Thursday, November 18, 2010

Journey to the West : BENELUX part 2

Lets continue with Netherlands.

For those who didn't read my previous post, I mention that i stayed in Rotterdam for 1 day and in Amsterdam for 2 days.

Day 3, Foggy and rain

We departed from Brussels at 6am in the morning,it freaking cold and very foggy as well. As we were reaching Rotterdam, I looked outside the window. I was shock and wanted to shout “oh shit” sooo much! It was way too foggy out there, the visibility is less than 50 m! I never experience such poor visibility before even when haze happened in Malaysia. Luckily we are safely delivered to the destination.

Bus from Brussels to Rotterdam : Euroline, online booking cost 12 EUR.

As usual, first thing to do was looking for the information center. The info center is located very near to Rotterdam center. Surprisingly, the guy in the info center is super friendly and helpful. He even search online and printed out the bus schedule for us. With a map, we started our walking tour.

Highlights of day 3
Can you see the fog? This is consider to be of better condition. Some places are even worst!
1st photo : Nationale Dederlanden
2nd photo : City Hall
3rd photo : Blaak Station

Kijk-Kubus, also know as cube house. Get it's name because of the unique design resemble a cube. A must visit spot in Rotterdam.

I recognized this building because it was the place where Jackie Chan fight on the roof top and slide down the slope in "Who Am I". Now only i realized that part of the film took place in Rotterdam. Reminded me of one of my favourite Jackie Chan's movie.

Erasmus bridge, also know as The Swan. Got it's name because it resemble the shape of a swan. It is the icon of the city of Rotterdam. Another must visit spot in Rotterdam. However, it is still very foggy at the time we reached there. So we waited at the harbour and hope that the fog will dismiss soon.
Closer look at The Swan. But the weather remain the same even at 1pm, so we decided to move on.

Taken on the bridge when a cruise passed by. This is one of those water taxi's or shuttles available in Rotterdam.

We decided to go to Rotterdam's most famous attraction. Kinderdijk, home of 19 windmills dated from 1738 and 1740. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage site.The windmill is open from mid March to late October which is October 31st. Very unlucky that we arrived Rotterdam at 1st Nov, so if you plan to visit Kinderdijk, make sure you arrive during the correct period. Nevertheless, you are still able to walk around and take photo even the windmills are closed.

To get to Kinderdik, you can take bus from Zuidplein Metro station. The return ticket will cost you 6 EUR. Take note that Zuidplein is a little bit far from Rotterdam city center, so you can consider buying a Rotterdam 1 day transport ticket to save more money.

250 years old windmill.Look extremely beautiful under the reflection of the river. I am totally allure by the environment in Kinderdijk. Just imagine that you have a UNESCO listed windmill in you backyard, how wonderful is that! A must visit spot!

Front view of the windmill.

Another type of windmill, the minority here. Only saw one in this area.

We left Kinderdijk at 6pm but the sky already very dark. The day time of Europe in winter is very short.

As we reached Rotterdam center at 8pm, we had our dinner and took "Hispeed" train to Amsterdam. The train ticket cost about 13.40 EUR. We stay overnight in Amsterdam.

Day 4, cloudy and rain
Amsterdam is a city full of canal. There are as much canals as streets in Amsterdam. Thus, make it a very beautiful city. There are free tour provided and departs from tourist information center at 11am and 1pm. The tour takes about 2 hours.
Highlights of day 4

Canals all over Amsterdam. It's very common that many families own a boat.

A huge clogs outside of a souvenirs shop. Hollands is very famous with its' clogs(wooden shoe).

Typical building in Amsterdam. You can find it everywhere in town.

Holland is well-known for its' cheese. There are a lot of cheese specialist shop in town and some of them offer free testing as well. Make sure you drop by at least one of those shop to have a piece of cheezy cheese. A must try food in Amsterdam - cheese.

Night in Dam Square.

*We also visited the red light district, one of the most unique place in Amsterdam where prostitution area being treated like a tourist spot. Prostitutes were standing inside glass windows like show room/aquarium for people to choose. Warn by a friend that photo taking is forbidden there, so didn’t take any picture.
End of day 4.

Day 5, partly sunny-the best weather of the whole trip
Checked out from hostel at 9am, the hostel owner allows us to keep our backpack in the reception. Personally, I highly recommended “Brussels centre hostel”, the cheapest in town. It is very near to Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum but take 15 min walking distance to city center.
Highlights of day 5

Rijksmuseum, the national museum. Museum of art and history. Apparently is under construction, but you will still able to visit the inner parts.

 I amsterdam, the icon of Amsterdam. Thus, I took a photo here to show that I have been to Amsterdam. For your information, it is located just in front of Rijksmuseum.

Famous Van Gogh Museum. I didn’t visit Van Gogh Museum since the entrance fee is too expensive. However, 1 of my other friend from Russia said that it was nice. Should pay a visit if you have extra budget.

Others nice scenary in Amsterdam. Yeah, 1 important thing, you must not walk on bicycle lanes. Bicycle is one of the main transport in Amsterdam, so make sure you aware of the bicycle lanes.

Leave Amsterdam and fly back to Prague at 6.00pm. Airport transfer is 4 euro by train from Amsterdam centre to Schiphol Airport.

It was a nice and memorable trip. For summary of the total spending, please refer to previous post.

Where next? Stay tune!

Thanks for staying with me.

1 comment:

Olya said...

The story was extremely interesting. Was especially fascinating to learn because here was filmed film with Jackie Chan. This is my favorite actor and everything connected with it wonder.