Thursday, May 5, 2016

(Europe Sep 2015) Day 15: Cologne to Amsterdam. Visit Amsterdam

Day 15 (17 Sep 2015): Cologne to Amsterdam. Visit Amsterdam. 
Stay at Amsterdam (Netherlands)


This day's schedule:
0646-0927 Cologne to Amsterdam via train (ICE)
0943-0949 Amsterdam Central station to Sloterdijk station via train
Check in to hotel, bought some lunch from train station and eat in the hotel room.
Started to rain heavily, so we rested in the room while waiting for the rain to stop
Sloterdijk to Amsterdam Central via train
1600-2015 Visit Amsterdam 
2015-2100 Dinner
Amsterdam Central to Sloterdijk via train


Not long after we wake up in the morning, the train staff delivered breakfast to our cabin onboard our overnight train.  This breakfast set is only included if you took Economy or Deluxe cabins with beds, but not if you took the regular seats.

Our breakfast sets delivered to our train cabin


What's in each breakfast set.  It also comes with a cup of coffee.
 Around 0615hr in the morning, our overnight train from Prague finally arrives at Cologne station in Germany.  Since the overnight doesn't travel directly to Amsterdam, so we had to alight at Cologne to transfer to another train to reach Amsterdam.
Cologne station

This was how the regular seats in our overnight train looks like. 
 Even though it was still really early in the morning, but you can still find quite a few shops that are already open for business if you need to buy some breakfast.



Since we still had some time before catching our train to Amsterdam, so we walked out of Cologne station to take a quick look.

Just outside Cologne station.
 Time for us to catch our train to Amsterdam.

The ICE train which we took from Cologne (Germany) to Amsterdam (Netherlands)


bistro car onboard the train


Finally arrival at Amsterdam Central station at around 0930am in the morning.
This would mean that we've travelled 1 circle since we started our trip from Amsterdam, and will be ending the trip at Amsterdam before flying back to our country the following day.

Since the hotels near Amsterdam Central are usually pretty expensive, so we decided to stay with a more economical hotel next to Slotherdijk station that's just a short train ride away from the main Amsterdam Central station.  It's somewhat located somewhere between Amsterdam Central and the airport anyway.

 So, after a short train ride, we arrived at Sloterdijk station, and walked to our hotel that's located next to the train station.
Our hotel


Our room.


View from our hotel room

There's actually nothing much in the surroundings near Sloterdijk station actually, so when you stay here, it's just a place for you to return back to your hotel.
Since it's raining, plus we were feeling pretty lethargic from our overnight train ride, so we decided to just grab some lunch from 1 of the shops at Sloterdijk station and then bring back to our hotel room to eat while waiting for the rain to stop.  
Even though Sloterdijk station is not a major station, but still, you can find food and cafe and a minimart at the station.

 Here are some photos which I took at Slotherdijk station while looking for lunch and snacks.



This is the minimart at Sloterdijk station that sells some snacks, drinks, bread, sandwiches...

Opening hours
What's inside the minimart:







We also saw a Smuller's outlet at Sloterdijk station too.  We remembered liking that meatball looking burger which we had on the first day of our trip, and so, we ordered that again.

We liked this. The patty tastes kinda like meatball. 



When in doubt, this is what I order, the filling seems like cheese.
Cheese filling...

Our lunch



After lunch and a short nap, the rain finally stopped. And so, it's time to head for Amsterdam Central.



Exterior of Amsterdam Central station

The tourist info office just outside Amsterdam Central sells city map for 2.50 Euros from this vending machine.  
 Hello Amsterdam, we are back :)

The large bicycle park just outside Amsterdam Central station. I also took photo of this same bicycle park 8 years ago.


We came across a Contiki tours bus, and it was really nostalgic. 
Because 8 years ago, we also went on a Contiki tour of Europe and this place outside the hotel across from Amsterdam Central station was our drop off/pick up point when we visited Amsterdam back then.


Ahh, I see something familiar...Febo.



The main street was cleared of traffic. Instead, there were many police around and a large group of people walking on the road. Upon asking some locals, they told me that those were soccer fans.






Toy shop



Miffy! 


I bought these carebears. 
 Not long later, we came across a shop selling frites (Fries) with long queues.  

It was nice :)  





Many pigeons around.



My aunt used to work at Netherlands many years ago, and when we told her about our Europe trip, she asked us to help her buy a chocolate flakes toppings to go with bread which she used to love to eat during her days in Netherlands.  
And so, our next stop was the supermarket.
Albert Heijn supermarket
 I love to take photos of food at supermarkets whenever I travel, so please bear with me for the upcoming photos which I took during our supermarket shopping.




Look at the large variety of chocolate toppings to go with bread.

This is what my aunt asked us to buy for her.  She and her family LOVES this. 
Other brands, but also chocolate flakes to go with bread.

And more...












Remember the meatball burger which we had for lunch that we liked? 
Well, I was thinking of trying to replicate the taste, and so I bought a few packets of this minced meat seasoning powder.  I tried making some meatballs with this and it was pretty good.  :)




Prawn cracker (keropok)









 I love Nutella! And so, when I saw Nutella ice-cream, I just had to try some. 
This was really good! Nutella ice-cream :)




Dinner

Not very nice though. Doesn't look anything like the photos in the menu,



And that's how we spent the last evening of our Europe trip, since we will be flying back the following day.






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