The last day finally came. We walked out of the hotel, having the high hope of our last destination before heading back to Singapore and Indonesia. We went to Amsterdam Centraal Station and bought Waterland bus tickets that covered the whole journey to Volendam and neighborhood villages. It cost EUR 10 (~SGD 15) for unlimited bus rides from Amsterdam Centraal to Waterland, between villages in Waterland, and the return journey to Amsterdam. The details can be found here.
Waterland consists of several picturesque fishing villages located away from Amsterdam. The most touristy is of course Volendam with many shops, restaurants, bars, and skyline overlooking Zuider Zee. Edam is a small village nearby Ye River that specializes in cheese products. Marken is at the other side of Zuider Zee with green wooden houses. Other villages include Monickendam, Broek, Purmerend, Middenbeemster, and Graft-De Rijp.
|Map of Waterland (Source:localbus.nl)|
It took us about half an hour to reach Volendam. The bus stopped at the main road so we walked a bit towards the sea side. After 10 minute walk, we were greeted by a row of commercial establishment. Tourists were all over the place and there were notices everywhere saying, "Beware of Pickpockets".
It was almost noon so we decided to have our lunch in one of the seafood restaurants with tripadvisor logo. It's never a fault to have a meal in restaurants with tripadvisor endorsement. It was the best meal I had in Netherlands. We ordered fish, prawns, mussels, pasta, potatoes. All were delicious I still think about them in this very moment.
|We walked through the small alley from the bus stop|
|Volendam, taa daa|
We continued to explore the area. Amongst places that we visited in Netherlands, Volendam was considered having the least wow factor in it. It's just a fishing village facing the sea with shops and many people. Whoever market this area to be a Holland tourist attraction was very clever. Other than eating, drinking, shopping and taking family pictures in Holland traditional costume, there is nothing more here.
|The sails were not up yet|
|Another clog experience|
|Continue to stroll and stroll|
We then took our family portrait in Holland traditional costume. It's so called 'a-must' when visiting Volendam. The price is determined based on the number of people taking picture but the print out that you get will be either 1 or 2 copies. Additional copy or soft copy will be charged extra. We spent EUR 30 (~SGD 45) for the 10-minute session.
Actually, the people that served us were not so friendly. They rushed us through things even though there were no people queueing behind us. I did not really like the service there.
|Behind the scene|
After taking the pictures, we continued to stroll for a while to the end of the road, took some pictures, bought some poffertjes and got back to the shop to collect the print outs. Feeling a bit disappointed with Volendam, we decided not to visit the neighboring villages. We headed back to Amsterdam Centraal with the intention to find Nine Streets Shopping Area.
|A yatch, wow|
|Across the sea|
|Yummy poffertjes, in Indonesia it is called Kue Pukis or Kue Cubit|
We took a tram from Amsterdam Centraal in order to find Nine Streets Shopping Area or De Negen Straatjes. This shopping area is supposed to be a major shopping area in Amsterdam. Located nearby Centraal, this shopping area covers a matrix of 9 streets. From vintage shops to boutiques, you are supposed to find everything that you want.
We were kind of having difficulties in finding these streets. We walked through quiet streets before finally managed to find a street full of shops. The day was getting dark already so we did not do much shopping.
We had a simple dinner and got back to the hotel to pack.
Bye, Amsterdam. Till we meet again.
Next - Epilogue
Love is in the air,