Close

Tag:

vacation

Clay's Personal Nerd Herd

My new eyes

By Clayton

First thing I did when I arrived in Holland was order contact lenses. You may or not remember an old blog post from 2014 where I stated that I did some research on Lasik eye surgery or contact lens implants. Both were advised not to do so, as they would not work for me. However they did advise me to try hybrid contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses are a blend between hard contact lenses and soft contact lenses. Since I have very bad eyes I can’t (or couldn’t) get soft contact lenses when I first tried contacts back in 2004. I got subscribed hard lenses and I simply never could get used to them.

After I booked my trip to Holland for this year I went on Google and searched for places in Holland where I could purchase them. I eventually mailed a supplier of these special contact lenses here in Holland and they referred me to an optician, as they do not deliver directly to customers.

The day after I arrived I had my appointment. The supplier of the contacts also came with his kit full of contacts. Together with the optician they checked my eyes and finally decided upon the best solution. Not a cheap one, but I wanted them.

These contacts are custom made in the US and would arrive within 1-2 weeks from the day they were ordered. Well they actually arrived 4 weeks later on the very last day in Holland.

(more…)

Travel & Adventure

Last day travel drama

By Clayton

Since I didn’t write a blog at 36.000ft on my way to The Netherlands as I usually do, I’ve decided to do this on my way back home.

So that that my month in Amsterdam… I wasn’t emotional when I left, mostly because I was way too exhausted to think. I still am very exhausted, but for some reason cannot fall asleep. So I just switched on my laptop, put on Epica to play and started writing.

The total flight is 9 hours and 20 minutes and currently we have about 4 more hours to go.
So I am going to try to do another attempt at sleeping in a bit, which I seriously need as I didn’t sleep last night. I went out with a friend, afterward went to say goodbye to someone I met (nuff said) and opened the doors to the Amsterdam house at 6 AM. The entire room was a mess as I did some last minute shopping that afternoon and just put everything on the bed and decided to pack in the morning and simply sleep on the airplane… which I am NOT doing at the moment.

So my last day was kind of not that great. Let me summarize a very long story as short as I possibly can.

If you are Surinamese you always, read ALWAYS have to bring crap… I mean stuff… for your family. These things can be the most ridiculous things and will make you ask just one simple question: WHY THE FUCK?

Anyways…. So the deal with my mom was to have her sister fill up a suitcase with stuff for her. Everything was pre-paid for the extra luggage. The idea was that I would pick this suitcase up on my last Friday in Holland. However, my Friday was jammed pack. I went to Heerhugowaard to the birthday party of my former boss and after that I had a kiki with friends in Amsterdam. Both were great, but I was traveling from left to right.

So on Saturday morning, I woke up very early to pick up the luggage. I arrived there and the bloody suitcase was nearly 40 kilos!!!! FYI: the limit is 25KG. So that had to be resolved.
What I thought was a resolution, was still not good enough, cause as I started walking with the suitcase to the metro station the wheels started breaking off and I had to return to the house. There we transferred all things to a new lightweight suitcase, but even that turned out to be not a great idea, cause that one broke much sooner than the first when I was walking to the metro station again. So I had to go BACK to the house again.

Meanwhile, I also had an appointment to pick up the custom-made contact lenses which I had ordered. More about that in another blog.

As it was getting later and later, I told my uncle I would leave the luggage and later that evening he can bring it by car. Obviously in another suitcase. After that I made my way to the city and arrived one hour before the optician was about to close. Got my new contacts and learned how to insert and remove them… after that I went back to the center in order to do some last minute shopping.

And that was exactly when my uncle called and said he would bring the other suitcase within 10 minutes. Now, I know my people so I knew that 10 minutes meant 30 minutes. Which was exactly the case. Mostly due to traffic, you can’t drive with a car in the street I was staying in. Nonetheless, my precious last few hours in Amsterdam were spilled. By 17.00hr all the luggage drama was resolved and I had about 2 more hours before the stores would close.

I bought some shirts and some other random stuff and all threw them on the bed. After that I had to help my friends unload their car and finally I showered and went to my friend’s house to eat and drink. He and I went out and as I mentioned above already that went on very late, but it was my last night and I was not about to spend it sober.

Clay's Personal Travel & Adventure

Back in Amsterdam 2017

By Clayton

Dear Diary… oops, wrong app.
Dear readers… you know, those two that are actually reading this…

Okay, enough joking around.

Hello,
To those still reading… wow, you really must have nothing better to do, huh? 😀

Okay, seriously now!!

