Monday, August 14, 2017

Europe 2/17 - Netherlands : Zaanse Schans, Volendam, Rijkmuseum, Dam Square

"Of all the books in the world, 
the best stories are found between the pages of a passport."
-Unknown

Bibliotheque at Rijkmuseum, Amsterdam :)

Day 3 - Friday, 16 June 2017
My plan for that day was going to Zaanse Schans and Volendam, located at North Holland. I bought Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket already at the airport yesterday (18.5 Euro - 1 Day) so all set to go, the ticket included map and some information too. You can also pay the single ticket on the bus directly but since I will go to Volendam also, I prefer to buy this ticket. It's also valid for Metro, Bus or Tram in the city. From my friend's house I went to Amsterdam Central Station and from there I go directly to the bus station on the back side, at 2nd level.

The directory there is so clear so you won't missed it. I bought sandwich at Convenience Store inside the Station just in case. To go to Zaanse Schans, I will take Bus 391 at Platform E and get off at the last Bus Stop, Zaanse Schans. To use the ticket you need to validate for the first time using it. Mostly, you need to validate the ticket for the first time and after that you can just hop on and off into the bus/tram depend on ticket you bought, so basically it's based on trust and their culture.
Amsterdam & Region Travel Ticket, 1 Day (18.5 euro)
the nice neighborhood where I stayed, at uni :)
waiting my bus to Zaanse Schans
inside the bus
bikes parking
I choose Bus to go to Zaanse Schans because it's more convenient and less walking from Bus Stop to Zaanse Schans itself, journey took about 40 minutes and Bus will run every 15 minutes so no need to wait for long time. The Driver was so kind and welcoming, I feel like Amsterdam surrounded by good people who mostly smiling.

After 40 minutes ride, finally I arrived at Zaanse Schans last Bus Stop around 10 AM, remember to get off at the last stop which is Zaanse Schans. It's really close from the Bus Stop and only need to walk 5 minutes from there. From faraway you will spot Windmill directly. I decided to go to Zaanse Schans first in the morning because I heard this place would be so crowded later on and I made right decision. 
Zans Museum
Zaanse Schans start :)
It's summer time but when I went to Zaanse Schans was very windy so it's bit cold and I keep wearing my jacket all day. Windmills are popular and unique from Holland especially this place, full with wooden houses, barns, windmills, museums, shops or you can also see how clogs are made. You can do cycling or just strolling around and enjoying the breeze. No Entrance Fee for Zaanse Schans and I never thought if this place would be filled with so many things to see in here, interesting.

You can visit some museums there like Zaans Museum, Albert Heijin Museumshop, Wooden Shoe Workshop/Museum, Bakery Museum, going up to Windmills (entry fee is 4 Euro), etc. I only visited the ones with Free Entrance :) I really enjoying my time there. Just stroll around the area, go inside the Wooden Shoe Workshop/ Museum and bought magnet fridge there (@3 Euro), Bakery Museum etc. I went around for about 2 hours then decided to go back to Central Station from Zaanse Schans Bus Stop.
the making of wooden shoe demonstration :)
souvenirs anyone?
windmill :D
toilet is not free in Europe mostly ;(
too bad it's too cloudy and windy
pay 4 euro if you want to go inside the windmill
welcome to Holland :)
rent the bikes?
another side of Zaanse Schans
awww green <333
what a big shoes! :D
My next destination is Volendam, I took Bus No. 312 or 316 from Central Station to Volendam, journey took about 30 minutes. Volendam Tourist Information is located not far from the Bus Stop, my Bus stopped around Julianaweg area and from there I just walked strolling around Volendam. Volendam is an old fishing village with some Authentic houses and you also can take picture with Dutch clothing. Once I step into Volendam, I fall in love already. You can feel different ambience between Amsterdam and Volendam where Amsterdam is more city and now you're in village which located not really far from Amsterdam.

