429 Kms from Gent
2. England- The London Tube: There are a lot of things you can love about England, but nothing is more enchanting than having time to spare and watching the London tube at rush hour. From the unwritten rules of staying to the left on escalators to the packed like sardines carriages, the tube can give you new found respect for space. The tube stands for everything ‘London’. Add the fact that they scaled new heights in design whilst creating the new tube map.
204 Kms from Gent
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.
200 Kms from Gent
I did spend a lot of time researching about the places I would want to visit in this small beautiful country. By shortlisting few places which interested me and putting them on a piece of paper gave my itinerary a good foundation and hurrah, my itinerary fit almost all the places with the time I had. My Flight was at 10:30 in the morning from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. The flight duration is about an hour and a half to Innsbruck, Austria.
285 Kms from Gent
6. France- Paris 'the city of love' truly deserves that title. Although I've been to multiple similar cities in Europe what sets Paris apart is the art, culture and heritage of the city combined with the french language making it a delectable combination.