Cologne – Netherlands
We had a good sleep on our first night and woke up to the chimes of the Cologne Cathedral. I opened up the window, the magnificent cathedral just in front of me. The cool breeze coming through the window and the sun was shining, I was blessed.
After refreshing up, we went down the street to look for breakfast. The weather was great, and soon we found Kamps bakery just a few blocks away. Kamps bakery had many outlets around Germany, it had a vast range of traditional made sandwiches, savouries and sweet pastries, all looks so tasty to us. It was a good and budget place for breakfast.
After a quick breakfast, we can’t wait to visit the masterpiece Cologne Cathedral. For your information, you can visit the cathedral for FREE!!! Yes, It’s free! But if your wish to climb up the tower and treasure chamber, there will be charges on that.
Cologne Cathedral (Kölner Dom) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, it is declared as UNESCO world heritage site and also one of the most visited landmark in Germany.
After visited the cathedral, it’s time to look for lunch. We haven’t try the famous German pork knuckle yet, so we walked a short distance to the river rhine, there were plenty of restaurants along the river. This is also one of the hot spot in Cologne, here we can see the Hohenzollern Bridge, which is also called “Love locks” bridge. It is open for visitors to walk across the bridge and couples can put their love padlocks to symbolize their affections.
Finally, we tried the German pork knuckle in one of the random restaurant. It was delicious, the meat was so tender and the skin was crunchy. It was just so satisfying.
I like this city, there were good food, good beer, beautiful buildings and most important my good friend were here. I hope I can stay a few more days here, but too bad we need to move to Amsterdam today because tomorrow will the last day Keukenhof park open for tulips season of the year. We did not want to miss the chance to see the beautiful tulips, therefore we had no choice but to leave this beautiful city today. Goodbye Cologne, we shall be back again.
After 3 hours drive, we reached Noord-Holland, we will be staying there for the next four days in Amsterdam. We rented a room through Air BnB with free parking, this apartment a bit far from the Amsterdam centre, but tram and buses can be reached by walking distance. My first impression about this neighborhood was great, there was a park just across the apartment, local kids were cycling and playing on the street. This is the reason we rented local house than hotel, it was a great way to experience local life.
Our host Taia, he was friendly and helpful, we felt very welcome. The room was good, the kitchen were clean and well equipped with everything we need. Taia directed us the way to the supermarket, restaurants and public transport. I was worried about the safety, and felt a bit relieved when Taia said this neighborhood was quite safe, it was ok for us to walk outside even in late evening. After settled down around 7pm, without further ado we quickly walked to look for dinner. But unexpectedly, the supermarket was closed, most cafes and restaurants were closed too. There were only a mini market and a kebab restaurant were still open, we were tired to go further therefore we bought kebab as our dinner. Surprisingly the kebab tasted really good, very filling and cheap. (P/S: There were a lot of Turkish immigrants in Netherlands, therefore you can find a lot of kebab restaurants at every corner). Later we bought some bread from the mini market for the next day breakfast too.
Tips for parents: It is recommended to rent a car when travelling in Europe, it is cheaper than taking public transports, less tiring and your baby will feel more comfortable throughout the journey. But remember to look for accommodation with free parking, or else it will cost you a bomb. Try to rent an accommodation with kitchen facilities, so you can buy fresh food from the market to cook for your baby.