A Heart Full of Wine

Here is a beautiful account of our Europe trip by Astha who joined us from India.

Do give it a read and check out her other posts as well cuz she writes so well!

Butterflies and Hurricanes

“Which was your favourite place in Europe?” they ask me.

“What was the best thing you did?”

“Why don’t you write a travelogue?”

And I just sigh, and smile, and stall before I can give them an answer. The truth is, no matter what I say to them, it will never do justice to what I really felt when I was there. My favourite city? I can’t choose, because each place amazed me in a different way. My best moment? My happiest memory? Writing about it?

It’s all too difficult. It’s almost as daunting as writing my college thesis paper. I can never feel ready.

It’s sad that the once-intrepid writer in me is lurking somewhere in the obscure recesses of my brain, overshadowed by my own self-criticism. It took a healthy dosage of Angus and Julia Stone to inspire my fickle head and my weary eyes to assimilate all…

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Amsterdam Impressions

Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam Canals

It’s a bit crazy that we did two trips to Europe this year. It so happened that the first trip was so great that when we got down to planning our second vacation of the year, we circled back to Europe. More so because August would be the pleasant summers in the region.

Keeping into account our budget, number of days and connectivity from Singapore, we narrowed down to Amsterdam, Prague and Interlaken (and around). It turned out to be an amazing time for us and given a chance, I would love to revisit these places sometime in the distant future.

Our first stop was Amsterdam and it turned out to be a tremendous start to the vacation! The weather was just perfect. Sunshine and cool breeze and just the right amount of chilly in the evenings and nights. The city is just so pretty and well maintained what with its canals, cafes, coffee shops, trams, bicycles, horse carriages, boat houses and much much more. The people are the friendliest and the happiest bunch I’ve come across in the seven European cities I’ve been to. Truly, Amsterdam made a great first impression on me.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

We were there for three days and it was a balanced mix of touristy and relaxed things to do. We visited the Rijksmuseum to get a glimpse of art and culture and the Anne Frank house (I did read the diary before going).

Strolled around in Central Station and Damstraat area to take in the hustle-bustle, the sex shops and the coffee shops. One of our dinners was here in a cozy italian place called La Zoccola. A leisurely canal cruise was a great way to absorb the city and walks along the canals were just wonderful.

Amsterdam Canals

Amsterdam Canals

We visited several cafes by the canals and also otherwise and they were just wonderful. These places offered a comfortable, lively, alfresco ambiance and a variety of street musicians often added to the mood. These places will always bring back memories of delicious food and great times (Hoopman, ROEM and Badhuis <3).

Lastly, on the third day we ventured a bit out of the city and visited Zaanse Schans and it turned out to be such a pretty fairy tale place. There were old windmills which still work, cute little houses, a couple of shops selling cheese, chocolate and souvenirs, a clogs workshop and a restaurant offering dutch delicacies. And the day was just perfect! The sun was shining, a light cool breeze was rustling everything around, clear skies, crystal blue lake, lovely green grass, fresh orange juice, swans, ducks and fat chubby sheep. Close your eyes and imagine this place. Isn’t it just where you would want to be? Like right now?

Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam

Zaanse Schans, Amsterdam

Amsterdam was lively, cheerful, friendly and so fantastic! Amsterdam darling, I hope to be back 🙂

And this time I’ll stay on a house boat!