Dralion: well worth a detour
Amsterdam Travel Blog› entry 21 of 125 › view all entries
At last I am on my way. I will have to return home briefly in a month to pick up my Russian visa (all is aranged, but I have to wait until I get my invitation from the unisversity of Novosibirsk), which is good in a way because now when I get home I can replace my Polish dictionary and guidebook for my Russian dictioany, teach-yourself-Russian book and guidebooks to Russia and Mongolia. I could never have fitted tham all in, as camping gear takes up so much space. I will go back from Poprad by train (which will take about 24 hours and probably cost me a considerable amount of money) and 4 days later fly from Charleroi to Warsaw (thank god for budget airlines) and continue as planned (but with less time to spemd in Warsaw and Riga.
I had always envisioned Berlin as my first stop. In 1999 a trip to Berlin (my first solo one) introduced me to the world of backpacking, so in a way it was the first stop on this journey anyway, and it is my favourite city in Europe. But then Annette, who works for Cirque du Soleil, invited me to Amsterdam to see the show and stay at her place. It was an offer I couldn�t refuse, and a way to avoid overnight travel.
Before the show Annette showed me the backstage area, and - even cooler - the area under the stage and the trap dors. I got to watch the show from the soundbox. I had never seen Cirque before (buying tickets weeks or month in advance is not my thing), and was quite impressed. I really like how they combine all the elements (acrobat, clowns, live music, dance) into the whole, and am especially amazed at what these Chinese acrobats (did you know they are part of the Chinese army?) can do with their bodies. I could not even do a simple salto from a trampoline if my life depended on it! (Gym class was hell for me) Seeing everyone backstage made me more aware that these are regular human beings, and that potentially one little human error could make the entire show collapse.
A big Yay! for Cirque du Soleil, and big big thanks to Annette for having me over.