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Showing posts from 2013

Sinterklaas is Hier

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Every once in a year around from 17 November to 5 December is the happiest time for kids all around the Netherlands. Do you know why??? It's Sinterklaas (Sint Nicolaas, Saint Nicholas), you might be questioning why so early, it's not even Christmas yet. Well, Sinterklaas in NL is not Santa Claus (I mean the fat man with a red suit). Let me tell you a little bit about Sinterklaas tradition in NL. Unlike Santa Claus with the magic sleigh and flying reindeer. Sinterklaas sail to NL with a steamboat from Spain (altough originally Sinterklaas came from Turkey). I'm not gonna tell you a lot about the history of Sinterklaas, because you can just read it in wikipedia. I'm just gonna tell you my experience celebrating Sinterklaas day in NL on 2012.
Okay back to Sinterklaas tradition, usually around 16-17 November (depends on when the weekend is), Sinterklaas comes to a city in NL on a boat, with zwarte pieten (his helper) who carries bags full of chocolate, kruidnoten, pepernote…

Den Haag (The Hague)

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"Den Haag.. Den Haag.. de weduwe van Indie ben jij..."
a Dutch-Indo song that always played by my grandmother resound in my head whenever I hear the word "Den Haag". Lots of Indonesian-Dutch family felt unaccepted and moved to Netherlands after Indonesia got their independence, and lived in Den Haag (DH). Den Haag is the seat of government in The Netherlands and the capital city of province of south holland. Funny fact about Den Haag is Den Haag has never traditionally had the city right (stadsrecht), so actually Den Haag is not a city, but only a village (dorp). However since the middle-age it has all the administrative institutions that a city have.
A strong bond between Den Haag and Indonesia can be seen at Haags-Historisch Museum (When I went there, they have a special exhibition remembering when the first time Indo-Dutch people set foot in Den Haag). This museum also tells story about the history of den haag, like when and where gebroeders de witt (Johan and Cor…

Delft

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Delft a city in the province of South-Holland, well known for canals and historical story of Dutch Royal Family (House of Orange-Nassau), a city where Willem van Oranje got killed. Delft is also well-known as student city (Delft University of Technology), and home of the famous Delft Blue Pottery. There are lots of interesting things that you can do in Delft, like visiting museums, boat tour, or just even walking around the city and enjoy the view. I've visited Delft a couple times, the city it self is not so big, so a day trip would be enough to explore Delft.
One of the most interesting museum in Delft is Het Prinsenhof. This place used to be a monastery and where Willem van Oranje used to live. This museum tells you story about Willem van Oranje and his role in creating Dutch republic, and you will also see the most important figures of the Netherlands Revolt. This place is also the place where Willem van Oranje got killed. You probably wondering who Willem van Oranje is. Willem…

Hoorn

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Nope, I didn't mistyped. It's Hoorn, not horn.. Hoorn is a city in the north part of Netherlands. It is located on the IJsselmeer, 35 kilometres north of Amsterdam, and acquired city rights in 1357. The area of the municipality is 52.49 km² (32.62 km² consists of water, mainly the Markermeer), and consists of the following villages and/or districts: Blokker, Hoorn, Zwaag, and parts of Bangert and De Hulk. Yup, here's the town where Jacob Blokker in 1896 open his first Blokker store. Nowadays Blokker has 600 store throughout Netherlands and 220 store in Belgium.
Hoorn was an important home base for the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and a very prosperous centre of trade, which is another interesting fact. So the boat that came to Indonesia long-long time ago, was started from Hoorn.
My visit started from the train station, we walk across the city to reach the city center, it was Sunday, so all stores were closed. The city looks like typical dutch city, with old buildings and…

It's Jakarta Beybehhhh!!!! *special edition*

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Huh what? Jakarta? But why? I thought this blog is about eurotrip.. Well in this special edition, I'll write about my hometown, kampung halamanku, my beloved Jakarta. Jakarta or officially known as Special Capital Region of Jakarta (Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the capital and the largest city of Indonesia. Most people questioning why you would go to Jakarta, with its traffic jam and pollution. I have an answer, it's because of the FOOD. Yup, you can go anywhere in Indonesia, but if you want good food you have to go to Jakarta, you can find pretty much anything here, from traditional food to European fancy cuisine. The price also varies, for a full meal per person it cost from Rp 7.000,- (or around 50eurocent) to unlimited (I mean, we also have super expensive fancy restaurant here in Indonesia, I've never went there so I don't know how much it cost). The main reason why I'm in Jakarta this time is to attend my brother's wedding (which was great).
When I j…

Around Belgium in 2 Days (Part II)

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Day 2 Brussels and Dinant

After tired of walking almost 12 hours the other day, we decided to take it a little bit slow. Well, it doesn't mean that we're gonna wake up late, it's a big no no when you only have 2 days to travel. We woke up around 8ish, get some breakfast and catch the 9.30 train to Brussels. I'm not gonna tell a lot about Brussels, because I think I've explained enough on my previous post about Brussels. But I saw something that I haven't seen on my previous visit to Brussels, something special. Yup, I saw the King of Belgium and the royal family. The Cathedral in Brussels was very crowded that day, and there are some people bringing Belgium flag, so we asked the people around, and they said that the King is here. To be honest I didn't know which one is the king (Sorry....) but I managed to take some pictures of some people that might be important



