Asia, Europe · 11 Days · 55 Moments · April 2017

Family journi to Germany-Netherlands


17 April 2017

It rained in Munich with cold weather. We had Chinese dinner and went back to hotel for packing. Returning our pocket wifi at pack station (automatic post office..so cool!) and it's time to leave Germany..Bon Voyage.
After the mass we have some time to go buy more souvenir and visit the church again to see the 3 kings shrine, that open to visit at 1pm...mission complete though a bit rush to be in time for our train to Munich at 1:55pm..and we made it!
We start the holy morning by attending the mass service at Cologne Cathedral, the 2nd largest church following St. Peter's church in Vatican. Lucky us, cardinal is the one providing the service and I got a chance to receive the holy bread from cardinal.

16 April 2017

Taking highspeed train back from Cologne to Munich..raining all the way through. We got a chance to pass Ulm to see the tallest church in the world..lucky us!
Evening walk along shopping street with a very very cold weather. But the weather is clear now fortunately. Also visit the rival of 4711, Farina perfume museum. Don't know their rival story yet..gonna find out. The last picture is nice panorama view of the train station and our hotel for tonight.
Then we visit 4711 shop. Get several eau de Cologne as souvenir.
Then we buy hop on hop off bus and took a ride to see the whole cologne city followed by boat cruise on Rhine river seeing a nice view of the city through the river bank, including the 7 bridges and Cologne cathedral.
Reaching Cologne on a rainy and cold day. Our hotel is in the train station, quite convenient. We check in around 10:30 am and then start our tour to Cologne cathedral as first stop to check the mass service time to prepare for tomorrow easter day.
This morning, we checked out early to take the train back to Germany. Our next stop is Cologne. Note for train: - we can't enter the train until the sign open although it parks at the platform. - ICE is the international route..better reserve seat while IC is inter city. No need to book seat - the cover paper of train ticket is the barcode to open door at Netherland train station

14 April 2017

We took the last bus back to train station. Lots of people filled in the bus. And we wait for 19:19 pm bus (IC) to go back to Amsterdam. This time, we manage to select better train that we only need to change once at Utrech station and directly back to Amsterdam. Dinner with steak and Ankus restaurant near our hotel. It was raining and cold.
Bus 70 leaves Steenwijk station every hour. We reach Giethoorn at almost 5 pm. The last bus back to train station is 6:19 pm..so we only have 1 hour walking in the village. At the village, there is small boat we can drive ourself or we can take big boat tour with guide or walk around 5 km overall. The village is nice. Houses along the small lake running through as main transportation of the village. No road just pathway for walking. B&B available for staying overnight.
Along the way, seeing Ajak stadium surprisingly. And passed many stations with 2 trains change with bus number 70 at Steenwijk station directly to Giethoorne. Many people especially Chinese go this place.
Then we came back to visit St. Nicolas church near Amsterdam station. There is a mass in Spanish going on. We joined the mass for a while and left to take the train to Giethoorne. But the train did not run through the route we planned. So, we have to change our plan with longer route and take more hour to go with a few more changes of the train. It's a bit tiring but challenging and fun though.
We left Amsterdam early to take the train to Alkmaar to experience the cheese auction at cheese market, which will happen only on Friday morning from 10 am. We went there earlier to get the space to view it clearly as there will be lots of people and tour. We reached there around 9 am and walk along the street of the city of Alkmaar to the market. It is a very nice small town. There is a cheese box as signage to point us to the cheese market along the way that we walked...so cute.?

