Flashpacker EuroTrip – Part 1
Hi, this is my first travel post! So excited.. Sebenarnya semua trip nya udah lama banget, tapi mau share notesnya siapa tau berguna yaa.. Jadi selama ini kalau travelling saya (dan suami) belum pernah pakai tour n travel sama sekali, jadi sebisa mungkin direncanakan dengan baik dan se-detail mungkin. Memang agak ribet dikit persiapannya, but I guess it’s kinda worth it. Untuk tips dan lesson learned akan ditulis bold ya. Peta, review dan informasi tempat juga dimasukkan linknya di dalam tulisan.
Yang disiapkan selain yang dokumen untuk persyaratan visa, saya bawa copy (or soft copies) dokumen pribadi seperti passport, catatan alamat dan no telp kedutaan Indonesia di kota-kota yang akan saya kunjungi, nomor telp keluarga dan teman dekat in case of emergency misalnya lowbatt, ngga hafal nomornya, termasuk nomor-nomor identitas, asuransi dan sebagainya. In addition, no telp polisi, ambulans, tourist information di kota-kota yang akan dikunjungi. Lebay ngga sih? Tapi why not, we’ll never know kan..
Oh iya, satu hal penting pada saat urus visa, persyaratannya adalah booking confirmation dari tempat kami menginap, jadi make sure aja pas booking, minta dibuatkan (kalau ngga otomatis) seperti ini.
Download offline map juga siapa tau ngga ada internet connection. Untuk koper pun saya pakai koper yang middle size dan rodanya bisa 360 derajat untuk berdua. Jadi hanya 1 luggage dengan warna unik supaya mudah dikenali dari jauh (foto cover postingan ini) jadi mudah bawanya, dan kami masing-masing bawa tas backpack/ messenger bag, cukup praktis kan?
Eurotrip ini dilakukan tgl. 7-16 September 2012, karena mau pergi ke tempat bersalju, jadi kami bawa thermal cloth, syal, dan kaos kaki tentunya. Biasanya baju dan celana mix n match aja, ujung-ujungnya pas difoto semuanya ngga kelihatan karena dingin jd pakai jaket n syal hahaha.. Mungkin next time inget-inget kalau mau foto lepas jaket dulu biar keliatan ganti baju ;p sepatu juga yang nyaman seperti sneakers, karena banyak jalan kaki. Baju winter sports yg waterproof, sarung tangan dan topi optional lah.
City No. 1 of EuroTrip part 1. After few months of doing research for our itinerary, my husband and I decided to go straight to Koeln at the beginning of our journey. Itu juga setelah simulasi bikin itinerary dengan macam-macam rute ^^ Cost awal diluar tiket pesawat yaitu schengen visa sekitar USD 76 per person. Beli travel insurance juga untuk berdua (just in case) dari AXA, total USD 59. Trus bayar airport tax USD 16 per person.
Took Garuda Indonesia airline from Soekarno Hatta Airport Jakarta Terminal 2, depart 8.30 pm and arrived at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam the next day at 9.30 am.
Schiphol is one of the largest and busiest Airport in Europe, we did ensure that we have good preparation such as airport map (or direction on where to go next for each of our trip) and calculate the timing to catch the 3 pm train from Utrecht Centraal Train Station to Koeln. Sekedar tips, perhitungkan waktu perjalanan dengan gap waktu jaga-jaga kalau ada delay, biasanya kami lebih suka langsung ke tujuan supaya memastikan waktunya cukup, kalau masih ada waktu baru jalan-jalan, makan, atau lihat-lihat di sekitarnya. Trus berhubung trip nya agak padat biasanya makan fast food aja sih, atau yang praktis, kecuali punya spare waktu agak panjang. Lagipula waktu itu risetnya belum sampai ke kuliner hehe fokusnya lebih ke sightseeing aja. Oh iya sekedar tips untuk orang-orang yang punya lidah kampung kayak saya, saya selalu bawa sambel sachet pas travelling. Maklum, disana jarang ada sambel hahaha..
Booked our train tickets (DB – Deutsche Bahn) online prior to our journey (cost per person was EUR 33), print out booking confirmation to be scanned during the trip. Our train was ICE 127 depart from Schipol Airport at 2.15 pm, arrived at Utrecht Centraal at 2.47 pm.
Then changed train to Koeln Hauptbahnhof (train station) approx. 2 hours journey.