Around Belgium in 2 Days

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Running out of money? Don't have much time to travel? Well that's what happened when I only got 1 week of summer holiday instead of 3 like I got last year, and limited budget. This summer I went to Belgium, visited 4 gorgeous city of Belgium. I've posted some story about Belgium before, so I don't think I need to explain about Belgium anymore in this post. In summer, Belgium railways have a special "Summer Deals" which able you to pay only for 7.50euro per trip to go to everywhere in Belgium. This time I use the opportunity to go to Gent, Bruges (Brugge), Brussels, and Dinant. I only spent 22.50 for ticket in total (Essen-Bruges, Bruges-Dinant, and Dinant-Essen). How about Gent and Brussels? Well to go to Brugge you will pass Gent, so you can just as well stop there and walk around for a little while.

Day 1 - Gent & Brugge
This time I'm not travelling alone, I have my partner in crime Stephan with me. We took 9am train from Etten-Leur to Gent, and we ge…

Rainy Paris in November

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So a few months after I went to Paris Disneyland, my best friend Aya invited me to come to see her in Paris. It was the beginning of winter, the weather is cold and wet, it's raining most of the time. I managed to get a bus ticket from EuroLines for quite reasonable price 43euro round trip. The bus leaves from Breda at midnight, but the bus came late (around an hour late) so I was a bit worry whether the bus really is going to come, or did I miss it, and all bad thoughts start coming. So there I was standing in front of Breda train station in the coldness of November waiting for the bus. The bus came around 1ish, and I immediately jump in to the bus, find a seat, try to get myself comfortable and ready to sleep. It took around 6 hours from Breda to Paris, they make a stop in Brussels and Antwerpen I guess, but I was too sleepy to even realize.

Day 1 - Paris I'm Tired
Tired from the bus ride, I walk myself to the Metro, and take the Metro to Aya's apartment. Single trip ticke…

Disneyland Paris

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Disneyland, where every kids dream become reality (and mine too) and where you can meet your favorite Disney characters or the princess. Since I live in NL, I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to visit one of Disneyland Park in Paris. I found a very good deal from MilotReizen, for 67.50euro (I was 25 back then) you get a retour bus ride and entrance to one of Disney Park of your choice (Theme Park or The Studio), and of course I chose the Theme Park.
The bus left on friday around midnight from Dordrecht (It has several stop like in Rotterdam and DenHaag). We took the last train to Dordrecht, and yeah of course as an AuPair with limited budget we prepared some food before we left, so we have full meal, from breakfast until dinner for the next day, so we won't be starving. It took about 6-7 hours bus ride, we arrived around 8ish in Paris, and we have to wait until the park is open, but meanwhile you can freshened up yourself in the toilet, because the bus will park close to t…

Camping in Netherlands

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Well, one of the most random thing I've ever done in Netherlands is going "Camping", yes camping.. sleeping in a tent for 2 nights, and just relaxing and enjoying the nature, it was a nice option to do. So, I met this guy on internet (crazy I know), and he seems a pretty expert "Camping Guy", so I decided to go camping for a weekend. We picked Landgoed de Hoevens, it's a camp-site just in a border of Belgium, so you can actually walk there. Camping here is quite different than in Indonesia where you can just go to a mountain (for example Gunung Putri), hike, and put your tent randomly. In NL you can only set your tent in a designated area, and you have to pay certain amount of money per tent or per person. It depends on which campsite you're at.
In return of that money you paid, you got a pretty decent facility, like wifi, clean toilet and bathroom, so you can actually take a decent shower, instead of going to a river or find some water source just to wa…

Summer Trip (Final Part - Prague I'm in Love)

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Prague, the capital and largest city of Czech Republic. It's also the historical capital of Bohemian proper. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of nearly 2 million. The city has a temperate oceanic climate, with warm summers and chilly winters. Not much people know about Prague, that's why they questioned me why I would go to Prague all by myself, well after this post I'm sure you will love Prague as much as I do.

Day 16 - Finally Prague
After a sleepless night at Milan Airport, and a morning flight to Prague. I finally arrived in Prague, one of my favorite city in Europe. Oh yeah, you don't have to change the currency (EUR to CZK) at the airport, you can just use the ATM, and take money from there (It's cheaper considering the fee they asked in airport). But since I didn't know it before I get a pretty good rate at Milan airport…

Summer Trip (Part VI - Athens)

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Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece, also known as one of the world's oldest city. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state. A center for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC in later centuries on the rest of the then known European continent. People said that I'm crazy to go to Athens alone, especially after the crisis in Greece, well I call it experience, I'm sure it's not that bad there, and I might get the chance to meet new people and have new friends (One of the reason I choose hostel).

Day 10 - Arrived Safely in Athens
After 3 hours sleeping in the plane, I finally arrived in Athens. You can get the x95 bus to the city (syntagma square). The ticket cost 5euro one way and you can buy the ticket in th…