Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Aiden and Ian Takes Europe: Amsterdam Take Two!

Hello peeps.

Warning ahead, this will be a post filled with many many photos of beautiful Amsterdam.

Aiden really really wanted to go on a boat cruise around the Amsterdam canals, but we didn't fancy going in the packed closed top boats that go around every half hour or so. We wanted to experience the smaller, open top boats. Albeit slightly more expensive, it was a small price to pay for a more personalized tour with better views and photo opportunities. Worth to note is that you should aim to be there slightly earlier so that you can choose a great spot on the boat. Unfortunately for us, by the time we parked the stroller and got the kids into the boat, we had to settle with seats in the middle. Hence most of our photos were peppered with pictures of other people on the same boat.

Now this is why you should aim for good seats on the boat. Epic photobomb! *giggles*

Checking out the map of our ride.

Canals after canals after canals. Simply beautiful!

Some of the buildings we went by on the boat.

Crooked charm. Can you see what I'm referring to?

Bicycles lining up beside the canal.

Pirate ship!

Can you see those floating structures on the water? Those are boat houses!

Love this boat house. Pretty flowers everywhere!

Check out the interior of this boat house.

A huge ship, mere meters from us.

Best selfie we could get without people photobombing our shot.

Family photo before we got off the boat.

If you're ever in Amsterdam, you simply must give this open boat tour a try.

Ian, why are you sooooo cute! #gangkacamatahitam

Ian, the Mat Bunga.

By the end of the cruise, it was creeping into late afternoon. Thank god for the long daylight hours! After a quick lunch at the many halal kebab restaurants around town, we then headed to Zaanse Schans, a Dutch village with traditional houses and well preserved historic windmills in the neighbourhood of Zaandam. About 45minutes bus ride (#391 to be exact) from Amsterdam Central. (If you take the train, it's a 15-20mins walk from the station.)

Ian trying to figure out where we should get off the bus (it's the last stop!)

The story of the construction of Zaanse Schans is quite spectacular actually. It is not a historical area that is then well preserved for tourist visits. But rather, the site was constructed from scratch and whole heritage buildings were transported to site using boats and lorries! Some buildings and even a complete windmill body were transported in their entirety. While other buildings were first dismantled, plank by plank or brick by brick. And then reconstructed once at site. Isn't that simply amazing?

Construction of Zaanse Schans. See how they lifted that house onto a barge??

By the time we arrived, everything was closed. There wasn't even a single tour bus in sight. I had read about functional windmills that make everything from cheese to paint, but everything was closed shut! Even the wooden clogs store and chocolate tour were closed. The only thing still open was Albert Heijn, the local grocery shop! But still, we made the most of our time there by taking in the views and posing for amazing photos. Amazing because unlike our earlier canal cruise, there was no one in sight to photobomb our shots! *giggles*

Amazing views.

Posing with one of the many windmills in the area.

I don't know who's backyard we crashed, for this shot.

Tug of war.

Can you see the chickens in this shot?

Aiden took this shot of us.

Clogs and more clogs.

Biggest pair of clogs!

After like five shot, this was the best Aiden could do. Bolehlah!

More windmills!

Love this shot of my two boys.

I don't know where Aiden picked up that yoga pose!

Siblings love.

At the end of the bridge.

Us acting like windmills.

Last shot of us.

And that brings us to the end of our adventures in Amsterdam. The next day, we took the Thalys into Paris and then onward to Disneyland. We were lucky, we bought our train tickets early hence we got a good deal for first class. But... that's a story for a next post. Till next time, thanks for reading!

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