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How to Enter Louvre Museum, Faster, Easier, Quicker and Hassle-Free?

Entering the Louvre Museum in Paris or the musée du Louvre in Parigi, or in Parijs can bereally annoyingif you take the major entrance passing the pyramid. We were very lucky to have discovered a hassle-free, faster way and quicker means of entering the Louvre museum in Paris. How? Never pass the main entrance which passes by the pyramid. Then how? Enter through other entrances! Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station is one of the means to enter without problem. From there, people can walk directly to the reception and buy tickets from ticket vending machines just nearby the Louvre museum information / reception desks. Below is a series of photos to guide you to enter the Louvre museum more conveniently and at the same time,explains what possibly may happen to you if you do not discover this trick: wasting time and suffering from heat/cold awaiting your turn to enter in thelong queue.

As you see, there are various ways. In our case, we entered through the Metro station: no lines, no hassle, just plain comfort and ease. We did not do what the people in the photo below did. Can you imagine how long they waited? This photo was actually when we were leaving, which means almost the end of the day and yet, they were still waiting there in long queue!

Here's yours truly buying our tickets at ease and with fun! No queues behind me so I was really having fun and just purchased my ticket in a relaxed manner. Look at the flags as well, possibly ypu speak at least one of the available languages that the Louvre museum ticket-vending machines offer

There is a very approachable information desk and if it looks too full, there are always official information guides that walks around and more than willing to help. 

Online Shopping Stores in Netherlands with so Much Ease in Purchasing and Delivery

One of the best things I enjoy living in the Netherlands is the wide possibility of purchasing something  coupled with a wide range of payment options. Only in the grocery stores (where basic consumption products are sold) credit cards are not allowed but I think this is something positive to make the consumers aware of the fact that "borrowing money costs money". And using credit card has interest! As for shopping, almost anywahere one can just swipe their "PIN" (debit card) and the transaction is concluded. The PINs or debit cards must have always free balance in it to be used,or for some cases, allowance allowed by some banks if you apply for it (say, you can go Eur 500 below zero balance).

I don't have a car and I also don't have a good deal of patience to go shopping (literally). I like relaxing at home and just to press the keyboards. Thus, online shops suit me very well. I have purchased so much online and have them delivered at home without problems. I like Netherlands in this way. Yes, I do pay for delivery and handling costs sometimes but it's so worth the time and effort. Of course, it's not only the stores who are efficient but also their partner courrier service and at the same time, the flexible banks and payment options they offer, especially here in the Netherlands, I almost always pay with IDEAL, which is the online connection to my PIN or debit card (current bank account).

Below is the summary of some of the online shops I frequent and my reaction towards them:

1. Eetvis.nl
Eetvis.nl is an online store for fish buyers. I only transacted with this store once andspent only about Eur 130 (free shipping aboveEur 65) but I am very satisfied. The fish are cleaned, the products fresh and they deliver the day after! I recommend this site for fish buyers. You can always call them too regarding your order and they assist you without problem. Patment method is through IDEAL.

2. Groupon.nl
Although groupon is a soaring marketing giant all over the world, it still is in my list. I have done at least a dozen purchases from groupon for either gifts or stuff for personal use. Great discounts and great way to discover nearby shops in the vicinity. So far I think I have spent a total of around Eur 300 with groupon and that means around Eur 300 of discounts too! Deliverey method? No need! Youprint your own voucher or receipt and that's your proof of purchase. Payment method? Paypal or IDEAL or Mastercard all apply.

3. Hema.nl
My experience with Hema was not very good. They also promise quick delivery but that time, they got delayed for a few days. Thus, the item we ordered missed its purpose and was not anymore that useful when we got it. It was a one-time experience for an order of about Eur 40 and with a delivery cost of about Eur 5. Still, I will buy from Hema.nl if I need to. Payment method was with IDEAL.

4. Kijkshop.nl
My favorite I shall say. Maybe with Kijkshop I have purchased at least a couple of thousand euros. Kijkshop never fails me. They have the next-day delivery rule and they always arrive on the day I expect them. This online store (but they are also in the neighborhood) is also packed with great deals of discount. Another good thing about Kijkshop is the possibility to track your order with a single click. They provide you the tracking code via email when they inform you that the products has been sent out. The payment method I always use here is with IDEAL. Highly reccommended. From tme to time, they have gratis delivery for at least Eur 15 of purchase! So cool! Viva Kijkshop!

5. Neck.nl
Neckermann, a German based company but also in the Netherlands (I know only of the online version) offers a wide range of products. I bought something in dicount here last time and the delivery is quite long but they only charge you upon delivery so it was okay as well. I purchased something for the household worth Eur 300 and I had to pay the delivery (with 1st floor, inside the unit delivery) and handling for extra Eur 30. I was happy with my purchase and I also commend this online store, especially for those who don't have personal mode of transport for heavy items. I paid with IDEAL for this.