From the central station, took another train to Koln Messe where our hotel is located (walking distance). For the sake of our convenience (and limited budget), we preferred to stay at chain hotels during our trip, hence we chose Ibis Budget Koeln Messe for this one ^^ Here’s my review of this hotel at Tripadvisor. Dalam hal pemilihan hotel pun biasanya kami pilih yang dekat stasiun kereta (if possible walking distance). Oh iya kalau ngga salah harga kamarnya EUR 45 per night. Saat itu kurs EUR kurang lebih Rp.12.400,- Ibis budget itu adalah hotel bintang 2, versi murahnya hotel Ibis. Cukup nyaman dan bersih kok, apalagi hanya untuk numpang tidur ya mostly. Biasanya jalan-jalan seharian, balik hotel udah malem tinggal tidur aja.
Since it was a very short stay (one night only), we took a little break at the hotel, had shower and went out for dinner (delicious chicken currywurst at the train station) and a bit of sightseeing at least to see night view of the famous Cologne Cathedral. Since it was already late, went back directly to the hotel and return the next morning, had breakfast at Burger King and take daylight picture of the Cathedral (which was renovated during that time). Video perjalannya bisa di klik disini.
City No. 2 of EuroTrip part 1. Our next destination is Luzern. We took the train via Basel and Zurich from Koeln. Seneng banget di kereta ada chargernya *norak hehe.. Dulu masih jaman pakai Blackberry. Tips: tiap malam di hotel jangan lupa untuk nge-charge hp dan kamera (atau gadget lainnya). Harga tiket dari Koeln Hbf ke Basel SBB per person EUR 53, perjalanan memakan waktu sekitar 5 jam.
We got off at Basel SBB for 45 mins, bought Swiss Pass (now Swiss Travel Pass) at the station (2nd class ticket for 4 days, CHF 272 per person but there was a promotion of buy one get one free at that time!). It’s a all-in-one ticket for all public transportation in Switzerland for a period of time.The ticket can be used for scenic road, trams, local bus, boat and discount for mountain cable car. Such a great deal! Also, I could not help to notice the fact that Switzerland has a very positive motto; a country where the public transportation is always on time. And it is true. I’m impressed!
Continuing the journey, had doner kebab for lunch at the station and took another train from Basel SBB to Zurich HB (around 1 hour travel time, CHF 15,5 per person) and finally took train which heading to Lucerne HB, our destination (CHF 11,5 per person). There were time where we had our confusion of direction to Etap Hotel Luzern City when we got off the bus number TR07 from the train station, suddenly we were greeted by an old gentleman who happened to worked at Tourist Information office who just finished his working shift and he walked us to the hotel. It creates such a good first impression about the whole tourism environment 🙂 Eh ternyata sekarang Etap namanya sudah jadi Ibis budget juga. Hotel reviewnya ada disini ya.
One of the reason that we chose Lucerne for our trip is because my husband wanted to see the snow while I don’t like to travel on winter, thus we will need to find the eternal snow, and one of the option is at Mount Titlis. Dan berhubung Swiss itu termasuk negara yang mahal, jadi pengeluaran di Swiss ngga terlalu bisa dibandingkan dengan negara Eropa lainnya ya.
Mount Titlis is located at Engelberg which is famous as the site of the world’s first revolving cable car. The cable car connects through the 3 stages of Gerschnialp, Trubsee and Stand. This is our destination on the next morning, bought sandwich for take away and went to Engelberg by train.
Bought Titlis tickets at the spot (discount 50% since we have Swiss Pass) and the rest is truly memorable. The mountain view, great weather, eternal snow, hot chocolate, cable car, spent the day at the top of the mountain. We could also hear the sound of bells from so many cows on the ground from the cable car. Unfortunately we didn’t do skiing and other winter sport, instead we just played tobogganing.
A real fun! (except the fact that I completely forgot the amazing yet scary feeling when I had to ride the open air cable car to reach the top). I may not have acrophobia but still.. If not because of the money we spent and how far that we have travelled, I might have considered to go back to the ground ;D
We finished around 2 pm and ran to catch the bus which took us to the station. Another tips: jangan lupa perhatikan jadwal-jadwal bis, kalau santai sih ngga masalah, tapi kalau ada plan berikutnya mesti tau harus naik bis yang jam berapa. Setelah itu sightseeing di Lucerne and finally went back to the hotel.
City No. 3 & 4 of EuroTrip part 1. Started our journey from Lucerne at 8 am heading to Interlaken OST (approx. 2 hours). Interlaken is also a lovely place with its’ famous lake, scenery and peaceful environment. We had lunch, bought some snacks and fruits at the local supermarket, find souvenirs and continue our journey by panoramic train to Geneva via Zweisimmen and Montreux which took around 4,5 hours in total. Tips: kalau buat saya beli buah-buahan di local supermarket itu selain murah dan sehat, bisa buat ganjel banget kalo lapar, opsi lain ya sandwich atau roti. Untuk souvenir juga bisa beli di supermarket, ngga mesti di toko khusus souvenirs. Berhubung light travel, ya souvenirnya seputar gantungan kunci, magnet kulkas, pembuka botol atau pembatas buku.