The culture also slightly different since I feel when in Volendam especially when you want to cross the road, they will no matter what, give you the way first. That made me so pleased and happy to know it. I strolled around the area and following the gps to go to Harbour area. Strolling around the old harbour, going into Cheese Factory Volendam and cheese tasting for free, Wooden Shoe Factory, buy some souvenirs which is more cheaper, because I bought magnet fridge there where they were same shape with the one that I bought in Zaanse Schans,but in here I got 3.5 Euro but for 5 pcs, not for each! Wow! So please take note to buy souvenirs at Volendam if you happen to visit this place. 
Sandwich 3 euro
welcome to Volendam!
I love the houses in here :)
at the harbour
bikes, shops, cafe, boats :)
Traditional Clothes picture? start from 15 euro
Wooden Shoe Factory, free :)
Cheese Factory Volendam :D
inside the Cheese Factory Museum
so many variation of Cheese :D
Souvenirs in Volendam is sooo cheap
this Souvenir shop A Tobben Souveniers since 1887,  this is cheaper
I also bought Holland snack like Stroopwaffels for 2 Euro, ohhh so good! I love it!! you can also try others street snack like Poffertjes or Waffles etc. Stroopwaffels is made from 2 thin waffles and fill with caramel-syrup in the middle. And along the way you can find restaurant or cafe there. Enjoying my Stroopwaffels while sitting on the bench seeing the view at Harbour, such a nice weather. Anyway, I recommend you to visit Volendam because it's just too nice. If you want to take picture wearing Dutch clothing, you can find some studios here, the price is start from 15 Euro. I left Volendam around 3 PM and go back to Central Station at 3.30 PM. 
I love this Stroopwaffels
waiting my bus back to Central Station
the bus from Volendam to Central Station
view along my way
arrived at the Central Station
From Central Station I went to Rijkmuseum (read : raik museum) with Tram 2 or 16. They open from 9 AM - 5 PM, I know I only have short time and it's like no way to explore all of it because this museum is very big, I think the first big museum I ever visited. This National Museum dedicated to Arts and History in Amsterdam, total collections in here is 1 million objects, where the some masterpieces are here from Rembrant etc, Rembrant is the only one that I feel familiar with the name.

The building is really big and really nice, Entrance Fee is 17.5 Euro. Even though it's quite expensive but I think it's worth to visit. Some of my friends recommend me to visit at least Rijkmuseum and Anne Frank Museum while you in Amsterdam. 

My favorites part at Rijkmuseum were Night Watch Gallery and Cuypers Library (Bibliotheque). Night Watch Gallery, to be honest I don't really familiar with this paintings, anyway they will provide some informations for this paintings. From what I read, Rembrant made this paintings and it's marking the turning point of his career and go down on history. The interested part from this paintings are how creative and genius Rembrant can be, because in this 1 paintings actually consist of different meanings which is for me it's so interesting facts for me to read. The paintings were sooo big and magnificent, I am totally caught on it haha.

Cuypers Library (Bibliotheque), when I go inside the area, I feel totally amazed with this library because it's soooooo big and I feel like I was in a different world. Apparently this library is the largest and oldest art historical library in Holland. All of sudden, I could feel like I was in Harry Potter movie :p Anyway since it's library, pssttt..please keep silence while you're inside the Library. I didn't go down and just seeing from the top but still, I am in love with this area. It's really a short time to explore all of it and I guess I need to come back and exploring the museum for a day.
I love this area <333
Night Watch

From there, I plan to go to Anne Frank House because it will closed at 10 PM so I guess I still have time to visit it around 6 PM. Heineken Experience is located not far from Rijkmuseum so I decided to walk into that area and took Tram 24 around Heineken Experience, transit at Amsterdam Spui and took another Tram 14 and alight at Amsterdam Westermarkt and then walk to Anne Frank House.

I saw a church there and looks so crowded, so many people get in the line where I thought at that time, they were queuing for a concert or another thing. I followed the map to Anne Frank House because it showed not really far from the station so I follow and apparently the queue was freaking long and I tried to find the end of queue, apparently some people that I saw before were actually queuing for this Anne Frank House, that's crazy! I asked the officer there if I join the queue, how long it will take until I get into Anne Frank House, and he said it's about 3 hours. Okay, I don't want to waste my 3 hours there so I will just skip it this time and decided to sit around there enjoying my sandwich while thinking where should I go next haha. 
the freaky long line for Anne Frank House
the line started from here -_-

Finally I decided to go around Dam Square, where you can spot Madame Tussaud so easily there. Strolling around, passing Canals again and I went to check Primark there, near Central Station. Anyway, my friend also recommend to check Sex Museum near Central Station too, he said it's fun, I didn't go because I was busy with window shopping at Primark, H&M, Mango, Zara, Hema etc. haha, I also went and checked H&M near Dam Square which is quite big around 3 floors. Well, the themes for that afternoon is Window Shopping at Shopping Center around Dam Square and Central Station. Primark in Holland was too good to be true, everything is so cheap there, cheaper than H&M, feel like want to buy anything there but need to hold myself and keep reminding myself it's still your 1st country and long way to go.
spotted Madame Tussaud
view from Primark
sitting near the window, enjoying free wifi :p
Thank you for invite me over dinner, M! :)
going back home by Metro at late night around 11 PM
Anyway, you don't need to worry about finding Free Wifi there because, mostly inside the tram or bus you can find Free Wifi, and also shops like H&M or Primark even supermarkets, etc are having Free Wifi. I also got a chance meeting new friend over dinner that he cooked, falafel etc. such a nice experience in Holland! After that, I went back to my friend's house and chatted with my friend. My last night in Amsterdam already ;( going to miss it for sure.
at Zaanse Schans
Up next is still about Amsterdam before heading to my next destination, keep reading and thank you very much! see you soon on my blogpost :)

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