13 April 2017

Taking some rest to at the hotel before going out for dinner at china town near Red light district.
We went back to Rotterdam station and took the train back then Amsterdam Central. At Amsterdam, some rallies with lots of people and polices made Traffic jam. Don't know what's going on.
Then we took M underground at Blaak station to port of Rotterdam..walking to see big ferry and hotel de New York. Then went to take a walk at museum park, took the tram to Delfhaven..an old area of Rotterdam until it's time to go back.
We walked back to have lunch at Markthal at Jeremie Italian restaurant. Nice pasta and taste local draft beer.
After Markthal, we walked to Cube house, taking pictures and continue to the sea to see bridges and nice scenary
We tried to book Splashtour but it fully book till 7 pm.. so we have to skip it unfortunately...then we went to Markthal, the fresh food market, one of my favorite place for this trip.
Top view of the city of Rotterdam with Euromast. We went up 185m with the guide tour to view the city in 360 degree turn. So much wind at the top of Euromast and cold. The city of Rotterdam is more calm and chill rather than Amsterdam. I prefer Rotterdam to Amsterdam so far.
We buy 1day pass for transportation and took the tram to go to Euromast, our first spot. Interestingly, to activate the ticket, we have to tap the ticket with the machine at the entrance of the bus/tram, everytime we get up and out of the tram.
Today we wake up early, taking express train (it took about 40 min) to Rotterdam, the city with nice architecture of buildings.

12 April 2017

Then we took the tram to view the city for one round from number 9 to 10 to 5. We got back to near our hotel to have dinner steak at Toro Todero...one recommended restaurant in town.
After the Royal Palace, we took the tram to Heineken Experience which also have queue but it moves faster. We wait for only half an hour then we got inside to experience how they make beer. A very fun and interesting experience from Heineken.
We went back to Van Gogh museum and queue for an hour and the line wasn't move at all because they will allow people to go in only when there is someone coming out. So we decided to go to the Royal Palace at Dam square instead.
Today is museum day. We get 1day transportation ticket for 7.5 euro. We went to Vangogh museum in the morning but the queue was so long. So we decided to change to Rijksmuseum instead and it's the right decision. Nice museum with lots of things to see. We spent almost 3 hours there and had lunch under cold weather outdoor before going back to queue vangogh.

11 April 2017

We continue our journey to the Alfadjik, the manmade dam separating the ocean and the lake, one of 13 delta work of Netherlands. We took public bus and found out way to see the 2 sides water. And we got it with the very windy and cold weather. We took the train to Alkmaar and change to bus #350 to cross the bridge and got off at Zurich where we walk to see the 2 sides water..and took the same bus number back to Alkmaar and take the train back directly to Amsterdam. The weather at night was soooo cold. But we arrive our hotel safely at 10:30 pm...so tired. But today, we complete 3 things must see and do in Netherlands in one day...the tulips, the windmill, and the dam.
After lunch, we took another train to Zaanse Schan..the place to see old windmill. It's a village with 10 original windmills. The scenary is very nice with great weather. Also, got a chance taste lots of cheese and know that the dutch will eat cheese with mustard dip..delicious! One the way we walked back to train station, got a chance to experience the open bridge for boats to pass by.
Then we took the train back to Amsterdam Central and had lunch at the station. Everything here is self-served. We choose what we want to from the shelf and pay ourselves at automatic counter. So cool! Also it shows the dutch are well-disciplined. Everything pays by card..however, so uncomfortable that the credit can be used and charged so easy without ID check.
The next day, we start our morning with the trip to see Tulips at Keukenhof. We took train to Schiphol airport and continue with Keukenhof bus, which takes us directly to the front of the garden. The tulips are not fully bloomed yet but still, we got a chance to experience some. Note: recommend to go in the morning because when we came back in the afternoon. Saw long queue to get on the bus.