6. Otto.nl
Otto is a competitor to neck.nl. They have similar style of marketing and similar product lines. All the same, a good alternative. I bought from Otto something heavy to and it costs in all at least Eur 400. The delivery took time as well and same rules as in nck. They don't charge until they delivery. On the delivery day, they contact to inform you. I paid via IDEAL.

7. Plutosport.nl
Plutosport is Netherlands based although I just saw it's also available in Italy as plutospot.it. I purchased my inline skates from here and they have also the day-after delivery. It arrived on time and they offer tonsof discounts as well. Total purchase was around Eur 70 and they have free delivery from Eur 65 purchase all over the Netherlands. Sports items? Affordable and very good brands, plutosport.nl is recommended by yours truly. I paid IDEAL here.
Scapino stores and also scapino.nl always offer exciting surprises. Of course, stores' surprises are almost always in the form of dscounts. I always check the shoes section of scapino for great deals and online, they also have they same stuff. I purcased around Eur 250 worthof goods at scapino at 50% discount last time. It was also free delivery and they arrived when I expected them. As usual, IDEAL was how I paid. IDEAL reigns in the Netherlands!

So far so good with myonline shopping experience in the Netherlands. Outside the country, we also purchase stuff in Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States. UK and US are almost always with Amazon or ebay and so far no tragic experience. It's exciting when Ishop online,the joy of awaiting my purchase is really there... theescitementand stuff. Viva online shoppers!

The Hague Centrum Fair for Koninginnedag Fun Until a Week Later

After doing the villagers' Flea Market in the morning of the Queen's Day or the Koninginnedag in the Netherlands, we went back home to have our traditional lunch. At 15:00 or at 3 o'clock, we were ready to have fun in the Hague city center for the fair where games and rides were available. With less than Eur 30 (approx  spending, we had so much fun from games and little prices (no rides for us). There were a lot of games, but basically almost the same games years ago as we were there too in 2009, both for kids and adults. Older than adults can also enjoy the plant markets nearby with blooming spering flowery pots and/or fruity pots (I was not able to take photos of a lemon with lots of fruits in a pot and there was also the mandarins beaming with fruits). I also learned that the fair is still available for a few more days after the 30th of April. If this weekend it is still there, I might go back and play again.

Below are some of the phots I took. The image up are some of the little winnings we got... Hearties and a bunny! That is our remembrance for the Dutch Queen's Day 2011 together with some very affordable purchases here from the flea market.

I like thisphoto... and you?
The exciting ride that makes the riders scream their throats out for fun/fear...

The swan (or is that a duck?) does not mind at all...
I like that duck in blue sweater...
There was a thriller/scary house too!
Entrance to the scary place...
I had only 25% success rate here... hit one of the 4 objects... and won the brown hearts up.
For plant lovers' area... this was nearby as well...

Dutch Queen’s Day 2011 Flea Market in Oud Rijswijk/Herenstraat Area

This year again, 2011, I fully participated in the Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) of the Netherlands for the whole day of 30 April 2011 until I get tired. It was really fun and at the same time, full of benefits. In the morning, from 10:30 to 13:00, we we shopping around in the people’s/villagers' flea market. During the Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, that is every 30 April of each year, people in the country can sell their stuff legally (as long as legal stuff are sold of course) and without being taxed too. It’s really a good thing because most of the business stores were closed (in our area on this day) and regular people just sell what they think they can still sell. Some children are playing musical instruments or singing and they receive some donations/gifts from the passersby. Us, we are the buyers together with many others. Mind you, the selling started very early because in the morning, when I did my run at 7:00, people were already in the streets buying or arranging their products.

See below the documentation of the people’s market (flea market). A lot of people from the nearby area were there...it was so crowded but I found it really fun where everyone was willing to negotiate the price or gain! Cool Dutch stuff! Others are good, others are really lousy: from presentation to buyer service. Well, they are not professional vendors anyway, that's a good way to practice their trader side after all.

Below are some of the items I was able to take home.... Afordable and I do live so near, so why not? I also tried to have discounts and sometimes we succeed, sometimes fail. It was also a practice negotiation technique for me.

This one is a portable chess set with wine apparati inside as well... great for picnic!
Below is what are the contents...

I was also able to bring an art piece, a basketball, an espresso set, and a wooden horse. Most of these items were in original packing where their respective owners do not want them at all, say, a gift you received and did not like.... maybe you can sell? I don't know if that is fair to the giver though...