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Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:14 pm
by Electerik
Hello!

Erik & Smisty here. You may remember us from such Trip Reports as Erik & Smisty's Vancouver Oddventure or Erik & Smisty at the Mall of America.

We'd always wanted to go on a TPR trip, the timing just never seemed to be right. But now we have! We visited something like 10 parks in 10 days, covering The Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden. Since this was also our first trip to Europe, we spent a few days on our own both before and after the official trip. This first part will be covering our pre-trip wanderings around Amsterdam. But, not to worry, we've managed to sneak in a ride or two....

Part 1: Bicycles & Stroopwaffles

But before we get to the photos, more words! A few observations about Amsterdam:

If you're at all worried about being lost or at a disadvantage because you don't speak the language, almost everyone in Amsterdam seems to speak English just about as well I do. Do be aware that it's very much UK English, though. So it's a lift, not an elevator.

On a related note, I've never felt so much like a big old hunk of Ameritrash as when a citizen of a country I'm visiting apologizes to me for their poor English-language skills.

Most signs are in English and Dutch, but if it is only in one language, that language is usually English.

We were told that if you take a photo of a prostitute in Amsterdam, they will throw piss at you. Which is interesting because in America they charge for that.

We didn't go to the Red Light District at all, except once by accident, where we saw a lady in lingerie hanging out in front of a window. I would've taken a photo, but, well, you know.

In Amsterdam, "coffee shops" sell marijuana, "cafes" serve coffee, a "restaurant" is a type of fish, and "whore houses" are just places that play Burt Reynolds films. Crazy!

The Dutch struck me as rather conservative in terms of dress and personal appearance, which is interesting considering how tolerant they are culturally.

The city is beautiful, but there's a consistency to the look of the old town streets/canals that borders on sameness.

A lot of the buildings are wonky. I mean, they're old and built on marshland. But, also, a lot of them were originally warehouses and built with front-facing facades that tapered out as they went up, so they could hoist things to the upper floors without cargo damaging the front of the building. If you look, you'll often see a steel beam sticking out from the front of the building near the top.

The canals look cool, but don't seem to serve much of a purpose anymore, beyond transporting tour boats. There are no proper water taxis or citizens rowing over to their neighbor's house, that I saw, and no real industry (utilizing the canals) besides tourism. There were some houseboats, but they just sit there, so, really, those could just be land houseboats on land canals.

There are a lot of bicycles in Amsterdam. No matter how many bicycles you are imagining based on that statement, there are more.

As an American, we often think of ourselves as largely coming from England, culturally. But being in The Netherlands really reminded me of just how much my country was influenced by Dutch culture.

Restaurant service is slow, especially towards the end, as full-service dining is apparently meant to be a leisurely activity, and you're supposed to feel at home and not like you're being rushed out. Not always ideal if you're on vacation and eager to get to the next thing.

Holland is two regions of The Netherlands, and calling the country Holland is roughly akin to calling the UK "England," except that the Dutch don't really seem to mind. So I will mostly just say Holland because it's easier to type. Except, of course, when I don't. But within the context of these trip reports, forgive my ugly American-ness and just consider the two names to be interchangeable.

What the Dutch call a staircase, Americans call a ladder.

Okay, let's do this....

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:28 pm
by bert425
AWESOME start to the trip. . .fantastic pics, and such great commentary

(tho honestly, the "heat lines" coming off the "Wat is Poep" cover namesake is freaking me out a little bit).

Love your reports, and eagerly look forwards to following along.

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:47 pm
by Nrthwnd
Great Am'dam report, start of your trip! So much crazy stuff there, it's almost like Japan ("almost").
And when you find the right food stops, it - is - awesome! I've been there a number of times,
and it's so nice to see stuff I still haven't seen yet, through other's eyes like yours and Smisty's.

Looking forward to more of your trip. =)

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:28 pm
by cfc
Hmm . . . it seems that my Dad's old farm shop was equipped with a set of "Dutch stairs." I have learned something today--that life on the farm was more dangerous than I'd previously thought. Thank you.

Nice to see your first European Oddventure off to such a great start. I look forward to more.

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:33 pm
by ytterbiumanalyst
Awesome! That's one fantastic trip already!

our cousin Marcolio and his girlfriend Nefertiti

Okay, they win Coolest Couple Name Award Ever for All Time.

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:31 pm
by Canobie Coaster
Great report! Thanks for the tips and commentary on Amsterdam/Netherlands. It's going to come in handy for me next week.

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:52 pm
by larrygator
Damn you Erik and Smisty (and Chuck). I really want to do a Photo TR of the trip also, but now I have to compete with two of TPRs wittiest wordsmiths, before the serious photographers start their PTRs.

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:10 am
by rubysparkles
Great report! Can't wait to read more. Seems like we did a lot of the same stuff pre-trip. De Carrousel and ARTIS were both awesome.

larrygator wrote:Damn you Erik and Smisty (and Chuck). I really want to do a Photo TR of the trip also, but now I have to compete with two of TPRs wittiest wordsmiths, before the serious photographers start their PTRs.


Please do one as well! The world needs to hear about your VR experience at Walibi Holland :lmao:

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:24 am
by The Great Zo
More trip reports! This is going to be a heavily-chronicled trip. Which is good, because it was an awesome trip.

Bikes in the Netherlands are really scary as a pedestrian because you have to worry about getting run over, but they're even scarier when you're driving around because you have to worry about not running them over. Because that would be bad.

I must be the only person who didn't go to The Butcher, though I visited Foodhallen where they had a location, but chose not to eat there after seeing a dude in a The Butcher shirt leave the restroom without washing his hands. :lmao:

Pannenkoeken is pretty great. Stroopwafels are better.

Great work getting this started so quickly!

Re: Erik & Smisty & TPR do Holland, Poland, and Swedeland

PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:22 pm
by jedimaster1227
You had me at fresh stroopwafels and you lost me at raw herring! :lol:

I'm so excited to see this trip report play out!