Now Amsterdam.. that is that city I was born.. and we(= my avatars) went into Second Life when we found it existed. And exist it does.. I mean not in a small way, but actually there is a rather big place in Second Life that looks in a certain way as Real Life Amsterdam does. Although without the myriads of tourists plodding around and without, for some reason, the bars and the coffee shops pandering soft drugs. Yeah.. that is Amsterdam for you, yet it is not. There are coffee-shops there but it is not like every inhabitant is intoxicated.
I recall my friends and me had this moment in which we smoked pot and stuff like that. It started one day with someone bringing us a cake made with grass and a year or so later it stopped. Just like that.
Smoking lingered long after that. I mean one of those friends, he smoked until his late thirties, until one of his lungs collapsed and his doctor said: if keep this going…
If you were to say that one drugs lead to another.. it would be hard to proof. For nobody of the eight people involved ever touched any kind of drugs after that one year. It was this wild moment and it was over a year later. In fact.. studying at the university and doing soft drugs is not a good mix. I suspect most of us were to serious for that.
Now the picture above shows the dam. That would be the central square of Amsterdam in a way. I guess most inhabitants my beg to differ. I mean the Leidseplein is more of a center for people who want to go out and have a drink. And the museumplein would be more of a culture place. And yet the munt, not really a square, would be more of a place to watch a movies. The dam however holds the most dominating landmarks that illustrate the dutch mindset: a church, a big shopping mall, monument for world war II, a palace which isn’t actually a palace but rather a symbolic palace and also the gathering place for the ruling elite untill it became a democracy. And not far off: the stock exchange. For the three pillars of the dutch are: commerce, religion and a vague authority.
This is a picture that more or less show the damrak that is a broad street running from the central station(way to the rear of the picture) towards the dam.(behind us in the picture). The building with the flag on it (the dutch flag: red-white-blue) is the former stock exchange. I am not sure what it is for used for now. You can have coffee in front of it as it has a kind of bar. It also seems to have some kind of stock exchange function, but what it is I do not know.
In the front of the picture are the typical trams.. the one you see is somewhat old, as nowadays they have a yellow basic look and somewhat more modern.
Ok I am sorry but I like the versions of the above place. Those show the typical dutch canals, called grachten. I think it’s a nice example of how a gracht might look like in Amsterdam. However the grachten seldom ended in a way like this in the way you see here. Usually they either continue on into another gracht. A building that is located at the end of a gracht I have seldom seen.
So that is Amsterdam and I finish with one picture less than at my blogger place.
Next up will be Brussels and it gotz the Atomium, lace and sweet and some real neko pictures. 😛
Luxembourg is both the name of a small country and its capital, located in the West of Europe lodged between Belgium, France and Germany. In fact it is so small that you might see it as a city with outlaying districts and surrounding country side.. Perhaps the inhabitants of this small country might best speak for themselves about that. So go and ask them. And did you know there are just like 600.000 of them.. so the country is smaller than a lot of cities elsewhere in the world.
“How come that it exist at all?” Kris asked..
“I bet because someone forgot to conquer it.” Merit said.
“Well.. perhaps someone would have.. but then other countries frown on such things: they get jealous, because they want to have it for themselves,.. so, it might exist because one does not want the other to have it. You know.. politics. The kind of self servicing politics that some enlightened philosophies like to take for being the prime motivation of humanity.”
“I bet it was just because after the centuries of conquering the bigger countries ran out of steam. So by the time Luxembourg was eligible to be absorbed international laws were accepted as and it was saved by the bell Like.. why would we want to invade our neighbors? We want peace.. and love. Positive stuff.” Kris said
. “Perhaps. it is a quiet little capital though. Nice and quiet.”
“I likes it!” Kris said.
“I like it too… and since it is in between some very big and powerful countries that could have conquered it or divided it, it. is like a sign of what peace can do. For we have not had a war in Western Urupe since world war II. And certainly not Luxembourg. So I think it should the capital of Urope. As a symbol.” Merit said, “It already has a lot of European Union institutions.. so why not all?”
“We could have multiple capitals can’t we?”
“We could. Who says we can’t?”
“Well, we name a few others we liked.”
“Didn’t we like them all?”
“Yes, but we can’t have all cities as the capital of Urupe?”
When we were thinking of another capital of Urupe we could not help but think of Berlin. Berlin, of course, is the capital city of Germany, a country that is well known by the general movie going public at large for visiting other peoples countries uninvited. This is of course something that lies in the past, but, assumed that we do not get another world war caused by another country (or two) it will probably haunt Germany for as long as it exists(like it will Japan.). This despite the fact that Germany has not been involved in a war of any sorts this last five decades or so and is one of the strongest pillars the European Union rests upon. You see, that Germany is a rich country. Very rich. In fact it is by far the richest country in Urupe(if we not counting Russia that is and the vote is out there whether Russia belongs to Urupe or not) and this without having any huge amounts of natural resources, except for people that is. In fact it is one of the richest countries in the world.
Germany once was divided into two parts: one to the east and one to the west. The west part had its capital at Bonn, a town sitting near the French border which was abandoned in favor for Berlin in no time once Germany was united again and Berlin was no longer locked in the middle of socialist east Germany. The socialists left a reminder in the TV tower. Seems every nation want something sticking into the air just to remind you of… eh. well. remind you of something. Maybe just to remind you that they are there?
One of the nice things about Berlin is that the do strange arty stuff. A fertile art culture seems a kind of good symbol, even when you do not agree with the art. The cubes are a memorial to the Jewish victims of the holocaust. The concrete blocks are called Stelae, which is an expensive name for upright standing stone block. Berlin has always been a very arty place.