285 Kms from Emden
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.
281 Kms from Emden
Yes, pot is legal in Amsterdam, and yes, you can smoke a joint or eat a pot brownie wherever and whenever you like. While this is reason enough to go, there's so much more that you and your travel partner can do in Amsterdam. If you have a thing for art then it'll be paradise for you. You can't walk on the street without stumbling upon a modern masterpiece of art. If walking is not your thing, you can take a boat ride in the Amstel River till the night dawns and then go out partying again. And there are cycles on rent too, for approximately INR 400 a day.Free or inexpensive things to do while here: Board a free ferry to the Noord Amsterdam neighbourhood and admire the entire city. Rijksmuseum is also a must-visit for art lovers, since it houses many European masterpieces. You can also visit a free jazz concert or a classical lunch concert. If you go during summer, the Vondelpark Festival is free to all.Where to eat: Here are the three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Amsterdam: 1. Broodje Bert at Singel, 2. Mook Panckaes at De Clercqstraat, 3. Jacketz at Kinkerstraat. All three serve vegetarian food as well.Where to stay: Following are two beautiful options to ensure that this becomes one of your cheapest European trips under 50k.
311 Kms from Emden
Germany's second largest city has a sophisticated demeanour, behind which lurks mischief and abandon. Hamburg is considerably smaller than Berlin, more tight-night and connected, and yet thoroughly eclectic when it comes to art and music.Getting around in HamburgThe U-Bahn is the best way to explore most of Hamburg's sights. A lot of walking will inevitably be involved. A single day pass for unlimited use of all public transport costs €6.20 a day for adults, €2.30 for children aged 6 to 14. Bike rentals are available, but not as accessible or widely advertised as in Berlin
345 Kms from Emden
On the way back to Rotterdam, everyone slept in the car but I was awake. I was awake because I had a lot to be grateful for today. I realized that the things you want dearly may be are denied to you only temporarily, may be they come back to you in a way that proves to be much better than it would have been earlier and that ultimately no one except God can deny you the happiness you want for yourself.