Our hotel (Etap Geneve Hotel Petit Lancy now Ibis Budget Geneve Petit Lancy) is located at the suburb (Petit Lancy area), reachable by tram from the train station. The hotel gave us one day pass to be used for all local public transportation. Unlike Lucerne and Interlaken, Geneva is a modern city, French speaking part of Switzerland. It was only one night stay unfortunately but we managed to see the botanical timekeeper.
BRUSSELS/ BRUXELLES – BELGIUM
City No. 5 of Euro Trip part 1. Switzerland trip is done, our next destination is Belgium! Well actually, just Brussels. This time, we use airplane (easyJet, each CHF 53). Depart at 3.35 pm arrived at 4.50 pm and our hotel is located at the airport area (Ibis Budget Brussels Airport). From the airport, we waited for a shuttle bus provided by Ibis which took us directly to the hotel. As usual, due to the limited time, we had a bit break and walk to the bus stop nearby heading to Brussel Noord train station. Had dinner at Pizza Hut at Boulevard du Jardin Botanique and sightseeing at surroundings. Unfortunately shops are mostly closed after 7 pm and we did not realised that we walk so much until around 9 pm and it turns out that we catch the last bus of the day back to the hotel! What a relieve! Couldn’t imagine if we missed it.
The next day we checked out from the hotel once finished our breakfast, took the bus to the same direction as the day before but this time we stopped at the previous stop whereas easier to reach Grand Place (Grote Markt). Kebayang ngga jalan-jalan bawa koper? Mungkin harusnya cari tempat naro barang kayak locker besar di stasiun kereta gitu ya.. Yang repot kalo jalannya conblock gitu, hedeuh berisik ;D
Then straight to the famous statue of Manneken Pis, bought some Belgium chocolates nearby and finally went to a Comic Museum which located at Rue de Sables (remember Tintin, Sparou, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Marsupilami etc? It’s all there!). Hubby bought some comics for our collections.
I was so craving for Asian food at that time so by the time we walk and pass by a Chinese restaurant I beg my husband to eat there. It was a buffet lunch (all you can eat for the price of.. wait the minute, i don’t remember the price, sorry, it was really cold, I was starving and could not think). Anyway we had to catch our Eurolines bus afterward (EUR 10 per person) to Amsterdam which approx. took 4 hours travel time.
Last cities of EuroTrip part 1. Arrived at Amsterdam Amstel Station, took train to Amsterdam Waterlooplein which is the nearest station from our hotel (Ibis Amsterdam City Stopera) which located here.
Tumben ya nginepnya di Ibis, biasanya yang Ibis budget. Ceritanya karena ini sudah akhir perjalanan, pengen yang lebih bagusan dikit, supaya istirahat agak enak sebelum pulang ke Jakarta. Request kamar dengan Canal view and luckily was available!
A lovely Canal view from our room. The hotel is strategically located in the city, walking distance from Waterlooplein Metro Station (2 stops from Amsterdam Centraal).
It was 14 degrees celsius, bought food and fruits at supermarket Albert Heijn. Kesukaan saya adalah permen hopjes, entah kenapa beli disini sama versi yang ada di Indonesia, rasanya beda. Jadi snacks atau permen khas setempat juga bisa jadi pilihan oleh-oleh kalau kopernya muat karena harganya reasonable. The funny thing about Amsterdam is that most of the Indonesian Restaurant are highly expensive ;( Jadi makan di cafe setempat aja.
Of course, not to forget to take a pic at the famous I amsterdam spot, jalan-jalan di sekitar museum juga.
The next day we went to both Zaanse Schans in the morning and Volendam in the afternoon. It was a bit raining unfortunately, but we managed to enjoy the windmills view, bought Dutch cheese, taking pictures, there were also some demonstration on how to make cheese, traditional wooden shoes, and ceramic paintings. Yang pasti cuaca hujan, angin, berawan, ngga menyurutkan semangat jalan-jalan deh! Let the picture do the talking aja ya ^^
While Volendam is more pier/ harbour look alike, with sooo many souvenir shops along the road (my favorite part of course) and delicious seafood. They even have “nasi” (rice) which I ordered as my craving to Indonesian food. Superb place! Okay that’s the end of the journey. Ternyata setelah trip ini 6 bulan berikutnya kami punya kesempatan untuk berangkat lagi, jadi simak Flashpacker EuroTrip part 2 yaa!