324 Kms from Vleteren
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.
289 Kms from Vleteren
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.
290 Kms from Vleteren
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.
234 Kms from Vleteren
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.
179 Kms from Vleteren
The capital of Belgium is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe since it is filled with as many historical insignias as its modern counterparts. Being the administrative capital of EU, Brussels is also understandably bureaucratic to some extent. What's really enviable here is the beauty of everyday things. The roadside cafes and bars are designed to welcome and not merely to swindle. The overall humour is deadpan, but hilarious. It's an outstanding city and one of the relatively cheap European destinations from India.Free or inexpensive things to do while here: You can chill at the many gorgeous parks in the city, such as Parc de Woluwe, Bois de la Cambre, Square Ambiorix, Parc Leopold, and more. To mingle with royalty at the Royal Palace is also absolutely free and will be memorable for life. Visit the Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Military without a ticket.Where to eat: Here are the three cheap but outstanding places to eat in Brussels: 1. Tonton Garby at Rue Duquesnoy, 2. Bia Mara at Rue du Marche aux Poulets, 3. Fritland at Rue Henri Maus. All three serve vegetarian food as well.Where to stay: What makes Brussels one of the cheapest European destinations from India is its budget stays. Here are two options.
454 Kms from Vleteren
Since we had a comfortable overnight journey, today we were all fresh and ready to have an exciting day ahead. Today, we are supposed to go to Oxford city in south east of London. It is a 2 hour train journey from London and we reach Oxford by 10 am. There was a city bus tour here again, but since we had the entire day to spend in Oxford our preferred choice of exploring the place was by walking around. We took a map of the city from the train station and we labeled the route we had to take, it was a circular walk around the city.The buildings in Oxford demonstrate an example of every English architectural period and its known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English speaking world. Our walk leads us through the heart of the historic city centre illustrating in itself the history of Oxford and its university and the map in our hand gave us the description of the architecture and traditions of its most famous buildings and institutions. Even though I was not a good student myself or much of a book reader, I felt it was a prolific day spent in Oxford, a city also prominent for its medieval university. Our day ended with some good coffee and we reached back home in London at around 8 in the evening.