Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Canal of Amsterdam: Our First Stop

The decision to have our first travel together would be to Europe was taken 8 months before our trip. Triggered by coincidently discounted fare from Garuda Indonesia - a well known airline from Indonesia - on return ticket to Amsterdam from Jakarta. We booked the ticket on early June 2011 while our flight was on March 2012. It was quite a long time to wait.

Until on March 13, I received phone call from the airline; told me that our flight to Amsterdam in March 15 was cancelled (on departure day minus 2!!) and will be transferred to the next day on March 16. On March 16, we should be in our way from Amsterdam to Paris using our 80% discounted Thalys ticket. What did I do then? On March 14 I went to Garuda Airline Sales Ticketing Office in Soekarna Hatta International Airport in the morning (around 6.30 AM before went to office), only 30 minutes from my office thus I took a cab. In that particular morning, surprisingly there was no traffic jam. From there, I managed to get transfer to Day minus 1 flight which was in March 14 (night). Yes we went earlier!

That would be our story on our departure to Europe, full with rush and some strategic decision, complete with tactical action since we only have 4 hours to finish our preparation ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Europe by Train: Along the Way

Norway Flam Route - taken from
As I mentioned in my previous blog post related train travel in Europe which always about experience. It will give your eyes and mind a delighted treat; gaping out the window and absorb the new experience.

Europe has several famous scenic train routes. The Bernina Express, Trans Siberian and Glacier Express are some of the routes. Did I take those routes during my trip?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Europe by Train: The Budget Challenge

Harry Potter with his Hogwart Express which depart from platform 9 3/4 in London King's Cross train station or Mission Impossible with its roof top view from Budapest Nyugati Railway Terminal are 2 of many movies that capture a normal part of European routine: train travel, hustle and bustle in a grande railway station.

But it is true when you are in Europe (at least when I was there), you are never too far from a train station - either it is 'Gare' in Paris, 'Bahnhof' in Berlin, 'Nadrazi' in Prague, 'Estacio' in Barcelona, 'Stazione Ferrovia' in Venice and not forget to mention local train station such as Metro or RER station. Europe is densely integrated with Railway, making the train or 'renfe' or 'spoor' or 'tren' as the best transportation method to weave the way around there.