.

Next stop was the flea market. As expected, we had a hard time finding our way so we resorted to entering a shop, bought some stuff and asked for direction. One minor problem was, they can’t speak English well so we showed our map and explain in broken (known as “barok” in Filipino) English.

Thanks to the helpful Parisians, we eventually found the flea market. We shopped for souvenir items and gamely exchanged jokes with the vendors. To save money, we opted for the fries and beef (fondly called Shawarma in the Philippines) for lunch. It’s funny because I haven’t tried eating Shawarma in the Philippines but I was able to taste it in Paris.

Off we go to Disneyland, our next destination. It was very tempting to do the rides but we need to catch the last train back to our hotel. Hence, we hammed up for the camera, enjoyed shows, checked out the shops and then, non-stop walking and sightseeing.

Disneyland, Paris France

Notre Dame de Paris, France

A dinner at an Indian restaurant culminated our second day in Paris.

We were all dead beat when we reached Hotel Eden. We packed our things, rested our tired muscles then woke up early again to roam around Paris for few more hours before catching our coach back to Netherlands.

The 3-day trip to Paris was definitely a once in a lifetime experience! It’s worth every little penny we spent and for all the ordeals that we have faced. Out of sheer exhaustion, with a smile on our lips, we all slept all throughout the journey back to Netherlands.

Back to “reality”. :p

Eiffel tower

From Netherlands we travelled for five (5) hours via coach to Paris. We all wanted to experience taking the subway and “getting lost” so we just opted to book for the coach and the hotel. No tourist guide! 🙂

As soon as we reached Paris at around 2p.m., we bought a 3-day train ticket and travelled for half an hour via subway from the drop off point to Hotel Eden (nice name huh? 😉 ). The place was very cozy and not that expensive. The bathroom came as a surprise because it was so tiny! Good thing, I’m petite.

We rested for 15 minutes, freshen up and then with the map on hand, we went straight to the ever famous Eiffel Tower! Although we did not book for a guided tour, we were able to find the Eiffel Tower. While walking towards the Eiffel Tower, we were totally mesmerized with its magnificent beauty from afar.

We took photos, bought souvenirs and then we immediately fell in line to go to the top. The queue was very long and we were all starving and exhausted. Also, we were a bit apprehensive because we might not be able to get to the top of the tower in time to see the sunset. The sunset was at 10p.m..

Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Our hardships paid off because we were able to make it. Whew! Watching the sunset from the top of the Eiffel tower was absolutely magical and breathtaking! I had an unexplainable goose bumps just by looking at the scenery and the whole view of Paris.

While pinching myself to check if I was dreaming, at the back of my mind, I was making a solemn promise to return to the same spot together with my future husband (I wonder who will he be and when will it be… hmmm). :p

After we have satisfied our Eiffel tower “craving”, one of our friends (Sonam) suggested that we go down using the stairs from the third level (topmost). It should be fine if it’s like the stairs in a building wherein you cannot see how far you are from the ground. I vehemently objected because I have a height phobia. I was scared to death! I convinced my other friends to take the lift. Thank goodness, the one who suggested was outvoted. :p

We walked around the area of Eiffel tower for a moment and then agreed to eat in an Asian restaurant before calling it a night.

That ends our first day in Paris.