So finally after some time I am ready to share here with you this story, which happened this summer (2018). Before summer vacation I got an idea to take my mom on some big trip. And as I tried Interrailing before, I loved that idea to take her on trip by train around Europe. Firstly, I was planing to visit South Europe. Later I had to change my plans so, the actual journey was planned just little bit and just few days before we took our first train from Puchov. First stop, was Amsterdam!
We were in Puchov and waiting for our train to Bratislava (Slovak capital city). From there we had to take regional train to Vienna and from there was a direct train to Frankfurt. On this first journey to Amsterdam, we had to change train just few times. I was amazed when I found this out, that to get to Amsterdam by regular trains takes just about 15 hours (time spent on train stations is included).
Train from Kosice arrived and we jumped on! Journey just started!
We arrived to Frankfurt and we had few minutes of free time before train to Amsterdam arrived so we decided to walk around the train station. This train station is one of the oldest, maybe the oldest train station in Germany. It looked kinda industrial and if you walk out from here, you can see the skyscrapers far in the city. From Franfurt we took direct train to Amsterdam. We were little bit nervous as we knew we will arrive in the evening and we have to find the place, where my friend from Berlin lives (while he is studying in Amsterdam). About our accommodation, I will tell you more later. It is another cool story.
We arrived and surprisingly on time, without any delay. We feel kinda weird as we woke up in Puchov and will fall a sleep in Amsterdam. I will never get tired of this feeling, this one which can give you only traveling.
First evening we just try to get to our accommodation and that’s it. And now it’s probably good time to tell you where I stayed with mom first night in Amsterdam! A year ago I was traveling to Tallinn and I stayed there in one Finnish girl place. She was using Couchsurfing and I found her on this website. She accepted my request and she also invited some other 2 people from Germany. One guy and one girl – they were a couple. They stayed in this place for some nights together with me. We talked a bit, went to store together and so … and now .. I planned to go to Amsterdam with mom and guess what. I wrote to Max (that guy from Tallinn) and he said I can stay in his room with my mom. I was super happy and I felt so lucky. When I go back in my mind. last summer I was planning to visit Germany and other countries to make a big Europe trip. But just the night before I went to the train station in my city, I changed my mind, and decided to visit Baltic states. There I met Max and now, I am in his room. Life is playing with me some kind of game, I am sure about it. But I love it … 🙂 More about Tallinn find here, in my previous post – https://supertrampdiaryblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/living-like-a-king-in-unesco-heritage/
So, lets continue! Plans for tomorrow, Amsterdam!
Amsterdam – discovering the city!
Today it was little bit rainy and weather did not look so good as we expected. But still we decided to walk to the city center from our accommodation. It took use about 2 hours or so, as I stopped often to take some photos as always. We walked through nice park, which brought us directly to the river, which was dividing the train station from the part of city where we lived. Previous night I found, there are ferries which take people from one to other side of the city for free.
We are lucky and the ferry is just departing. So we hop on and in few minutes we are on the other side, right in front of train station. From the ferry, it was nice to see a small part of the Amsterdam city. I have to say that I really like this city ferries.
Train station in Amsterdam looks from one side really industrial and modern and from the other side, super old. But I do not mean old like, dirty and not nice. I mean very beautiful and vintage. I have to say that after Antwerp train station, this is second on my list of favourites train stations.
First thing which I told to my mom was to check bikers and their part of road. I read a lot on another blogs, like some people in Amsterdam rides their bikes too fast and sometimes happens, that people are hit by bikers. And as we do not have a lot of bike roads in Slovakia, sometimes happened us that we did not recognize that we are walking on the wrong side of the road (path).
We did not make any plan where to go first or so. So we just chose a path and walked. First place which we visited, was actually the most famous in Amsterdam. It was a Red District Light. During the day I have to say it looked really beautiful. One of the nicest streets which I saw in Amsterdam. During the night it was more wild and for me personally, more disturbing. When the ladies came to their small windows and in front of front door stood a big man who was checking who is getting in – I have to say I did not feel really comfortable. I am not a fan of these kind of things.
From Red Light District we went to Anna Frank house. Tickets were sold out so I knew we can just visit the house from outside. But it was enough. There was also a small statue of this famous girl who wrote notes about things, which happened to her when they were hiding from Nazis during WWII.
Later, we tried to find some Wind Mill. As I knew they are famous for Netherland, I was sure there have to be one in Amsterdam also. When I wrote into Google Maps, wind mill Amsterdam the app found this one. It was not what I expected but for now I was happy also for this one with a restaurant under it. I took a photo and we left.
Amsterdam – day 2!
Second day the weather changed and it got much better. Blue sky with some clouds on it – it was a perfect weather for me as a photographer. Train station looked still amazing and todays plan was to visit Haarlem. Actually we were thinking to visit Rotterdam by Flixbus but we changed our decision and went to Haarlem.
There was a direct train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam and it took just about 15 minutes to get there If I remember it correctly.
Haarlem looked really similar to Amsterdam but we somehow liked it more. And after few minutes spent in the city we found out why. Haarlem was more calm, not so many tourists and so. This is the main reason why we loved it more. And also we did not feel week from every single corner. Plan for Haarlem was to discover the city as much as was possible and find another wind mill.
Wind mill we found really fast and together with it we found these amazing channels. I loved how they looked like. Surrounding of these channels was so clean, the clouds and blue sky, buildings .. everything was perfect.
As we finished out tour around Haarlem a bit sooner, we decided to visit the coastline of Netherland also. Zandvoort was the right choice as it was not so far and we just had to buy another train ticket.
Coastline in Zandvoort was nice, but I did not feel that time like I would like to spend there my holiday. Maybe it was because of the wind which was there, maybe because the sand was bit dirty, I don’t know. But I used this time in Zandvoort, to tell my mom where is our next stop. It was in Great Britain.
Later that day we came back to Amsterdam and we packed out things for a trip to UK!
In the morning we had to wake up really early as we had to check the soonest train to Brussel from where we went by Eurostar under the water to London St. Pancras station. I was really excited as I always wanted to try this Eurostar train, which is the only one in Europe which operated in a tunnel under the water. People call this tunnel actually Chunnel as a combination of words tunnel and channel. But about our next stop – Great Britain – I will tell you more in another post 🙂
And today I have a question for all of you who read this blog post. I want to ask you one thing to improve my blogs 🙂 When you read my blog, is there something you miss? I mean, would you like me to write more about the places which I visit (more data, more infos) or would you like some maps also or other things ? I want to specialize the blog for all the people who read it, so anything you say, I will do my best to improve. As you probably found out, I am more photographer as a writer, so I try to upload more photos and to write a lot of text, because in my view, photos say sometimes more than words. When I see a photo from nice place, I want to visit it – every time!
So do not hesitate and write me your recommendations or wishes! I would love to read them all!