Snippets of Summer 2014

For people who live in northern hemisphere, when the weather is nice it is then the perfect time to do things. It feels like anything we do becomes more special because the sun is up and shining. We all stay up late and just seize the days! There are many fun outdoor events organized in the summer, such as: festivals, block parties, sports championships (think of run or swim marathon) and more parties! So we have been having a staycation instead of a vacation. Sometimes you just don’t have time in the world (and s staple of money) to go on holidays as often as you want. Spending times in Holland, enjoying the abundance of sun lights and of cool places in the city.

And pictures speak louder than words…so here it comes my snippet of summer!

Playing tourist with my little brother. This one is taken in Vondelpark 🙂

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Berlin Story – Part 3 FINISH (with 2 Postcards Giveaway)

On the 3rd day we only got the chance to see some of the touristic places in Berlin. Started the morning by having breakfast at Marcann’s cafe in Berlin Mitte. It was a very cozy cafe, with French menu and had cute French-y interiors. Again, the price in the cafe was so much cheaper than in Holland, we ate baguettes (French sandwiches) and croissants with tea and for me a cup of coffee with lactose-free milk, we paid less than 10 euro each.

After breakfast we felt very energized. We took the U Bahn to Noordhauptbahnof area, and there we were, standing at Berliner Mauer, or Berlin Wall and reading about the country’s dark history. The one we went to was the one  between Benauerstrasse and Gartenstrasse.

 

Then we went on, to the city center, and mingled with Bayern Munchen and FC Dortmund supporters at Brandenburger Gate. On the same time it was a final match between those two football clubs at Olympia stadium so the city was packed with football fans/supporters from both teams.

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{ Brandenburger Gate }

For you who love visiting some cultural spots, you must go to Museum Island, a complex of five internationally significant museums, all part of the Berlin State Museums. One of them is the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral). The sun was shining at this moment, so we took a long break at Lustgarten in Museum Island area, laid down on the grass for a while just soaked up the sun and ate waffles. It was soooo nice!! Afterwards we went into the Cathedral that was just on the opposite site of the park (Lustgarten). Inside the Cathedral there was an orchestra rehearsing and OH MY GOD…they were so GOOD! So that was like a free 15 minutes orchestra performance for us 🙂

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{ Lustgarten }

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{ Berliner Dom }

That day there were many protests on the streets, besides that, the streets looked like ocean of football supporters :O… I did not feel really at ease since it was soooooo crowded and my feet sore so much from yesterday’s walking in Sanssouci Park. In addition, many streets were closed due the protests which made the sight-seeing less attractive. We stranded around Ku’Damm (the shopping streets of Berlin) and quickly became so crowded with tourists and football supporters we then decided to end the misery by going to a less crowded square if there was any. We ended up in Potsdamplatz (Potsdam Square) not so far from Ku’Damm, because that was the only place that wasn’t too crowded in the city at that moment. Took a break a little bit and did some make up shopping at Kiko shop at the mall followed by dinner, we ate simple Asian food at the mall’s food-court (so Indonesian huh, malls and food-court hahaha).

Speaking of malls, when we were in the city center near Ku’Damm, we accidentally went to one of the latest malls in Berlin, which was Bikini Berlin. This mall just had a facelift and became the hippest and grooviest mall in the city due to its unique concept of shopping. Look at one of the coffee hangouts, see below picture. It had a panoramic view into Berlin’s Zoo. Awesome!!!

P1010118-25.-April-2014-BerlijnBlog-Bikini-Berlin-2 pic is borrowed from here

Well, that was our 3rd day in Berlin though. Our feet could not take it anymore so went to the hotel and had a good warm bath and we passed out afterwards.

The next day after we checked out of the hotel, we took off directly to the airport, it was pouring rain the whole afternoon. Should you have time when you are in Berlin, you should make time and go see the Botanical garden and the beautiful gardens of Charlottenburg palace. With 22.000 types of plants, Berlin’s Botanical Gardens rank among the three most important botanical gardens in the entire world and also Europe’s only Botanical Museum. I didn’t have the chance nor the time to go to these aforementioned places, but that is a valid reason to come back here again 😀 and must go to the flea markets too! The transportation is really easy you just have to get yourself public transportation maps (for S Bahn, U Bahn and metro; metro in Berlin means trams). If you are lost, no worries, not like other cities in Germany, in Berlin people speak English so you can ask for direction 🙂 They even appreciated my funky German and said I spoke well German…how genuinely sweet!! (my German is very rusty now and I sometimes hear myself spoke German in Dutch accent…hehehe). One more thing, Wifi seems very hard to find except at Starbucks 😦

