Monday, August 14, 2017

Postcard #7 from Netherlands

The final stop of our Benelux trip was the Peace Palace, where we found that Andrew Carnegie donated 1.5 million to found the construction of the building.

The Hague is the political center of Netherlands. Countries around the world also set up their embassies at the city.

We went to Delft by tram in the morning. Nieuwe Church is where the Dutch royal families had their remains buried in the crypt.

We also visited Delft UT's library, built by the same architect who designed National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying).

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Postcard #6 from Netherlands

UNESCO World Heritage Kinderdijk is the main attraction of Rotterdam.

It's a half-hour ride on Waterbus.

Unlike Zaandijk, Kinderdijk is less commercialized with views on windmills. There are also museums showing how these windmills worked.

Back to Rotterdam, we visited Markthal, an indoor marketplace opened in 2014, with supermarkets, shops, restaurants and small eateries.

Right next to Markthal, is the famous Cube Houses, where it is like walking into a forest in the city.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Postcard #5 from Netherlands

St. Petersburg's Cave is definitely the highlight of the trip to Maastricht.

Its underground tunnels are more than 200km long, extending all the way to Belgium.

There was once two boys got lost inside and could not find their way out.

Our tour guide is a local who roamed the tunnels as his childhood playground. That's why he is so familiar with the place.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Postcard from Luxembourg

Luxembourg City is built on top of underground fortress.

Hills and valleys making the city with spectacular 3D views.

Casemates du Bock is an underground maze with circular stairs bringing you up and down.

Chemin de la Corniche, also known as “the most beautiful balcony of Europe”, is where to get an excellent view on the UNESCO site.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Postcard #2 from Belgium

We visited two historical towns, Gent and Brugge, in a rainy day.

Gent is a smaller one, but it also feels less commercialized.

On the contrary, Brugge has busy and modern shopping streets, that do not fit in well with its historical atmosphere.

But it does has superior view of canals; alas, the weather prevented us from enjoying a boat trip in the canals because the boats there do not seem to have proper roof to protecting us from the rain.

Today's the coldest day so far in our trip.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Postcard #1 from Belgium

After three hours, we finally reached Brussels. It was already half-past twelve.

We bought two rail passes, checked in to the hotel and rushed to Leuven. Alas, it had long passed 14:30, the final lunch time of student's restaurant.

Instead, we had our lunch at Le Royale, a restaurant right in front of the Leuven train station.

Afterwards, we started to explore this university city: the Library of the Catholic University of Leuven, Grote Martkt, and Oude Martkt, where there were residuals from the food festival yesterday.

And we also visited UNESCO World Heritage Site, Groot Begijnhof of Leuven.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Postcard #4 from Netherlands

2017 marked the 100th anniversary of De Stijl movement.

At Utrecht, Rietveld Schröder House, designed by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld, is one of the major representations of the artistic movement. Even though Rieveld himself did not start the movement, he was deeply inspired and created many significant works.

Dick Bruna, creator of the famous character, Miffy, was also influenced by the movement.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Postcard #3 from Netherlands

Annual Pride Canal Parade is held on the first Saturday in August, which happened to fit into our itinerary perfectly.

We spotted several boats heading to the starting point and preparing for the parade, when we took free ferry to EYE Film Museum.

Once again, we found our lunch at a local Lindengrachtmarkt, before heading to Prinsengracht, where the boats were parading.

The parade was well underway when we reach the canal, where surrounding streets were full of people. We could barely find a spot to see the actions on the boats moving in the canal.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Postcard #2 from Netherlands

The Alkmaar Cheese Market, opened on selected Fridays during summer, has become one of the major tourist attractions.

As time goes by, the cheese laid out on the market square is gradually carried out by cheese bearers to weighing place next to the square.

We passed by a large truck that transported the cheese here to be the main character of the show.

Museumkaart allowed us to enter the Cheese Museum, located on the second floor of the tourist information office, and presented cheese making history, tools and processes through interactive activities.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Postcard #1 from Netherlands

After dodging two typhoons, we flew to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), entertained by KLM's onboard entertainment system, making the 13-hour trip much more bearable.

We figured out how to use the OV-chipcard by taking train and subway to an Airbnb location, where we stayed for the following six nights.

The Albert Cuyp Market, our first stop after settled down our luggage, was also the first of many markets we visited, and where we had some quick bites of local snacks for lunch.

We wasted no time purchasing the Museumkaart, which gave us priority passage into Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.