Although my first-time ever visit to Amsterdam was brief, once I was there I almost instantly fell in love with the Dutch type - their laid-back, outgoing personalities most impressed me.
Without knowing beforehand anything about this city I had booked a hotel very close to Leidseplein. It turned out to be a good choice. The location was abuzz with vibrant nightlife. Pretty refreshing to pass through thongs of crowd down a street packed with different kinds of restaurants still remaining open at 1 am on a weekday.
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When I reached Hamburg by train, it was exactly ten days before the German General Parliamentary Election. One curious find I encountered was this graffiti inscription that was seen left on a candidate ad for Guido Westerwelle, the leader of Free Democratic Party, Chancellor Angela Merkel's new governing partner. Not sure if it's because the liberal-leaning of the pro-business Free Democrats caused consternation among some die-hard German nationalists. "Stop Islam", that's what it reads in public near Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.