10 April 2017

Sightseeing of the first evening in Amsterdam, starting with Canal Cruise, which is not so impressive as the explanation is not so knowledgeable. Then we had dinner at Wok to go.. a small restaurant with Asean food. Then continue our city tour for the evening to Red Light district, china town, St.. Nicolas church ( just see the place outside as it's already closed.) Unfortunately, Dam Square is full with Extreme game fair..so we can't have a good view of the square at all...too bad. The first night in Amsterdam is not so impressive with the city of too crowded and dirty street. Traffic is also confusing with Cars, buses, trams and bicycles which do not stop for pedestrian at all.
My mini, compact hotel room in Amsterdam for the next 5 days.
We arrived Amsterdam with exciting feeling on the train. The thing is when we validated our Eurail pass yesterday at Munich central station, the officer at the station mistakenly write our ticket with wrong date. So they change our ticket to the new one. Without notice, the ticket issued are different from our original ticket. It wrongly printed to be 2 adult package instead of 3 and stated we did not pay yet. Got some problem on the train when the train officer checked our ticket. But we insisted it's the station officer mistake on our ticket. Finally, the train officer allowed us to continue our journey with kindly writing a note for us on our next train (change at Frankfurt to Amsterdam) because we don't have time to change anything since we've got to take another train within short time. When we reach Amsterdam, we contact Eurail office (fortunately got one office at Amsterdam central station) and we get them to reissue the correct ticket for use...problem solved!
Today we take Eurail from Munich..change train in Frankfurt to Amsterdam. Our train leaves at 7:42am münchen hof central station.

9 April 2017

Afternoon walk along Neuhauser Strasse visiting churches and listen to street music. Then we took the train U6 out to Allianz Arena where is the home stadium of Bayern Munich football club. Taking some pictures then go back to hotel.
After walking and relaxing for an hour, we walked back to visit Residenz Munchën, the museum, where we visit rooms after room, which decorate in a very nice color and decoration. Then, it's time around noon, taking train back to hotel to wait for my bro to arrive from Monaco.
We walk to English garden where a nice and peaceful place to visit. Surprisingly, it has waterfall in the garden and the garden has small water way runs along the path in the garden, which make the place so fresh.
We get off at Odeonplaz..a very nice place. And walk to Residenz Munchën but it opens at 10 am so we have time to walk around to the garden, starting with Hofgarten.
One interesting thing is the elevator can change direction depending on who arrive first. This is energy saving with one elevator only but can use both ways.
Start day 3 with more relax timing. We took underground train, which has nobody..I guess it's Sunday morning. Actually, it's already 9 am though..

8 April 2017

Go back to hotel taking rest at almost 10 pm. See a few ambulance and police in front of Central station. Don't know what happen though.
Then, we walked back to hotel along Neuhausertrabe. See a few musicians playing on the street. Good weather and nice chill walk in the evening.
Getting back to Munich with 2 hours train. We went to Viktualienmatkt to have seafood dinner With nice Rosé.
After reach Fussen, we took a bus number 78 (or 73) to Hohenschwabgau to visit Neuschwanstein castle, the romantic castle where prototype of Disney castle. We rides horse up hill to the castle. Took a 45 min tour inside the castle, learning about history of the castle and King Ludvig II. After visit the castle, we walked uphill about 15 min to Marien Bridge to take a good view of the whole Castle. Very nice weather.
We took the train to fussen. Nice scenary along the way.
Note from the 1st day in Munich: - elevator stand is on the right, same as Thailand - eating hotdog here needs to peel first - train door needs to press the button, not automatically - the clock dolls show at 5 pm. It lasts around 5 min - german people have dinner very early ( I saw aince 3-4 pm) They stay at Vicktolian Markt having drink (wine or beer)
Start 2nd day early to take the train to Fussen at 7:52 am..it's 2 levels train. We select seats on the 2nd floor.

7 April 2017

We arrived Munich International airport at 7 am..walking so long from the gate to immigrant. We bought MVV train ticket of airport-city in 1 day. After check out from airport, we took the train S1 to Central station where we walk out at found our hotel right there.
End the first day at 7 pm to hotel and rest
Then we go Hofmanhaus to dinner with original Hof beer
Then walk along to Vicktualian markt and back to Marianplaz to see the doll dance at 5 p.
Then we walked to visit Olympic park
We went to BMW museum. It's amazing museum with the architect and design

7 April 2017

We starts the trip at Suvanabhumi airport at almost 1 am on Friday, April 7'17. So many people travel this time due to Songkran holiday. All the lounges are full. Fortunately , we got some places to rest and wait for our flight at Priority Pass lounge.