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 🙂 :

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

Museo De Louvre

The next day after the Eiffel tower (see Eiffel tower article) visit, we headed to Museo De Louvre. The transparent “pyramid” infrastructure made Museo De Louvre mystical and interesting. When I was at the escalator near the entrance, I felt like I was going in a time space capsule.

I eagerly took photos from almost every corner as I walk around. The statues and numerous paintings were strategically located which made it feel like they will come to life by a single touch. Kinda freaky and fascinating at the same time.

Museo De Louvre, Paris France

famous Monalisa painting…

What caught my attention the most was the real Monalisa painting. I was surprised because I never imagined that it would be that small. It’s just like a normal wedding portrait. Nevertheless, it may be small but it’s the most popular among all the paintings. The crowd gathered near the Monalisa painting area is enormous.

In order to get to the front, I mustered the courage to squeezed myself in. The crowd were dominated by towering Caucasians. I was a bit amused because whenever I mutter “excuse me”, they looked down at me and let me pass. I must have looked like a kid lost in the middle of nowhere looking for her “grown up” companions. I did manage to reach the area nearest to the painting.

While taking photos, I kinda wondered what made Monalisa so special to draw such a huge crowd. Was it due to the movie, “The Vinci Code” or was it because of her mysterious smile? Hmmm…

That’s one mystery that I would love to unravel.