Hi,
I am here writing from the Public Library in Amsterdam.
I cannot remember the last time I was in a library. I’ve been inside this library before a few years ago, but that was only to pick up something. Today I am actually here for the content of the library.

As I already mentioned I am back in Amsterdam; my “home”.
Not officially, but to this day it still feels like it and I doubt this feeling will ever fade away.
I’ve been here for 2.5 weeks now and have to fly back to my official-home in exactly 10 days.
Time flies. Times flies so goddamn fast that it’s not even normal.

What am I doing here in Amsterdam? NOTHING…
Yes, that is the honest answer.

(more…)

Travel & Adventure

Lisbon, Portugal

By Clayton

February 28 & 29, 2016
I have to be honest that before this trip, I knew little to nothing about Portugal. I just knew that it was some country somewhere in Europe, where Cristiano Ronaldo comes from. But I knew nothing about the weather, what it looked like or the culture. And with the limited access to the internet during all that traveling I had no time to do a Google research. So arriving in Portugal was a big surprise for me. A very pleasant surprise actually.

After Rome, I would pick Lisbon as my second city during this 2016 Eurotrip. Why?
Because it was just so different and unexpected, things were cheap… and remember I live in Suriname, so considering prices to be cheap in another place is saying a lot… also the weather was nice: not too warm and not too cold. Just perfect.

On the train ride to Portugal we were in a room with this great American guy named Matt, whom was backpacking through Europe for a few months. We quickly befriended him and got wasted at the train’s bar. This was quite a long train ride and had all the accommodation of a moving hostel.

So anyways, we made friends with the American, shared stories and were all just enjoying this once in a lifetime experience. We were being quit loud and the conductor had to shush us a few times. Ryan was already in bed much earlier than the rest of us, so when we were done drinking and making our way to our room, we wanted to be crazy and make a lot of noise to wake him up. So we barged into the room and started making noises like a maniac.

The problem was… THIS WAS NOT OUR ROOM!!!! 😮

Our drunken asses stumbled into the wrong room and woke up a bunch of strangers for nothing. As soon as we realized this we closed the door and stormed to our own room and locked ourselves in. Mission failed. But we did have a good laugh about this and quickly fell asleep.

The train conductor announced our arrival close to an hour and we brushed our teeth and waited to arrive at the train station. It was early morning so not many people out just yet. We strolled around a bit, went to see some flags and even spotted the Surinamese flag right there in Portugal. It was cool to see. We went to find to some breakfast and did some sightseeing.

Matt was about to stay longer than us in Lisbon so we walked him to his hostel. There we did a few more drinks and made friends with some more strangers. Soon afterwards a friend from Farid, whom originally is from The Netherlands, but now, is living and working in Lisbon joined us. We said goodbye to Matt and decided to go to our own hostel.

Finding our hostel was tricky. There was this mix-up with the reservation and the room we had reserved turned out not to be available at the moment, but instead we got an even better deal in another hostel. This was like a mini-hotel. We got a spacious room with a double bed and a small one, with our own bathroom and a balcony all for 40 euros a night. This was amazing.

So after getting freshened up we decided to go for a stroll with Farid’s friend. We walked around Lisbon and I was totally loving the city. We had dinner and afterwards we went out to some pubs. The nightlife in Portugal is something else. We went to this bar where they gave everyone a number and if you like someone or wanted to tell them something you wrote it on a piece of paper and gave it to the bartender, who put it up on a board. I had no one leaving me messages, but I enjoyed the place nonetheless.

Ryan at one point was too wasted and it was time to head back. He took off his shirt and walked around like that. I was scared that the cops would arrest us or something, but luckily nothing happened.

Back at the hostel Ryan went straight to bed and Farid went for a smoke break. I decided to take a long warm shower. I think I showered way too long, because when I stepped out the entire room was flooded. Literally!! The water had seeped from the bathroom, to the bedroom into the lobby. I grabbed all the towels I could find in the room and dried it all up. This was not an easy task and when I was done I wanted to shower again.

At this time I was wondering where Farid was staying, because it had been more than half an hour since he was gone. I figured he probably pulled another stunt like in Rome, or went home with his “friend” whom he was totally into, despite having been friendzoned the entire day.
I walked through the hostel, even went up to the roof balcony, but couldn’t find him anywhere. So I decided to return to the room and go to sleep.

The next morning I heard the room door open and there was Farid. Being escorted in by one of the hostel staff members. Apparently Farid was sleeping in the roof balcony room, because he had no keys the room and was locked outside. I had searched for him, but he was in that one place I did NOT look. -_- he cursed like a sailor and passed out on the bed.