Eventually, thanks for reading the Berlin stories. I have two free Potsdam postcards which I want to give away for my dearest blog readers. If you are interested, just leave me a comment below! The first comments are the lucky ones, so easy! and if your comment happens to be the first two comments, but are not interested in getting free postcards please let me know. Danke! 😀

Berlin Story – Part 2 “Lovely Potsdam”

On the 2nd day in Berlin we decided to visit Potsdam because we wanted to see some beautiful palaces over there.We started our morning by having breakfast at a cafe in Prenzlauerberg area. After that we went to Alexanderplatz to catch a train to Potsdam. The journey took max. 25 minutes I was drifting away and was a bit sleepy so was my friend, D, so we did not know how long the journey exactly was (blimey!) But it was really fast. We arrived there at noon.

Sanssouci Park is a huge and palatial park surrounding the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam. There are many huge and smaller palaces within this park.

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New Palace (the picture above is borrowed from here, because pic in my camera’s gone! so it is not mine.)

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Berlin Story – Part 1

After being MIA for a month, I am ready to blog again! It is still May and I have been getting around Schiphol like 4 times already. I am not complaining though, I am busy and happy. A lot has happened in a month. I went home for a short stay (9 days only!) due to a family matter and loved the balmy weather. I gotta meet with some friends and families, which was really wonderful. I gotta eat many Indonesian snacks when I was home. My parents accommodated it, and they were really keen to feed me while I was there :p

A week after my arrival in the Netherlands I left Amsterdam again to spend 4 days in Berlin with my best friend for a short vacation celebrating her birthday. We had so much fun and we really wanted to go back again to Berlin in the future with our partners 🙂

We flew to Berlin with KLM this was because KLM had unbelievably low fares to Berlin, for the week we would visit there! lucky us. Otherwise we would just take the train and sat in the train for 6 something hours … The flight to Berlin took only 1 hour and 20 minutes we arrived at around 7 pm. Shortly after we went downtown to see a friend and grabbed dinner on the way.

We stayed in a hotel in east Berlin, it was a comfortable hotel, and had good access to the center (Alexanderplatz). Although it was more in the neighborhood area it was OK and the advantage was that it was pretty quiet so we could easily have a good rest after a long day. 3 days were way too short to see all Berlin, at least we could use 5 days to see just Berlin without Potsdam. We did not have the chance to go to some of hip districts in Berlin. And we missed the flea markets too! 😦 So, for you who want to visit Berlin and happen to have times, book it for 5 days! 😀

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Cerita Mudik ke Indonesia 2013 (Jkt-Solo)

I am back! Setelah kurleb 3 minggu berlibur di Indonesia, akhirnya kita semua balik lagi ke negara kulkas. Untungnya pas hari Sabtu kemarin kami mendarat di Schiphol udara masih bagus alias gak ujan! Rasanya surreal aja tiba tiba udah di Belanda lagi…jujur, saya masih pengen di Indo tapi kalau inget betapa panas nya Jakarta dan betapa terisolasi nya rumah bonyok disana karena macet nya subhanallah..sudahlah, mending di rumah sendiri deh walau dingin.

Kita tiba di Jakarta tanggal 29 Sept dan stay di Jkt sampai tanggal 7 Okt pagi. Schedule di Jakarta adalah mempersiapkan resepsi pernikahan yang tertunda. Setahun lalu kami menikah resmi di Belanda dan setahun telah lewat, kini kami akan merayakannya bersama family di Indonesia. Saya sempat ke Thamrin city beli kain bawahan buat seragam. Dan saya akhirnya beli tenun ikat buat dijahitin jadi rok (ngiler setelah lihat Noni pake celana ikat) dan beberapa kain lucuk saya jahitkan ke tukang jahit jadi bawahan kebaya dan sarung bantal etnik. Selebihnya saya ngajak mertua ke Kota Tua, Ancol (naek kereta gantung) dan ke mal. Mereka juga sempat ke museum Nasional (tanpa saya, karena sudah repot sama persiapan pesta)…Di Jakarta saya merasa kayak di neraka. Panas banget, macet nya gila, dan kemana mana susah. Saya mau pulang saja ke Belanda! GA BETAH. Mertua saya misuh-misuh terus karena udara yang bau, panas dan macet yang gak normal. Saya mengaminkan. Dan di Jakarta, saya dapet kado manis dari Noni 😀 Makasih ya noni maaf gak sempet nelepon kamu, suer saya sedih banget gak bisa telepon padat sekali acara nya….

