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Day One in Netherlands – Schiphol and Utrecht

We began our journey in Netherlands.

May 6th. Arrived at Schiphol airport Amsterdam nearly 10 am. Schiphol was big but easy to navigate. Once you clear from the immigration check, you can see some airport shop after the  arrival gate. A lot of interesting things offered here, but don’t buy anything in here except if you had difficulties in spending your money. Yes..it was expensive. The other reason is that you can get the same product outside the airport with more choices.

We scan the environment to search for the train station. Why not using the bus? I am sure there are many buses. But, for the practical reason we chose the train. What about the fare? Compare to Indonesia where you can buy the long distance train ticket from Bandung to Solo for Rp. 200.000, of course the fare in Netherlands is more expensive. There were several choices which you can choose before you buy the ticket. We chose to buy the Anonymous OV-Chipkart. This is the card which we can use to pay for the transportation in Netherlands. You can find detail information about it at http://9292.nl/en/fares-and-public-transport/ov-chipkaart. We buy the card for 7 euros and do the top up for 13 euros. Our card can be used until 4 – 5 years after the purchase. Also, with this card, we can safe a lot of time compare to buy a one time ticket and the discounted fare. We can use the card for train, bus, and tram.

Out first destination for today is Utrecht. We visited one of our old friend, Visca. There were a lot of platforms in the train station, so we have to notice carefully which one is the right one. After we get to the right platform, we waited for to train. The journey to Utrecht took a bit more than half hour and the train quite full because it was Saturday. Our plan is to store our luggage in Utrecht Central Station and then meet our friend. It turn out the storage machine was not work that day. So we have to carry around our backpacks. One weighted 14 kgs and the other 11 kgs.

Since we had to carry our things, we could not walk too far. Then we decided to go to the pancake shop near the station. we spent almost one and a half hour talking about anything. We ordered pancakes, which was very expensive in my opinion. And thanks to Visca because she paid the bill…. We enjoyed the meal while watching people went by with their boat. Yes, we picked the cafe near the river. We also exchange ‘oleh2’. It was almost 4 pm when we decided that we have to go back to Leiden. We choose Leiden to stay for 2 nights instead of Amsterdam. The only reason is the price. Even though we used airbnb service, the price for the room in Amsterdam is very expensive.

I asked my friend to call the host in Leiden to told him that I will arrive in Leiden around 7 pm. Then we went to the phone shop (Vodafone) to buy a sim card. It cost us E15 (euros) but it was worth it. We went back to the Central Station and say goodbye to our friend. It was time to go to Leiden. Usually there are train directly from Utrecht to Leiden without having pass to Amsterdam. But that day it was not our day. The train seem had a problem and the direct route was not available. So we have to take another option which was the longer route from Utrecth – Amsterdam – Schiphol – Leiden.

After a quite long journey and still with the heavy baggage, we arrived at Leiden Central Station at 6.15 pm. According to our host, his house is near to the station. Yes it was near, but with all the baggage it felt like twice the distance. The distance is about 1 km away, since we did not sure about the bus route, we chose to walk. At precisely 7 pm we arrived at the front door where our host wait for us. Then there were still two and a half stair later to our room. That’s why we are felt very relief when finally we put our luggage down and took some rest. Fortunately for us we already bought some food (the Haring and Kibelling). We ate our dinner and took a shower before we rest in a quite comfortable bed. Our host name Kim, but she was not there. Instead, her friend meet us and give they key. The room is clean. If you interested in her service you can visit https://www.airbnb.ca/users/show/28466928. Personally, me and my wife was pleased with the room.

And that conclude our first day in Netherlands…

 

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