Rayyan Eusoff Goes Netherlands

After much deliberation of where to bring my son for his first international travel, I decided to bring him to the Netherlands. Wifey just follow without much question. Hahaha.

At first i was torn between going to Japan or going all the way to Europe. Then i went on to think again that there are many flights to Japan and it is only 7 hours. The budget won't be as much as going to Europe (due to the higher exchange rates of EUR compared to JPY and also there are many budget airlines fly to Japan). Taking all in stride, then Europe it is. Japan can wait for another year.

We fly via Malaysia Airlines from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam (i took the same flight but i started the journey from Singapore then during transit i went back home to pick up wifey and Eusoff then check in together). 13 hours later, we arrived in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Eusoff behaved all the way throughout the 13 hours flight. Thank god for that.

Took the train to Den Haag Centraal from Schiphol that cost EUR9 per person. But if you bought the tickets from the vending machine, it will cost only EUR8 as the EUR1 is an additional charge if you buy it at the counter. However, you can only buy the tickets at the vending machine using credit cards. As for me, i only top-up my OV-Chipkaart (a personalised Touch'N'Go-like transport card for all public transports in the Netherlands). My OV-Chipkaart is still valid until 2017. Hehehe.

We rest throughout the first day arriving in The Hague. Wifey and Eusoff need time to recover. Hahaha. One thing for sure, when travelling with baby, you have to be extra considerate. Especially when your baby is only 3 months old. There are plenty of adjustment especially on the level of density of the travel. Have to segregate it equally for the travelling time and rest time. Furthermore have to also take into consideration about the weather condition especially it was winter. Lucky enough for us that i have a very good friend who is currently based in The Hague. For our stay in The Hague, we stay at his place in the town area. And we started making plans for the days to come. Having a lightweight stroller really do help us moving from one place to another.

DAY 1 - Roermond

Roermond is located in the south of Holland, bordering with Belgium and Germany. The only reason we went there was because it has a factory outlet. I promised myself not to over-shop and i managed. Because everything was diverted into shopping for Eusoff instead. Hahaha. And also some friends who requested that i bought something in which they agreed to paid according to my credit card statement and not based on the daily conversion rate. It took about 2 hours 30 minutes drive from The Hague which was almost the same duration of time should we take the train which we did last year. Nothing much was spent on myself but i bought lot of stuffs for Eusoff as it was really reasonably priced.

DAY 2 - Volendam 

Volendam took about 1 hour drive from The Hague. It is a city by the sea with the freezing wind blowing straight to the face. Really nice city by the bay. It has a cruise but we did not take the cruise as we were more into sightseeing and most importantly we wanted to take picture in dutch traditional clothing. It cost about EUR25 for 3 of us (Myself, Wifey & Eusoff) with the A4 size picture and another EUR2 for the additional 4R copies. Had lunch in one of the seafood restaurant in the area then had warm drinks overlooking the bay. It was good.

Eusoff was in a rather good mood throughout the day. I put him into his bear suit which i bought in H&M for RM79 in Malaysia. He looked rather cute in that suit. Nowadays it has been some sort of a signature pic of me holding him on my shoulders.

DAY 3 - Zaanse Schans, Zandam

One of the must do when you are in the Netherlands is to see the windmills. You will find plenty of it in Zaanse Schans. The weather was cold and the wind was more menacing than the ones we experienced in Volendam. Someone told us it was -14 degrees with the wind. We just took handful of pics before saying to ourselves that we can't take it anymore then went in and out from shops to shops along the way from the windmill back to the car. Along the way we managed to went into a shop with the dutch traditional clogs on display. It even has this history of how it came about and how it was made.

DAY 4 - Rotterdam

The whole afternoon was spent in Rotterdam. It was 30 minutes drive from The Hague and we went straight to Markenthal. Parked the car there then we went on foot to the town area. Did not do much except for taking pictures and had lunch. Managed to buy some souvenirs in Rotterdam while walking around. It was really cold. Bought some groceries for dinner then headed back to The Hague.

DAY 5 - The Hague

The day was spent in The Hague. Taking our own leisure time just relaxing and walking around town. In the morning, the three of us just take a nice stroll in the park just across the street in front of my friend's home. It was beautiful with the autumn leaves falling down to give way to the incoming winter. The photo does not do justice to the beauty of it.

Instead of using stroller, that day we decided to use the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix itself because i seen people in The Hague was carrying it as if it is a handbag. I decided to give it a try. OMG! I am not going to do that again. The carrier itself is light, however when i put Eusoff in it, it weighted rather heavy and put strain in my arms. I really had respect for those people that i had seen carrying it as if it weighted nothing. Hahaha. But it was rather convenient as we taking public transports. I did not use baby wearing as the wind was rather strong and i am rather comfortable of putting Eusoff in a stroller inside a footmuff than having it in a baby wearing. I am quite concern maybe also due to his age. As it was Friday, i went for Friday prayers in the big Turkish Mosque near the China Town in The Hague then proceed to had lunch in an Indonesian restaurant called Sides. Once i had an Indonesian friend telling me that she had the best Indonesian dish in Holland instead of Indonesia. I have to agree with her. Perhaps it might be because of the high quality of the raw materials as the spices and stuffs are imported from Indonesia. Priced a bit more but we had our stomach full. Wifey went on a shopping spree in the town area as the SALE was starting. Pity me. Hahahaha.

That weekend was spent in Geneva and we went back to Amsterdam on Monday morning. I will write the entry about Geneva in another entry. Once arrived in Schiphol, we went back directly to The Hague to pack the bags as our flight was on the following day. Then i just realised that we did not went to Amsterdam at all. The closest we went was to Schiphol. Hahaha. Perhaps next year.

Furthermore since wifey and I had been to Amsterdam last year so we were more excited to go to places that we have not been to instead. We did not go to Delft as well eventhough it was just next to The Hague. Well, everything is saved for next year's. Hahaha. It was my fourth time to the Netherlands. As i definitely have no qualms about going to Netherlands again while my friend is there. No matter how i look at it, i was quite satisfied of how it all went out. When Eusoff was born, i made several promises to myself and one of them is to bring my son to travel around the world. This is the first of more travels to come. This time around, it was Rayyan Eusoff goes Netherlands.



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