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 ;)

We arrived in Amsterdam on March 15, got a new friend - a local - he sat next to us during the flight; whom offered us a free ride from Schipol to Damrak where we will stay. Actually he wait for us during the immigration process (so nice doesn't he). A really good way to start our journey, one of many kindness we will received from stranger during our trip.

Amsterdam is the capital of Netherland and also the largest city in the country. Its name is derived from Amstelredamme - a dam in the river Amstel. Located 2 metres below the sea and famous of its Grachtengordel or known as canal of Amsterdam (refer to Wikipedia).  The canal of Amsterdam is listed in UNESCO World Heritage. Its beauty and uniqueness confirmed as a-must-see and a-must-do during our stay in the city by our new friend then we booked the cruise from Tours and Tickets in Damrak.

Inside the boat

One of the road

Amsterdam city view

Amsterdam famous architecture
A very amsterdam type of building

Behind a market, familiar picture reminded me of Indonesia

Bicycle parking is so Amsterdam

Bicycle everywhere

Traffic light for cute

No boat parking!

Harbour scene

Somewhere during the canal cruise

Row of bridges

Through the glass

No matter how little time we spent in Amsterdam, it will always be memorable as our first step in Europe. After we were dropped off in Damrak, strolling the cobblestone street finding our hostel, looking to the majestic-old fashion Amsterdam Central station behind us..the feeling of excitement, the sensation that stimulate all of our senses..finally we are really here!

The Budget:
1 hour canal cruise (discounted) -> 8 Euro

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine

Important note: 
If you fly with Garuda Airline, sales ticketing office in the airport open daily from 5 AM and only them authorized to give you information & confirmation whether there are available seat for you in another flight (your preference) in case your original flight cancelled like me. If you come or call the other sales ticketing office which open usually at 9 or 10 AM, you will be in a waiting list since they are also waiting confirmation from the Sales Ticketing Office in Airport.

No comments:

Post a Comment