It was a very early start. We woke up at 0230 to catch 0400 train from Reading to St. Pancras International. Eurostar brought us to the, capital of Eurozone, Brussels Midi (Belgium). Thalys took us from there to Amsterdam, Netherlands. We reached local time 1345.
Netherlands, is known for a flat landscape of canals, tulip fields, windmills and cycling routes. Amsterdam, the capital, is home to the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the house where Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid during WWII.
The first thing you notice when you enter Netherlands is that it is crowded. There is a lot of hustle and bustle. No doubt it is the most densely populated country in Europe. A lot of people on bicycles, shows high focus on environmentalism.Traffic is not as orderly as you expect.
It is perhaps more modern than Britain. Country is not trying to sell you it's history. Rather it's not even trying to sell marijuana or sex or anything for that matter. You are free to choose what you want to see. There is this sense of 'true freedom' that gets you and makes you fall in love with it.
The highlight of day one was Amsterdam's night life, marijuana and red light district. We were roaming around in city for 6/7 hours. I am amazed by the stark contrast to India. They have legalised drugs and prostitution, and it is available easily in coffee shops and red light district resp. The very things not only illegal but taboo in India. Yet, or because of it, this place is safer.
This country is non-religious. Unlike UK or France, Holland does not show off cathedrals/churches. Compared to India, where spirituality and religion are deeply integrated in culture this place looks like a different planet altogether. Yet not an ounce more immoral and definitely less corrupt.
Couldn't see much on day 2. Travelling in city in tram was fun and awesome company always helps. Time to say bye to Amsterdam and Holland for now. May or may not come back here but will remember this city/country as crowded yet systematic, non-religious yet moral, young and reckless yet responsible. Doei voor nu.