Pesta resepsi nya lumayan besar, tempatnya di kebon rumah bapak sama ibu saya. Tamu nya banyak banget, saya hampir pingsan karena panas banget dan belum makan dari bangun tidur (jam 5 pagi) sampai jam 2 siang! Parah. Saya dan suami bahagia sekali karena selain mertua ikut bersama kami, 2 sahabat suami saya yang S & K yang orang belanda juga bisa ikut berlibur dan on top of that, sahabat kami di Belanda D dan H bisa datang ke resepsi kami di Jkt…Sesuatu banget! Suami saya joget joget sama mbak campur sari yang ganjen, saya kipas kipasan sambil ngegosip sama sahabat2 saya yang datang. Hehehe…pasangan apa iniii?! 😀 Biarin aja biar mbak campur sari nya seneng. Bapak saya orang Solo aseli dan ibu saya orang Jawa-Sumatra. Alhasil pesta bernuansa Solo. Ibu saya katanya masih kerabat keraton Jogja, saya mah gak percaya. Pesta nya sukses dan bapak sama ibu saya senang karena orang kampung percaya kalo anaknya yang perawan tua ini memang sudah nikah beneran dan gak berhalusinasi.

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ini saya pinjem foto nya H soalnya foto resepsi semua harus di resize

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Going South

My apology if I may sound like whining, but I personally think winter in (northern) Europe is too looooonngg. One day the temperature can be mild (around 8 degrees or 10 when we are lucky) and the next day it can drop to -3 degrees! WTH. Like today, I did not check the local weather forecasting homepage and went to work with my winter attire (a thick legging and knee socks, a knit dress and a tee underneath it, a thick woolen scarf and wrapped myself in a bulky winter jacket) but I forgot my beanie and gloves, darn..it was so cold outside! I mean it was way colder than yesterday or the day before. I immediately got a headache when I was waiting for the tram to my work. A moment like this, me, a tropical creature trapped in a cruel winter in Holland, can do is daydreaming and reminiscing the past spring/summer holidays ..Just to distract myself for a moment from the reality 🙂 Please allow me.

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 cute little terraces in Maastricht

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40707_422858878116_4327594_nRetiro Park in Madrid. Madrid has some beautiful parks. I kinda fell asleep when I sat down here.

5480_116776408116_8065561_nMaastricht 🙂

7518_161209433116_3085886_nMerbabu, Indonesia

7518_161217108116_5052612_nUrban delicacy: Soto bang madun, Blok M Jakarta!!! J sits next to me enjoying his first experience makan di emperan :p

311_27516063116_5591_nSuper cozy cafes (somewhere in Greece)

Clear Blue Sky

I am very confused now with the weather.. It is totally not a spring weather. I am still wearing my winter coat! WTH???So, the sunny spring was just a bluff then :/

However, I love this picture which was taken in Nusa Ceningan (Bali) almost 3 years ago! It is really funny, I sometimes forget how beautiful the beaches are back home. I think I’d taken it for granted.. being surrounded with beautiful nature, warm weather  and tropical beaches. I definitely appreciate it much much more now since I am so far from home, far from my beloved tropical weather and coconut water 🙂

Despite the rainy and gray days in the Netherlands, I have been collecting some good moods to spruce up my little apartment with some DIY ideas. My plan is to biking to the nearest hobbywinkel in the weekend and purchase some stuff I need for my DIY projects. Hope it turns out well like I have in mind! And also, on Monday we are going to celebrate Queens Day! 🙂 Madness it is. But, it will be so much fun.. My fave part is the morning of Queens Day when the whole cities (well most cities in the Netherlands then..) turn into a gigantic, massive, flea markets(rommelmarkt)! All wicked items and adorable bric-a-brac are ready to be found/handpick by you. Just don’t miss it. I might sell some stuff, let see if the weather would allow me, I’d be selling some pies and some of my rommel (junk, in this case ; my old furnitures, utensils, stuff and whatnot).

Below is a picture that was taken in Tanjung Benoa, Bali.