Backpacking to Europe – Part 8: Zaanse Schans

Previously

Day 2 – 10th February 2017

The very nightmare for each traveller is the fear of jet lag, which happened to me on my second day here in the land of tulips. Sharp at 4.00 am, I woke up and could not sleep again. To kill time before the sun rises, I updated my Instagram account and posted status on Facebook. I took a bath early in the morning before heating another packet of Brahim’s Chicken Fried Rice in the microwave oven.

Mimpi ngeri bagi setiap traveller – jetlag. Hari kedua aku di Amsterdam, aku terkena jetlag. Tepat jam 4.00 pagi, aku dah terjaga dan segar bugar. Untuk buang masa sebelum matahari naik, aku kemaskini akaun Instagram (link dalam versi BI) aku dulu dan letak status di Facebook. Sebelum subuh aku dah siap mandi, lepas tu terus panaskan sepaket lagi Nasi Goreng Ayam Brahim.

I felt bad for waking up early and heating the fried rice as well as making coffee early in the morning, before it was even bright outside. See, the thing is, the pantry is a shared pantry and it is located in front of another room. I was waiting for the coffee to drip when suddenly, the door of the other room opened and a lady came out of the room and went into the toilet.

Aku rasa bersalah sebenarnya bangun awal-awal pagi dan panaskan nasi goreng dalam microwave. Mana taknya, pantry di BnB ni dekat dengan bilik orang lain juga, jadi mesti apa aku buat orang lain dengar. Masa aku tengah drip kopi, tiba-tiba pintu bilik depan pantry terbuka dan seorang perempuan Minah Salleh keluar dari bilik dia, pergi bilik air.

Waking up early to go to Zaanse Schans

“I am so sorry if I wake you up”, I apologized to her when she went to the pantry to boil the water. “No, no problem. There was some noise but no problem”. Her answer made me felt even worst. We chatted a bit and I found out that she was from France and she told me “you should go to Paris because it is a very beautiful city”. I agreed and after some time, I excused myself and went back into our room.

“I am so sorry if I wake you up”, aku minta maaf kat dia masa dia tengah jerang air. Dia tak bangun Subuh, mana tahu dia terbangun awal sebab aku ke kan. “No, no problem. There was some noise but no problem”. Aduh, jawapan dia buat aku lagi bersalah. Aku pun layan dia borak-borak, dan dia pun bagitau dia dari Perancis. Siap promote lagi: “you should go to Paris because it is a very beautiful city” bila aku cakap aku plan nak ke Paris juga. Tapi, memang lawa pun kan. Lepas kopi aku dah siap, aku minta diri dan masuk ke bilik aku.

The sun rose at around 8.00 am and soon after, we left the BnB to go to the train station at Centraal. The walk to Bullewijk metro station was challenging despite the near distance. It was particularly cold as compared to yesterday. I checked my weather app and it stated that the real feel was around -10 degree Celsius.

Matahari terbit jam 8.00 pagi dan tak lama lepas tu, kami keluar untuk ke stesen Centraal. Perjalanan dari BnB ke stesen metro Bullewijk memang mencabar pagi ni. Sejuk dia lain macam. Sampai ke tulang. Aku check app aku, real feel dalam -10 darjah celcius.

Amsterdam Centraal station

We arrived at Centraal station 15 minutes later and I went to the ticket vending machine. Our plan for today was to visit Zaanse Schans, the famous windmill area near Amsterdam. Since we were going to take the train, our Amsterdam Travel Ticket could not be used and we need to buy another ticket to go there. I went straight ahead to the vending machine and changed the language to English. I tried to buy the ticket, once… twice… I gave up. I did not know how to operate the machine.

15 minit kemudian, kami sampai ke stesen Centraal dan aku terus ke mesin tiket sebab nak ke Zaanse Schans, tak boleh pakai Amsterdam Travel Ticket yang aku beli tu. Aku cuba sekali…dua kali.. ish tak retilah! Aku putus asa dan terus ke kaunter informasi.

So, we walked to the Information area, which is situated at the left end of the station (if you are entering the station while facing the main entrance) and lined up. We bought two OV-Chipkaart for 12 Euros each and top-up another 10 Euros. Then, off we went to find the correct platform to Zaanse Schans.

