I have always been in awe of wooden windmills, from the first time I, as a child, attempted to paint a Dutch country side with a windmills-dotted skyline to the time when I visited a windmill-turned-brewery (Browerij’t IJ) in Amsterdam on my student trip in 2011. My short time in Amsterdam had not given me the scope to visit any other windmills around the area and my awe persisted. In my recent Euro-trip, I decided to get a closure on my infatuation and visit the Dutch countryside teeming with these imposing wooden structures. The visit turned out to be much more than windmills and alas, my love for the Dutch countryside continues…In Netherlands, there are two very popular neighborhoods which have been protected and preserved to display the Dutch way of living and trades and crafts from rural Netherlands. One is Kinderdijk (near Rotterdam) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other is Zaanse Schans (near Amsterdam). We decided on Zaanse Schans because it was easier for us travel-wise. We took a bus from Stuttgart to Amsterdam and then bought an Amsterdam & Region Travel Pass, which covers a lot of neighborhoods around Amsterdam including the famous Keukenhof tulip gardens and Zaanse Schans. Zaanse Schans is a short 45 mins trip from Amsterdam Central by bus.We had booked an Airbnb accommodation in Zaandijk, very close to the site of Zaanse Schaans. After freshening up, we took our bicycles and made our way to the site. It was very windy and our hair was windswept. As we neared the place, a strong odour accosted us. We were to find out later that it was the emissions from the chocolate and starch factories in the region.We had a preconceived picture of a few windmills and wooden houses that we would get to see at the site. But the scene that welcomed us transported us immediately to the industrial age in Netherlands. It is like an open-air museum with bakery, cheese factory, clog-making warehouse and wooden houses with barns and working-windmills on the banks of river Zaan that flows in the area. It indeed looked like a painting.
Ticket to Tomorrowland - Where there's a will, there's a way, kind of beautifulAfter my solo trip to Bali, Indonesia in April, I made up my mind that I am going to Tomorrowland this year and will explore other official ticket partners even if I have to go for solo trip again. I got 2-3 options and finalized one on the basis of reliability, price and package they were providing. My bus package was starting from Amsterdam from there they gave me treasure box (official ticket) in the bus and dropped me and other festival goers in the front gate of camping at Tomorrowland in Boom, Brussels.
Brussels, capital of Belgium, is said to be the capital of Europe since it’s home to the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission.This old city has its own charm when it comes to attracting people. Belgian waffles, beer and chocolates oh and did I forget the Belgian fries? Definitely add it to the list. However I would say that Brussels is pretty famous for its Gothic structures and art in various form that makes another reason for this place to be experienced at least once.
Napping in one of the DB trains to Hamburg was a good ride for a long day to explore and know. St. Micheal's Church and its story was first on my list. Followed by Stadpark, Hamburg. Attending mini concerts at the fish market. And spent my other half of the day at Moenckebergstrasse and around the city central. Town's best chicken burger at Burgerlich was a must try!