Monday, December 28, 2015

(Europe Sep 2015) Day 2: Visit Leiden and Brussels. Stay at Brussels

Day 2 (4 Sep 2015): Leiden to Brussels. Stay at Brussels. (Part 1)
-Leiden part-

This day's itinerary:
0815-0900 Stroll around Leiden (Netherlands)
0900-1000 Breakfast at McDonald's
1010-1055 Visit Valk Windmill museum
1105-1115 Visit Supermarket
1120-1155 Had a rest in our hotel room before having to check-out
1220-1253 Leiden Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal via Intercity train (E7.20)
1308-1510 Rotterdam Centraal to Bruxelles Centraal (Brussels, Belgium) via IC train (fares varies, depending on how early you book.  My fare was E30.80)
Visit Brussels (Belgium)

Woke up in the morning to find a rainy gloomy day outside. Well, since we are already here, so might as well go out and explore abit (especially since we overslept the previous evening)

Leiden (Netherlands)
Most of the shops were still not opened yet since it was quite early when we left our hotel.

That's Valk windmill museum in this photo. We will be going there for a visit after our breakfast later in the morning.

I saw more bicycles than cars, even though this is probably the time when most people goes off to work.

We had a slow stroll around Leiden, taking photos, and then found a McDonalds (the only place we came across that's open in the morning for breakfast) to have our breakfast. We usually try to avoid taking McDonalds' when we travel since we'd rather try local cuisines. 
But since the rain was becoming a downpour, and that this was the only food outlet that was opened at this time of the morning, so we decided to just have our breakfast here instead of walking around and catching a cold so early into our trip.

I like how we can take Nutella from the basket in front of the cashier should we want to eat it with any of our order.
My breakfast: Nutella with hotcakes and donut.

My husband's breakfast: Burger with fries.  Our total cost for breakfast was around 13 Euros.

 Since the rain condition improved, so we headed out and walked to nearby Valk windmill.

Valk windmill
 If you are in Leiden, I'd recommend a visit to Valk windmill
It is a pretty interesting windmill museum where you can walk around on your own and see the exhibits on display, Admissions was 4 Euros per person.
But bear in mind that the steps are pretty steep and narrow. 
Some of the steps nearer to the top of the windmill seemed more like a ladder rather than stairs.
Below are some photos which I took during my visit.

Narrow steps

Valk windmill

These De Ruijter chocolate flakes which you can sprinkle on bread are popular here.  My aunt who used to work in Netherlands loved these soooo much asked me to get a few boxes back for her.  
After our short morning visit to Leiden, we started our train journey towards Brussels in Belgium

From Leiden, we had to take a short train to Rotterdam, and then transfer to another train to reach Brussels. 
The tickets for the train ride between Leiden and Rotterdam can be bought anytime from the ticketing machine (uses coins, by the way) at train stations. The prices remains the same, regardless of how early you bought it.

For the tickets for the train between Rotterdam and Brussels, we had to buy it online from either Netherland's train website, or Belgium's train website.  Usually, the earlier you buy this, the cheaper it is. Sometimes, different websites will have different prices for the same train, so it's best to compare prices from the various trains booking websites before you make any train reservations.

For more info on train travels in Europe, Seat61's website helped me out ALOT in my trip planning for this Europe trip.  

Our train from Rotterdam to Brussels.

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