Kaunter informasi untuk tiket letaknya di hujung sebelah kiri stesen (kalau masuk ke dalam stesen menghadap pintu utama, belok ke kiri dan jalan sampai hujung). Sampai ke situ, aku terus beratur dan beli dua kat OV-Chipkart (12 Euro satu) dan tambah nilai 10 Euro. Lepas tu, terus kami menggagau cari platform untuk ke Zaanse Schans.

Waiting for the train to arrive.

It was so cold inside the station. There were no fans or air-conditioning system but the chilly air could be feel inside. We walked from one screen to another until we saw the word Uitgeest and saw the one of the calling station is Zaandjik Zaanse Schans. So, we took the escalator up, tap the OV-Chipkaart at the scanner and waited for the train to come.

Kipas tak ada, pendingin hawa tak ada, tapi sejuk dalam stesen tu, ya Allah memang sejuklah! Kami jalan dari satu skrin ke satu skrin sampailah nampak tertulis Uitgeest dan salah satu stesennya ialah Zaandjik Zaanse Schans. Kami pun naik eskalator ke platfrom, tap OV-Chipkaart pada tempat pengimbas dan tunggu keretapi sampai.

Take the train heading here for Zaanse Schans

The journey to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam Centraal station was around 30 minutes. I was not so sure which station to get off initially since some blogs stated a different station name, but since the screen inside the train showed Zaandjik Zaanse Schans, we disembarked at that station.

Perjalanan ke Zaanse Schans mengambil masa 30 minit dari Centraal. Aku pun tak pasti sebenarnya nak turun kat stesen mana sebab ada blogger lain sebut nama stesen lain. Tapi, sebab skrin dalam tren ada perkataan Zaandjik Zaanse Schans, kami pun turun je di stesen ni.

The walking route to Zaanse Schans from the train station

We exited the station and we were puzzled. There was no windmill around the area. We could see none! Did we get off at a wrong station? We did not think so. We walked further and saw a big map outside. There were already a few people looking at the map. “Oh, we had to walk? This is the way to Zaanse Schans, right?”, I asked the other people there. “Yes, I guess so”, an Asian man answered with a thick American accent.

Kami keluar dari stesen dan eh, keliru jap. Tak nampak pun kincir angin di kawasan ni. Satu pun tak ada! Salah stesen ke? Rasanya tak sebab nampak pelawat lain juga. Kami keluar dari stesen dan nampak satu pelan besar kawasan ni. Dah ada beberapa orang berkumpul di situ. “Oh, we had to walk? This is the way to Zaanse Schans, right?”, aku tanya orang-orang kat situ. “Yes, I guess so”, satu lelaki Asia jawab dengan loghat Amerika.

Zaanse Schans from the bridge.

So, we walked together along the road, trying to remember the route we saw at the map earlier. “So, where are you guys from? The States?”, I asked. The man’s daughter answered, “Yes, we are from the States”. “So, I assume you are familiar with this kind of weather?”, I asked, whilst trying to wear my gloves since my hand could not take it anymore. “No, we are from California. And definitely, this is something new to us too”, she said. Then she added, “I thought it would be snowing but apparently, everybody says it won’t”. I crossed my finger, hoping that it would snow since I have never experience one.

Kami pun jalan bersama, cuba untuk ingat simpang yang kami kena ambil. “So, where are you guys from? The States?”, aku tanya. Anak perempuan lelaki Asia tadi (rasanyalah) jawab, “Yes, we are from the States”. “So, I assume you are familiar with this kind of weather?”, aku tanya lagi sambil pakai sarung tangan sebab tak tahan sejuk dah. “No, we are from California. And definitely, this is something new to us too”, dia jawab, dan tambah, “I thought it would be snowing but apparently, everybody says it won’t”. Jauh di sudut hati, aku harap salji akan turun sebab aku tak pernah rasa salji. Rugilah jalan-jalan masa musim sejuk tapi tak dapat main salji, kan?

Cross this bridge and turn left.

From the station, we walked straight ahead and when we reached the end of the road, we turned left. We walked a little bit further before I could see a windmill on my right hand side and a row of windmills on the other side of the river. Mira and I crossed the bridge. Deep in my heart, I screamed, “Finally, Zaanse Schans!”.

Dari stesen, kami jalan terus sampai hujung dan lepas tu kami belok kiri. Kami jalan ke depan sikit lagi dan nampak satu kincir angin besar di sebelah kanan kami. Di seberang sungai, nampak sebaris kincir angin. Kami seberang jambatan dan dalam hati aku menjerit “Akhirnya, Zaanse Schans!”.

Finally, Zaanse Schans!

Next: Part 9

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