After a few hours we all woke up and it was time to check out. Ryan had woken up earlier and went out to find us breakfast. As we were cleaning the room and getting to leave he and I had a little fight or something I will not repeat, but I decided to avoid him for until we arrived back in Holland.

Our plane wasn’t scheduled for a few more hours, so we went to do some more sightseeing in Lisbon and I was really starting to like this place even more. At one point it got so (comfortably) warm that we were walking around without our jacket. We went to the tourist-y places, had some dinner and finally made our way to the airport. The airport was quite crowded to say the least.

In the airplane from Lisbon to Amsterdam we had our last surprise when Farid suddenly had this major headache and felt like his head was about to explode. This was strange, but also over as soon as we landed.

Back in Amsterdam, we had to move out of the apartment that Farid used to rent and I went to stay at Patrick’s house. We had one last day and the next day we needed to go back to Schiphol and fly back to Suriname… back to reality.

And that was the end of our Eurotrip!

Travel & Adventure

Madrid, Spain

By Clayton

February 27, 2016
We took the train from Barcelona to Madrid and this was the most interesting train ride ever. The train itself was very modern and had a bar in the back. Well a lunch bar thingy, but that was not the interesting part. The interesting this is that during this train ride we saw all 4 seasons within a time span of 3 hours. First it was sunny, than it started raining, than we saw snow and then it was sunny again. It was weird, but very interesting.

Madrid itself is a very warm and calm city. I enjoyed this more than Madrid.
The people in Spain are hella-hot also. One of my favorite Instagram models – a long time instacrush of mine is from Madrid and the pics don’t lie. Also everyone has a big butt. In Spain that’s normal I guess, cause it was the same in Barcelona. Just saying… didn’t mind 🙂

Anyways, so Madrid, what did we do?

Just sightseeing. Walked around. Had some food here and there and walked around the park. The city is very calm as I said before and I quite liked it.

After we explored the entire town we went for some pubs that had happy hours and lounged at this polar bar, that was quite nice and cold, but we liked it. We were getting quite tipsy, but couldn’t drink too much because we had another train to catch and couldn’t be late… which we almost were, so in the end we had to run to the platform.

There also was a funny story about that train station. We went to find it first, before exploring the city, just to be sure that we knew where it was, also to leave our luggage so we could walk around freely. At the train station we all wanted to use the bathroom. Farid needed to go urgently so I waited outside the stalls as all others were busy. I noticed this one guy staring intensely at me. I got uncomfortable and went to wait outside the bathroom. Once Farid was finished I went in and still noticed the guy in the same spot. After I emptied my bladder I still saw the guy standing. Something was not normal. As I walked outside the bathrooms to wash my hands I noticed the cops entering the bathroom and… OMGGGGggg that bathroom was a freaking cruising spot!!! AAAhhhhh….. Seriously?!! LOL

Anyways, back to the above, after drinking and lounging we ran to the train station, grabbed our bags and entered the train. Our next stop was Portugal. This was another interesting train ride. See the next (and final) story.

Travel & Adventure

Barcelona, Spain

By Clayton

February 26, 2016
After a day in the magical city of Rome it was time to explore Barcelona.

Once again we took a plane from Vueling airlines, from Rome to Barcelona. The flight is only 1 hour and 50 minutes, which went by quickly, especially since I am used to 9 hour flights. We took the metro at the airport and made our way to the city center of Barcelona.

To be totally honest… I was quite underwhelmed. And I know exactly why. After having been in a city like Rome the day before, Barcelona felt like a bit of a downgrade. So maybe I should visit Barcelona on its own again. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and all, I just wasn’t left with a big WOW-effect. But anyways.

We had some tapas for lunch, drank sangria and just enjoyed the view of the city and strolled around. We stayed in a hostel, walked some hills… Barcelona has many hills and we went to view all the well-known places in Barcelona.

We deliberated if we wanted to enter the Sagrada Familia, but decided to just walk around it. Again, not something that impressed me much in Barcelona. I actually found it to look like a piece of messy architecture… but that’s just my opinion.

In the evening we had paella for dinner and walked back to the hostel. The new city would be Madrid… and I liked that one a lot more.

Travel & Adventure

The ferry from Oslo to Denmark

By Clayton

February 21 & 22, 2016
After we all had our own private time in Oslo, we met up by car in the parking lot. We drove to the entrance of the Stena Line ferry. We parked the car inside the ferry and we made our way to the elevator to find our rooms.

