Monday, October 09, 2017

Another Tick on My Bucketlist: Eurotrip (Part 1)

Another tick on my bucket list!

For every darkness, God has set the light to shine afterwards.
A phrase that I can now give an ‘Amen’ to. And silver lining on its way also.
This November 2016, I was blessed with so many thing that I can put another tick on my bucket list.

Yes, baby! I finally stepped my foot on this continent! AAAAAAKKKKK! So happy! :D Beyond happy! When the things you’ve been dreamed on for times finally come true! – Man! And while writing this, Diane Schuur’s Try A Little Tenderness is playing! Haha how lovely. –
So, since I’m an employee, I can’t just burst away for weeks to have a little heavenly trip for myself. Yeah, I have to input a leave permission. That’s the first thing. So, 14 days. That’s how many days I got to make sure I got to feel the winter cold weather and snowy nose! :p

I was there with two of my friends. There were just three of us, and no, we did not use any tour agent. We did it backpacker style! Yeah! Well, we brought suitcases of course, big ones too, since it was winter there and we need coats and warm clothes, and literally impossible for just carrying backpack there. But, hell, we did it ourselves! Yeah!  I put to many exclamation mark. I know, sorry. Nope, not sorry. I was super excited! Still am! Hahaha... So bear with me with the abuse of exclamation mark’s usage in this one posting.

In total, we only went to four country. Yeah, only 14 days journey, and Indonesian money to be converted to Euro and Swiss Franc were two of our several limitations. Seriously, though. Yes, we used our credit cards too, but we had to make sure that we didn’t overused it. Dangerous!
We went to Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and France. In that order. So, it’s safe to say that there’s going to be another Euro trip (s) to make sure we visit the other countries ;)


Schiphol Airport. Amsterdam. @Evatarida. Evatarida

We arrived at the Schiphol Airport. And yes, I was mesmerized with the airport. Also a bit overwhelmed. We were going around for a while looking for the tourist information center. But apparently, here in Amsterdam we don’t need to. All the security person there were more than helpful. And spoke excellent English. So, long story short, we bought the OV Card pass for 3 days. Costed 75Eur/person. With this card, we could go around Amsterdam by their Sprinter (fast-train). But don’t forget to buy the supplement (additional) ticket if you are about to go to another city outside Amsterdam. Trust me on this. We almost got caught as an illegal passenger because we didn’t know about this. Hahaha. I’ll tell you about this story later.

MEININGER – A Dorm Hotel (?)

Meininger Hotel. Amsterdam. @Evatarida. Evatarida

We stayed at Menininger Hotel, Sloterdijk, Amsterdam. This hotel is unique. It’s sort of a dorm-ish. We bought the room package for 3 persons, and without breakfast. Yes, we traveled with budget, so we need to ensure some cost cuts happened here and there. As thrifty as we can be XD. If we wanted to have breakfast by the hotel, we need to pay additional charge. But, Meininger also have their own kitchen and laundry area. So, we can cook, use the microwave, and do the laundry ourselves. Neat!

And this hotel provides you with a lot of leaflet, tourism information, and what everyone adores: discount coupons. Heuheuheu! Oh, yes, I took few of it. Well, some of it. Yeah, yeah, I took almost all kind of those discount coupons! Don’t judge! XP All the hotel staffs were also helpful and you can easily think, that yes, Amsterdam is a city that’s tourist-friendly. Oh, and you can also keep your luggage at their storage areas – for free – like we did at our last day. Because we still have quite some time between check out and our next flight to Venice.

Note: here, in Amsterdam almost the same with Indonesia, as in: People smoke. Almost everywhere. Also, be prepare for not just cigarette smoke’s smell, but also the Mary-Anne’s. Since it’s legal here :p


Red Light District Behind Me. @Evatarida. evatarida

Ha, I bet you get all your focus on the last part of the title of this section. Haha... Yup, we went to Red Light District. Of Course!! But first, we went to Damrak, a famous shopping area in town. It’s like a mall, but it’s a big area of a district. We went from Sloterdijk to Amsterdam Centraal (yes, Centraal with two A). Amsterdam Centraal is the central station of Amsterdam. From there you can just go out and find yourself at the heart of Amsterdam trades/leisure area.

