This time I want to post something special, my Christmas trip to my dream country, the Netherlands. I am such a believer. I knew I would be in the Netherlands at some point in my childhood’s dream, and it becomes reality now. It’s been a wonderful holiday ever, I had the chance to take a sneak peak of the Netherlands and it is beyond my expectation.
In 10 days, I visited Amsterdam (of course), Den Hague, Zaanse Schans, Giethoorn, Volendam, Leuven and Brussels (Belgium). 10 days are too short indeed to explore around the Netherlands, but I was not sad because I know that I am gonna be there again soon *.*
I couldn’t hold my tears when the plane landed. My dream comes true. I am at Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My feelings were kind of mix together with the feelings for spending Christmas time far from home for the first time. Even though I was apart from Papa, Mama and Ade, I didn’t want to miss any happiness that the Netherlands offered me during wintertijd (winter time in Dutch).
So here are some of the stops that I made during my holiday…
First of all, of course Amsterdam, right? Heaven of the Netherlands (for me) hahahah 😀 There are so many things that you can do here. My tips will be stay strong during the day until drop.
- Walking through the small aisles of the Amsterdam’s street to enjoy the surroundings. You can start from the Amsterdam central station to all of the attractions and sights. Funny story, when I passed the Red Light District area, hmmm I was disappointed. Maybe the time was not right? I don’t know. I didn’t see sexy ladies 🙁 Brett laughed at me when i said that. But i really had high expectation for RDL, ahhh but turns out it is not that spectacular LOL.
- (I skipped this one, since I don’t have much time and money, yes sad!) Visit Museums. Maybe it will be pricy but the museums are worth it. Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and another museums.
- Boat trip. Basically you will have a tour around the canals and the guide will tell a short story about each building you pass. Another thing to enjoy the Amsterdam is Dutch Pancake on boat where you can have traditional Dutch pancake as many as you want. I had my own version of pleasure, but somehow it is really strange for some Dutch, including Brett. I had bacon with eggs plus Sambal (chili sauce). It is yummy you know!! Go try one if you don’t believe me hahaha 😀
- Well, I am sure one day won’t be enough to explore Amsterdam. Amsterdam indeed hides more to be seen.
I always know that I want to study in the Netherlands. A few months ago, I picked one university which is VU Amsterdam. A lot of reasons to be explained later. But, Guess what?? Yes it is definitely gonna be my place to study in September 2016. I tried to have a quick tour when I was in Amsterdam. The idea is to get tune in with the university’s ambiance. And Yes, I LOVE IT <3 !! I love the fact that VU is not too big, easy to get around, near train station, and located in center of Amsterdam’s Business District.
On Christmas Day everything will be closed probably, but not the Volendam. It was perfect because it’s not crowded like Volendam usually is, so we have enough space to walk down the small street, kiss the shy sunshine, try the weird taste of haring, and take a photo with the Dutch traditional Clothes. I realized that most of the few tourists are Indonesian. LOL, of course!! Not far from Volendam, you can visit Zaanse Schans. The traditional typical Dutch windmill’s view. We were there when it was almost dark, so we only had a very light tour around. There are a few small shops that you can visit including souvenir shops and cookies shops.
Don’t skip this little cute village. Giethoorn. The Venice of the Netherlands. People have their own island with traditional house surrounding by small canals. Sooo adorable! Brett told me that the best times to visit Giethoorn are Summer and fully winter, by fully I mean snowing. Because that day when I went there, it was gloomy winter day with windy rain, so I couldn’t really enjoy its ambiance. There are couple of boat trips that you can join. Or if you prefer to have a private tour, you can also rent a boat and drive by yourself. I think it would be nice to walk around by foot in summer days, since it is really a small village, so no need to worry about getting too tired of walking.
Den Haag. This is the center of government offices in the Netherlands, some of the world organizations and also embassy of foreign countries. Most of the places are in the Art Deco architecture. Here you can find Tokos in Wagenstraat in China Town where you can enjoy cheap yummy Asian food. Scheveningen. This is the famous beach of the Netherlands. But to be honest, Indonesia has way better beaches LOL. It is different from usual beach that I find in Indonesia. It is flat with no big waves. However, they have unique feature which is Dunes. It is like a ridge of sand on the sea coast.
In my opinion, Belgium is less organized than the Netherlands. It is little bit different. Once you’re there, you can see yourself, but I love the landscape. Different from the flat Netherlands, Belgium has some highs and lows part. Leuven is so calm city which is good for studying environment. Katholike Universiteit Leuven is a must to be visited. They have several buildings that spread in all over Leuven. One of them is Begijnhof village. It is a preserved historical area. Back in old times, it was used by unmarried,semi-religious women, but now it is used for student houses and academic guests. The streets, parks, garden and houses are in traditional bricks and sandstone style. Brussels offers the same ambiance with more touristic places like Mannekin Pis and Atomium, the Eiffel Tower of Belgium.
Belgium has the best chocolate and indeed waffle. I tried a unique wine called glue wine, and it really warmed the cold night. Belgium was not in the convenient situation since the bombing happened. Soldiers have been everywhere. Let’s hope Belgium can be back to its coziness.
In the end of my holiday, I could feel that it was so difficult to leave the Netherlands and all of the memories I made. But Brett’s mom told me this…
Life in the Netherlands is difficult, be prepared for those badness, but always be happy like you are during holiday season