The ferry was huge… to imagine that there are way bigger ships floating around the ocean. Anyways, yeah it was pretty big. We went on the deck to have a view of Oslo and after that went for a stroll in the ships shopping area.

After we roamed around the ship we went for drinks in the entertainment hall. There was some live music going on – a band that played covers and we were getting quite lightheaded from the beers. After a while the ferry was hitting some major waves, but at that point we couldn’t really tell if we couldn’t stand straight because of the waves or the alcohol.

Ray got very seasick and needed to rush to the room and spent some time in the bathroom to let it all out. We then went to bed and got woken up a few hours later by the announcer that we were nearing the shore of Denmark.

We showered, got dressed and went back to the car. As soon as we docked we drove and made our way to Germany. Along the way we had a few stops for breakfast and pee-breaks.

Eventually we reached The Netherlands and that was the end of our Scandinavian Road trip.

Travel & Adventure

Oslo, Norway

By Clayton

February 21, 2016
Just before heading to Oslo, we stopped along the roadside a few more time for some amazing scenery photos. Snow is beautiful… the more the better. You can see that in the video below.

So after that snow storm, we made it safely to Oslo. We were in the middle of the city’s center and we walked around the Oslo Opera House for some pictures and after that went on a food hunting trip. Oslo is beautiful, but hella expensive. I bought the most expensive burger I have ever had in my entire life. I believe it was about 20 euros just for the burger. It was good though.

Oslo is definitely a place I want to return to one day. The city is beautiful and we only got to see a small part of it and we didn’t have that much time. We needed to catch the cruise ship from Oslo, back to Denmark in a few hours.

However, we did have one hour to kill after lunch… so we decided to all split up and explore the city by ourselves. The plan was to meet up back by the car in the parking lot. We opened our favorite apps and we all disappeared. I met up with a very lovely Greek… in Norway, I know… but yeah it was a fun encounter. Definitely returning one day… I better save up a lot though.

At night time we met up at the parking lot and boarded the ship. I had some major Titanic set-in-modern-times vibe on this ship… this was also quite an unique experience. Tell you all about it in the next post.

Travel & Adventure

Fosby, Norway – Cabin in the Woods

By Clayton

February 20, 2016
The following morning we had another early wake up. Norway awaited us.
So, quick shower, packing, head to the car, scrap the ice off again, and everyone load in… Clayton wrapped in the big blanket again, off to Norway.

Along the way we stopped for some breakfast at this side road dinner and eventually arrived (though the heavy snow) in Fosby, Norway. Fosby is located somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Norway and not many people actually live there. It’s the people of Norway there outhouses, where they go to enjoy the summer vacation. Don’t know how Farid even heard of this place, but he found the cabin via AirBNB.

It was quite relaxing. No one was around, no wifi… just 4 friends, alone in a cabin, surrounded by snow and wild life. Okay, that sounds kinda scary… which is was… especially when walking outside in the dark. But inside it was warm and cozy.

The boys cooked dinner, and we just chit-chatted and listened to music.
The cabin is definitely a place I would like to visit again… away from the real world.
It was magical and in the morning I saw deer prints in the snow outside our bedroom.

For breakfast we had eggs and after we packed our bags we left the cabin we made our way to Oslo. On the highway, we were hit by a snowstorm, which wasn’t that great since the car had no snow tires and we basically almost slit of the road and died. Well… we didn’t die obviously, but it was very scary. But hey, the adventure life, no?

This post has no pictures, but 3 short videos, which I am sure you will enjoy!

Travel & Adventure

Stockholm, Sweden

By Clayton

February 19, 2016
After Denmark we headed towards Sweden. We first stopped in Malmö for breakfast at McDonalds (the atrocity, I know). After that some sightseeing and shortly after made our way to our hostel in Stockholm.

This was the first for me sleeping in a hostel. The concept is quite interesting and for the low costs you get to experience a lot. Like chatting with this hot Polish guy sleeping shirtless across the bed from yours… just saying.

After unload (and locking) our luggage we went to stroll the beautiful city of Stockholm.
We found quite a fancy restaurant and had köttbullar for dinner. If you don’t know what that is, that is Swedish meatballs and it is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!! The name is even funnier if you speak Dutch, because it sounds like a curse word.

After dinner we went to walk around and ended up in a pub. The locals are quite interesting and not to mention good looking. The overall atmosphere was amazing and I seriously would like to return to Stockholm and stay a lot longer.

When it started getting too late we made our way back to the hostel and went to bed. We had another early day and road trip the following day. Norway was next on the map.

Instagram has returned invalid data.
Top