While we strolled at the Damrak, we stopped by a busy imbiss which sell to-go French fries. Each of us bought the small size. But, well, small, yeah for them Caucasians. For us, sweet cute Asian, their small portion feels like a large ones. Not to mention their French fries’ size is jumbo! Haha! Really though, I even kept mine up until the next day for breakfast, and I still couldn’t finished it out.

And apparently just across the river, there lies the oh so famous Red Light District. So we went there. ;p And it was basically alleys of glass displays of very attractive women. No picture, because there were “no camera/photo/video” along the way. There were narrow alleys, and with that amount of people who took the RLD tour, we decided went to the other quitter route. And again, Amsterdam has its special scent due to the legalized Marry-Anne. I almost couldn’t take it. Because at RLD areas, feels like the amount of people who smoke it doubled or even tripled.

ZAANSHE SCHANS – The Windmill, Cheese, & Chocolate Village

Zaanshe Schaans. @evatarida. evatarida

Windmill… Windmill... Keep on turning! After the hype of Amsterdam’s center of fun, we lay low to the Village of windmill, cheese, and chocolate! Yumm yumm! But before that, I have to let you know that we took the wrong train! Hahaha… And we didn’t buy the supplement ticket XD because Lord forbid we thought we knew it all :p We didn’t realize that Zaanshe Schans is basically out of town, and our OV Card can only be used throughout Amsterdam.

So we actually took the right train at the beginning. But then, we were supposed to change into different train that would bring us to the Windmill Village. But we were too excited and happy and went looked around over the window that we didn’t pay attention. How we found out that we were wrong? The train-ticket man! He asked for our ticket, and we –being confident AF- showed him our OV Card. There we heard him said “oh, you took the wrong train then” HAHAHA… man! But luckily, Netherlands is such a tourism country, that the train-ticket man understood our condition and let us down at the next station and even gave us the direction on how to reach Zaansche Schaans.
Took the Wrong Train and Arrived in Alkmaar. hahaha

Long story short, we arrived! Hahaha… it was lovely! The weather was fine, but the wind won’t let us stop walked for even a second. Needless to say, all those wrong train experience just paid off! XD We took a stroll and of course, stop for every now and then for nice Instagram-able photos. Zaansche Schaans not only famous for their windmills, but also for their Cheese & Chocolate. There was also this one shop where you can choose all ingredients you want all over the store, and then at the checkout counter, the ladies would ask “Hot or cold?” – Hot, definitely for this kind of weather. Amazingly, right after I stepped out of the store, the hot cocoa got cold fast XD
And as we went back to our Hotel, we made sure that we took the right train XD

VOLENDAM – The Harbor and Klompen Clog Village

Volendam. @evatarida. evatarida

In love. I can’t tell for sure why, but I was definitely in love with this place. It might be because of the pretty classy yet simple houses linings, the weather, and all of about there. The long path walk with bricks nuance just brought a nice feelings.  The village is like your old country side place. Where everybody knows everybody. Chatted all the way walk down to your home, etc. So yeah, a nice and friendly feelings.

This village is famous for two things: KLOMPEN and FISH. But, for us, Indonesian, there is this one other thing: A famous Indonesian-related Fotograaf place! XD Really though, this photo studio is somehow famous within Indonesians. They displayed the photos they took of Indonesian’s public figure, such as Gus Dur, Titiek Puspa, and even Raisa. Oh, and yes they even put “terima kasih” right after the “thank you”. Here, in this photo studio, we’ll be dressed with traditional Dutch costumes and took a nice picture with Dutch-atmosphere background.

Since it’s also a harbor, so the wind’s breeze felt way colder than yesterdays at the Zaansche Schaans. And also the fact that it was raining a little in Volendam. We enjoyed some hot snacks there, and of course stop by at one of the family business sea food restaurant. Lovely thing is that all those meats are fresh! XD and again, big portion. For a light eater like myself, I really need to order ½ portion only hahhaa…

Schade, we couldn’t stay for too long here, because we had a flight to catch at the evening. We flew to Venice, baby! ;D

*** I'll continue the post about my Eurotrip in my next post :) 

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