- 28th - 30th November 2012, Amsterdam.
- 1st - 5th December 2012, Paris.
- 5th - 6th December 2012, stay one night in Barcelona to watch a Champions League match Barcelona vs Benfica.
- 6th - 9th December 2012, Madrid.
- 9th - 12th December 2012 back to Barcelona because nobody can ever get enough of Barcelona.
- 12th - 16th December 2012, the beautiful unique water city Venice.
- 16th - 19th December 2012, Captivating Cinque Terre.
- 19th - 23rd December 2012, Florence.
- 23rd - 26th December 2012, Siena.
- One night in Rome from the 26th - 27th December 2012 before leaving for our tour the next day.
- A magnificent tour of Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri from 27th December to 29th December 2012.
- Last but not least, all roads lead to Rome at least for us from 29th December 2012 - 3rd January 2013.
It was really fun depending on the public transport in these cities especially the major cities of Paris, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. Their Metro system may be quite old but their service is amazing. A train every 4 minutes. That is magnificent. I finally understood why Melburnians complain about the public transport they have here. Although for me, coming from Jakarta, I cannot complain much. For NOW, I am still quite content with Melbourne Public transport. Ask me again after a year. hahaha...!!!
There was another important thing my husband had to carry with him, his new DSLR. He had just started this hobby not long before our wedding and in such short time, he had learnt a lot and thanks to him, we have beautiful photos of our honeymoon. We took about 4000 photos, yes, 4000.. that was not a typing error. More than that, since he is a tech savvy guy, he got this little card called en eye-fi card which had wifi on it. When you insert this card into your camera, and you start clicking photos, all you have to do is switch on the wifi on your phone and connect to the card's wifi and those GB eating photos jump onto your phone. I loved that. That was why we managed to upload our photos on Facebook daily after our fun day out in each city. So all the marvellous photos I have put up are courtesy of my beloved hubby.
I'm going to share everything based on my perception and would like to say before I start that..Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.
The moment you hear the word Netherlands, you would probably think of pancakes, stroopwafels, Dutch cheese, poffertjes, windmills, clogs, The famous Red Light District and of course their amazing drug policies. I observed and enjoyed a lot in Amsterdam within the short 3 days that we were there. We reached early in the morning on 28th of November 2012. The weather was quite chilly that morning. My first impression was how clean Schipol Airport was. I had already loved the feel of the place but the moment we stepped out onto the roads, my love grew deeper. The city was vintage and beautiful. The roads, the bicycle paths, the trams, birds flying around, the view of the river canals, everything was so perfect. One of my favourite and most memorable experience in Amsterdam was walking by the train station as the sun began to set while listening to beautiful music from a street accordion player on the road side. I felt a certain rush, a magical feeling inside of me that made me fall in love with Amsterdam. It was definitely a moment that words alone cannot describe.
|Love this shot of Amsterdam. Shows how vintage and beautiful the city is. Kinda reminds me a little bit of Melbourne but seems a lot more peaceful here.|
Places we visited in Amsterdam
3 nights and we had to make the most of it. Fortunately, our hotel was a short tram stop away or even walking distance to Amsterdam Central station, Dam square, Madame Tussaud Museum, Red Light District and more. Basically, we were at the heart of the city. All the places of attraction were still closed at that time so we took a power nap and when we were all freshened up, we headed to the magnificent Madame Tussaud Museum. The biggest Madame Tussaud museum is in London but this one was pretty big as well. We must have spent at least a good 3 hours admiring the statues of celebrities. We also found out that the statues were not made ENTIRELY of wax. If they were, they would sag easily. The body of each figure is produced using fibreglass. If anyone is interested, more information is given on their website on how these figures were produced.
|Madame Tussaud Museum|
So after spending half the day with Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and all our other famous friends, we went around town, booked train tickets to Paris, had Dutch food and bought some souvenirs I can't remember the sequence of our activities in Amsterdam but we did a lot of things. We met some friends from Jakarta who were also in Amsterdam, we checked out the Red Light District, went into one of the "coffee" shops, visited Heineken brewery, Anne Frank Museum and went on a half day trip to the countryside to check out windmills, clogs and cute little houses. It was like nothing I've ever seen.
|I was feeling cold brrrrrrrrrrr!!|
|Dutch countryside windmills|
We were ecstatic to visit a cheese factory/store Volendam as Sid and I are both cheese lovers. They showed us a demonstration on how they made their cheese which was very educative but I couldn't wait to get to the store and check out the many types of cheese that was available there. It was also interesting to visit a clog maker in Marken who explained to us the use of clogs and the method of making them.
|He couldn't have been happier|
|We got free cheese samples..........Yummy!!|
|Was trying to grab this wheel of cheese out of her hands but she was way stronger|
|Trying to conquer the place and showing who's the boss.|
|Mousing around for more cheese|
|Thought of getting this one for a moment.|
|Finally got this one..Yay!!|
For those beer fans out there, visiting Heineken Brewery is a must. Go even if you're not. It was a lot of fun. We paid about 30-35 Euros for the two of us for an amazing Heineken Experience. Going through their hall of fame and reading about their history, checking out their interactive screens, playing all sorts of games, going on a beer splashing ride, being explained about the ingredients of their beer and where they come from was very interesting. Plus we got free beer with that. The experience ended with a short boat cruise from the brewery to their store where we were given free Heineken bottle openers. Pretty cool I must say.
Anne Frank Museum was really something else. It gives you a vivid idea of the times when many Jews were hiding in their bunks for a long time without being able to go out or even seeing the light of day. That was really sad. I felt chills down my spine. We were actually in Anne Frank's hiding place where she wrote her diary. With complete information of the sequence of events step by step in each room, everything felt so real. A very historic place to visit when in Amsterdam. Too bad we were not allowed to take photos in there. After we were done, we just had to have Dutch Pancakes in a place very close to Anne Frank's Museum. This place was actually recommended by a very nice and friendly man working in Madame Tussaud Museum. There is nothing more precious than the experience of meeting people you don't know and yet can still connect and speak for a good 10 - 15 minutes. He told us to go to the best Pancake House in Amsterdam and based on our experience.....must listen to locals!!!
I really really enjoyed Amsterdam and would not hesitate to go back there especially in Spring or Summer where I can cycle along to most places without wearing thick boring jackets.
This wraps it up for today. Dank u wel. Tot ziens.:)
A sneak preview to my next post :