Friday, 13 March 2015

My Netherlands & First Newcastle Trip

As mentioned in my previous post, it is a busy start of the year for me and I had been flying around lately. Last week, I was in Netherlands (mainly Rotterdam) and UK (Newcastle) for business matters. Yes…..Again…

Netherlands – Amsterdam & Rotterdam

I had traveled to Netherlands many times before. Netherlands literally means “low land” with majority of its country below sea-level. You can see windmills alongside the roads serve to powered pumps, pumping out water at areas below sea levels. The Dutch is famous for trading since centuries ago. Their golden age is in the 17th century, when they owned the largest companies in the world - Dutch East & West India companies. They are also colonial masters of Indonesia back then. Today the country also owned the Caribbean Netherlands islands. Netherlands is a small country with a mere 17 millions people. Capital is in Amsterdam in the north with major port in Rotterdam situated in the south. In general, Dutch people are very direct, hardworking and competitive. They wear famous orange during World Cup!

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – 4th busiest airports in Europe in terms of passengers in 2013

Modern windmills alongside roads

A traditional windmill at Dordrecht (old town)

UK - Newcastle

It is my first trip to Newcastle and it is beautiful. Newcastle was one of the first cities in the world to be lit up by electric lighting. In the 19th century, it is the centre of heavy engineering and shipbuilding. It’s proximity to North Sea also signifies the importance of Oil and Gas to the economy. Not too far away from Newcastle at Sunderland, you can also find one of the largest UK manufacturing plant from Nissan. Newcastle is very famous for its Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Many Singaporeans studied in universities there. Newcastle is also famous for Brown Ale beer, Newcastle FC (Geordies) and Tyne Bridge at the famous Tyne River. Population, I was told by colleague is 500k, although Wikipedia reported it to be 280k in the city. I stayed at Hilton Hotel (hehe….envy?) and has a splendid view over River Tyne. Just one night for me at Newcastle, having fantastic steak and spending great time over dinner with colleagues near Tyne river restaurants. Overall, a little bit too short a trip for such a beautiful city.  

Newcastle International Airport

Beautiful River Tyne – view from Hilton Hotel

Country side of Newcastle – lambs roaming

Me at a country side office - beautiful environment to work 

The Famous & beautiful Tyne Bridge

Rolf’s Thoughts

The crazy traveling schedules lately is definitely not good for health. Sleep is often sacrificed due to my difficulty in getting use to foreign beds and pillows. Jet lag makes it worse. On the day I sleep relatively well, I will sneak into the hotel gym for a light workout just to perspire and feels good. Inevitably, the busy work schedule means lesser time for my family, lesser time to write quality blog posts, and lesser time for stocks.

Nevertheless, it is always an eye opener to set foot into a new place you never been before. However, even if it is the same old place, each time I still look forward to it, for it is the many new people I meet that matters more than the monuments or the places of interest. Another good thing is that my Krisflyer miles are piling. Moreover food is always good during traveling in Europe. The bread, the orange juice, the salad and the steak, fish etc …Yummy!

Of course, the best of expenses!

Guess what, I am now in a foreign country again, consecutive week in a roll! But feeling entirely different. 

Yes Yes Yes…my own expenses (so what!), but my own free time and more importantly it is for leisure….totally relax and feeling Shiok!!! :-)


  1. Hi Rolf,

    Looks like a good trip you've made :) That's life!

    1. Hi LP,

      It's a business trip! No choice, got to go! Actually fast forward many years later, I prefer to be like you and the other leisure man, "own time own target"... that is true meaning of being free. For now, if it's work then "ah gong" will sponsor me go abroad... for me is to see more things and widen horizon.. but having traveled so frequently for the last 10 years for work... sometimes it can be really dreadful..


  2. Next time will we get travel tips from this blog?

    1. Hi CW,

      Yes.. haha.. chargeable.. will be better than lonely planet...

      Actually this is an excuse to siam and not invest in current market... Jim Rogers once said if market is good, take a break and go to beach...

      Traveling also help you to understand more about the world (if you talk to local) and help in our investment decisions when time come.

      Again.. Jim Rogers did the same.

  3. Hey!

    Looking good in Netherlands huh! Did you see Alan Shearer in Newcastle? haha

    1. Hi Jfree,

      Yes...Thanks. I was having breakfast with Alan Shearer, David Ginola, Faustino Asprilla, Les Ferdinand, and Kevin Keegan.... haha :P

  4. Rolf,

    Amsterdam not bad right?

    I love the canals and quaint townhouses.

    The first time when I were there, I remember being envious of my Dutch colleagues who only worked 4.5 days work week.

    Took a "cultural" tour to their famous red-light district and visited Anne Frank museum.

    And of course visited their "coffee shops" ;)

    1. Hi SMOL,

      No time for Amsterdam this time except the airport, more of Rotterdam and work.

      But been to AMS several times for leisure and yes, I love the "Long Kang"...In fact if its freezing ice, the long kang can also ice-skate. I never been to Anne Frank museum but I know the story of the little gal...

      I know you definitely like the red-light district and "coffee shops". Many years ago, I was alone in AMS taking a country tour. I met a group of uni students from Ireland Dublin, but with origins of Georgia and Kazakhstan. We had good time together and became friends.

      Now..."space cake" for you! :-)

      FYI their retirement age is 67....not 62 like us.

  5. Hi Rolf

    My company's HQ is in Netherlands Hague and I havent got a chance to visit yet. One day I will be looking forward to visiting.

    Enjoy the trip and show us more photos!!!^^

    1. Hi B, you worked in a Dutch company. Haha... not the easiest of Europeans to work for.. huh.

      I been to Hague several times including work and leisure time. It is a nice place and where the Royal Family are. Two years ago, Willem-Alexander became the first male monarch king since a long long time.

      As for photos....I will show you more from Bali, since I am there now...But the hint that this is not a travel blog already..! Hehe... :P