2nd week at Mechelen: Its hard to kill time here :), Cold weather continues, best thing to do here is sleep…This week I was a lil busy at work though… Eat-work-sleep, clockwork This has been my schedule this week, on Friday we had a monthly-party at our office. But this saturday has been one of my best days of travel. We had been to the Land of flowers Tulip Garden-Kuekenhof, Netherlands and Amsterdam.
We packed our bags and started off early in the morning, to Mechelen Railway Station and bought weekend travel tickets (40 Euros for a roundtrip ticket) and headed towards Schiphol airport. It was a 2 hour journey. Schiphol is the official airport of Amsterdam. It also has a train station beneath and a bus junction just outside the airport.
Kuekenhof, being a major attraction in Netherland; it is well connected, there are Connexxion (Bus Number 58) buses from airport to Kuekenhof every 15 minutes. We get tickets to Keukenhof in airport for 19 Euros, which includes Connexxion return tickets and entrance to the Tulip Garden.
It took us 1 hour from airport to Keukenhof due to a huge traffic jam and we reached Tulip garden at around 11 am.It was a crowded place with travelers from all parts of the globe. Temperatures were around 5 deg C, thankfully bright and sunny, no rains.
Kuekenhof is an amazing place; the gardens are spread across 70 acres of land, like a paradise on earth, very beautifully crafted garden, nature at its best. Flowers everywhere, streams in between, lush green grass, big trees, ponds, fountains, birds, gardens and more flowers…. Keukenhof (which means Kitchen Garden) has a display of over 7 million flowers, including about 1000 verities of Tulip alone.
We spent roaming around in Kuekenhof till 4. Nice moments for me to remember would be, lunch on a lake side with ducks around, maze garden, wind mill and the mechanical jukebox machine. I took around 250 snaps and felt like I couldve taken more.
We left at 4 and reached Schiphol at 4.30, took a train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Central.
A memorable inicident :-)* : At the railway station restroom, people were complaining the toilets were too small. The ticket collector shouted back, Its big enough to f*** in there, go to the red light if u need more!! We looked at each other and said Woahahhaa..
We collected the Amsterdam map, which had all the directions to what we were looking for. There was a carnival near Tussads museum which looked more like an amusement park. I got into a scary ride, which looked like a flying trapeze, on which I was circled around hanging at around at 100 feet heigh. It was an entertaining joy ride…
Then we spent the entire evening roaming around in the city, visited some nice places, spent some quality 😉 time in Amsterdam.
Few facts for the travelers (Netherland):
It rains quite often here so be prepared. But, Dutch hardly use umbrellas, they use rain-coats instead. Hmm.. Well this may be because Dutch love travelling on bicycles. It’ll be convenient for them to wear a raincoat rather than hold an umbrella while riding a bicycle Right ?. In fact, there are specially-designated bike paths next to the footpaths, all over the country, and pedestrians can not walk on them. [The same system is followed in Belgium as well]
About Keukenhof: The Keukenhof gardens will be open only during March until mid-of-May every year. The garden also has Europes biggest Fountain. You need to spend at least 5-6 hours here.
Amsterdam is one of the busiest and crowded places of Europe. Always be cautious here, and you might see people a bit unfriendly here (particularly the inhabitants), but not to worry you have good police patrols. Places to visit Madam Tussads Museum, and the boat ride across the city. Amsterdam, being the sex capital of the world, try visiting the red light district (if ur daring enough).
Enough of facts… Where was I, hmm…We strolled around all evening till around 9 PM and our legs started tiring. We got back to the railway station, but only to see that trains to Mechelen were cancelled. We had an adventure lined up for us !!!.
We got into a train which travelled till Rotterdam (Holland); from there we traveled to Roosendaal (Holland).
We were taken on a bus from Roosendaal to Essen (Rail Station in Belgium-Netherland Border), and train to Antwerpen, followed by another train to Mechelen. Return journey was quite an adventurous, amid confusion considering the fact that no one spoke English. We reached back home at 1, exhausted.