Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 6


Itinerary of today:
Koog-Zaandijk station 
Zaanse Schans
Tea @Banketbakkerij de Wiji
Rotterdam Central station 
Stadhuis City Hall 
Lunch @Dudok
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
Rotterdam library 
Blaak station 
Kijk kubus
Forever 21
Dinner @Vapiano 

With the complementary EUR19 1-day train pass bought together with the Holland Pass, we planned a day trip to Zaanse Schans and Rotterdam today. 

We woke up really early today, trying to make good use of the time exploring both places. 

Trying to catch the 8:47am train, we didn't have any breakfast but fortunately, we were told to have another train departing at 9:04am. We decided to look for a restaurant to fill our stomachs first.

Julia's Cucina Italiana seemed to be a great choice. Grabbed a quick Carbonara tortellini carne (EUR7.5) and a special set of a croissant and coffee (EUR2.95). The tortellini came in a box with cheese and bacon. It was so tasty that it left us desire to try again next time. Absolutely value for money and no complaints at all for the nice food and great service at this price.

Julia's Cucina Italiana
Address: Stationsplein, 1012 AB 
Tel:+31 88 671 1260 
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 0700- 2230, Sat 0830- 2230, Sun 0900- 2230

Simply printed the tickets out and scanned the bar code at the gates. That's quite high-tech huh!

Arrived Koog-Zaandijk station in less than half an hour. Needa walk for a while to get to Zaanse Schans. A map overlooking the whole region was right outside the station, giving us a clear picture on the attractions that we were gonna visit.

Was feeling sick all of a sudden and felt the urge to go to the toilet. It was not easy to find one. We were so lucky to see a little cafe on the way. Lawrence ordered a glass of hot chocolate (EUR2.5) waiting for me. It was a really cozy cafe. We would have stay longer but not spending some time looking around studying the organic products sold in the cafe only if we were not in a rush.

Groeneveld Eten
Address: Lagedijk 13C, 1544BA Zaandijk, Nederland 
Tel: +31 6 41395427

Could be able to see the windmills already from far away.

Being part of a vibrant and stunning living and working community that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries, Zaanse Schans is packed with wooden windmills, barns, houses and museums and built in the typically Dutch wooden architectural style. It was such a picturesque little village. Fell in love with it at first glance. 

This beautiful place filled us half a day easily with so much to see and experience. 

Traditional crafts such as clog and cheese-making demonstrations gave a chance to have a glimpse of how a Dutch lived. 

A collection of well-preserved, authentic and unique historic windmills and houses offered us a vivid impression of the Dutch way of life in the past.

Time to leave and felt a bit hungry after staying under strong wind for a couple of hours. Having pies sounded like the best option. We bought an apple pie (EUR1.45) and a meat pie (EUR1.55) to share at Banketbakkerij de Wiji. It was great that the staff was able to reheat them for us. Both of the pies tasted surprisingly nice!

Banketbakkerij de Wiji
Address: Stationsstraat 7, 1541 LE Koog aan de Zaan 
Tel: +31 75 628 1424 
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 0800- 1730, Sat 0800- 1600

We headed back to the train station and took another train to Rotterdam for almost 2 hours. Arriving there, we felt the need for food but we both insisted to stick to our plan to go for the restaurant we wanna try. Passed by a Christmas fair right opposite Stadhuis. Seemed a bit deserted after Christmas. There was an ice rink as well with not much people doing ice-skating.

Address: Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

Finally we arrived at DudokIt is famous for its huge ceiling making the place very light and airy. It was such a great place for eating as well as sitting over for coffee or a drink. People chatting, reading books and the newspaper and some of them even took their laptop working or surfing the Internet. We were here all because of the apple pie with whipped cream (EUR3.75) and the club sandwich (EUR9.5). We tried its coffee (EUR2.5) and tomato juice (EUR2.5) as well. All of them tasted excellent. Felt really satisfied after the meal.

Address: Meent 88, 3011 JP Rotterdam, The Netherlands 
Tel: +31 (0)10 433 3102 
Opening hours: Mon- Thur 0800- 2300, Fri 0800- 0100, Sat 0900- 0000, Sun 1000- 2300

Made our way to see the special architectures in Rotterdam. The first one was Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk. It is the only remnant of the medieval city of Rotterdam. There was a Christmas fair outside but again with not much people around.

Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk
Address: Grotekerkplein 27, 3011 GC Rotterdam 
Tel: +31 10 413 1494

A few minutes walk away found the Markthal. It was such a beautiful and stylish icon in Rotterdam offering several specialties, both local and international food. It was a pleasure walking around the aisle having an overview of the market.

Address: Dominee Jan Scharpstraat 298, 3011 GZ Rotterdam

Outside found the central library, Blaak Station, a pencil like building and a few interesting constructions.

Here came the most exciting park of visiting Rotterdam- seeing the Kijk kubus! With a row of weird cube houses sticking together, an architectural heaven and art expositions would best describe this array of cube houses. There is a museum costing EUR3 to get it, but it was closed by the time we arrived. The river next to it created a reflection of the house at night and it looked absoutely romantic! Worth to take a quick look.

Kijk kubus
Address: Overblaak 70, 3011 MH Rotterdam 
Tel: +31 10 414 2285 
Opening hours: Mon- Sun 1100- 1700

Random photos getting back to the train station. I bought a woolen hat at forever 21 near WTC Rotterdam for EUR6

Well located opposite the Rotterdam train station, Vapiano at Rotterdam Plaza became our pick for dinner. It is kind of a fast food shop. We got a card once we arrived. We needed to queue up and ordered the food we want at the counter, but the main differences was that the one who took order was the chef at the same time. We chose to have Fungi (EUR6.25) and Carbonara (EUR7.25) with 2 bottles of coke (EUR4.5)As the food was cooked in front of us, it took quite a while but it worth to wait since they were all tasty.

Address: Plaza 24、3012 CW Rotterdam 
Tel: +31 10 303 310 
Opening hours: 1000- 0000

It was such a long day for us with long travelling time. Got sleep right away once we finish washing up.

Total expenses for 2 =EUR60.9
Breakfast @Julia's Cucina Italiana  EUR10.45
Hot chocolate                               EUR2.5 
Koog-Zaandijk station                   /
Zaanse Schans                             /
Pies @Banketbakkerij de Wiji         EUR3 
Stadhuis City Hall                          /
Lunch @Dudok                             EUR20.95
Grote of Sint-Laurenskerk             /
Markthal                                      /
Rotterdam library                         /
Blaak station                               /
Kijk kubus                                   /
Forever 21                                  EUR6
Dinner @Vapiano                         EUR18

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