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Old 3rd October 2016, 21:15   #1
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Default Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands

First of all thank you all for reading my travelogue. Usually the travelogue threads are accompanied with lot of pictures, but unfortunately I don't have many pictures to share. So I've clubbed the details of 2 trips which was done in two different weekends.Please excuse me for that, and hope you all like it

Trip #1 - Stuttgart to Netherlands with Bimmer.

I did a quick search in this sub-forum, and couldn't find a travelogue to Netherlands/Holland. So I assume this is the first travelogue related to Netherlands.

This was a last minute trip planned along with other 4 friends, so we couldn't do much research on places to visit. Moreover we were short of time as we had only 2 days (weekend) and main agenda was to drive around the Netherlands, and to explore any of it's coastal route.
This trip became more special as the car accompanied was a BMW 530d with M-sports package. An incredible touring beast!!

So here are the short description of the vehicle, routes, and places we visited along with few pictures;

Vehicle model –
BMW 530d Touring
258PS & 540Nm
Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-collage3.jpg

Route – Stuttgart - Rotterdam – Schellinkhout – Zuiderdijik- Stuttgart.
Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-map.png

Journey –
The trip started from Stuttgart main station at around 6:30AM, and we entered the Autobahn by around 7AM after going through early morning traffic in Stuttgart.
As usual the most exciting part of driving in Germany is in Autobahn and second through its windy country roads.
(Had a passenger seat ride in Lotus Elise, which almost drained the blood out of my brain in each curves)

One of the most notable features of Autobahn that caught my attention was the way exit and entry roads are designed. Never seen a 90 degree approach/entry roads to the Autobahn!! This we see quite often or everywhere in Indian highways, either a 4 way intersection controlled by signals, or some other roads entering at 90 degree to the highway.

In Autobahn there are exits marked, where one can join a new lane, slow down to 30/60/80kmph, which eventually leads to a new road ahead. Same way, if one wants to enter Autobahn from an external road, a 4th lane appears, where the driver has to speed up and enter the 3rd lane. This ensures a smooth transition between connecting roads and highway without the need to signals.

En-route, we stopped twice to fresh up and take some food, and we proceeded towards Rotterdam.

Spotted this nice car, couldn't get more closer to it as it was preparing to exit from highway. Can any anyone tell which car is this?
Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-unknown-car.jpg

We couldn’t really recognize when we had crossed the border, since there were no sign boards saying “Welcome to Netherlands” and no stoppages for border check.
But when the speed limit was continuously shown as 130Kmph on HUD, we realized we are not in Bundes Republik Deutschland anymore.

We reached Rotterdam by around noon and had a quick bite from Burger King.Our next stop was at Diergaarde Blijdorp (Royal Zoo of Rotterdam).
As per wiki, it’s a 150 year old zoo.
A large zoo with diverse variety of animals to see. We spent close to 3 hours to get around the entire place. There's also an underwater world “Oceanium”, which was spectacular treat to see.
Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-dsc_7565.jpg
Up above my head, was this large cat fish peacefully resting on the glass, on other side there was a large turtle swimming , schools of fish dart around and sting rays patrols the sandy white ground.This is what it must feel like to be under sea, yet here I’m in the middle of Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-collage-2.jpg
Prairie dog- A burrowing rodent native to the grasslands of North America.This need a special mention here It had no inhibition to come close to visitors, grab the leaf from our finger tips.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-img20160923wa0062.jpg
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Clownfish (The Nemo) and Anemone. Together they are symbionts, which means that each species is highly dependent on the other for survival.

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Giant Lotus leaves.

Next stop was at Amsterdam city, the capital city which was around 80Kms East of Rotterdam. The city with beautiful canals running across the city roads, the blue-white GVB tram (It passes through the crowd like a whale that swims through school of small fish), immense diversity of people from ethnic locals, foreign tourists, saffron cladded people, women with black face veils and the famous/in-famous red lit areas.

Before stopping at the city Centre, we faced this huge problem to find a parking space for our car. Most of the road side parking were full or vacant ones were reserved for disables ones (appreciate the citizens for being so diligent to most of the road rules). Finally we managed to find one, paid parking which charged 13 Euros per hour.

We didn’t had the luxury of time to spent more at city, as we have to proceed further to our home stay which was another 50 Kms away from city.

Place of stay was booked via Airbnb, was a cottage in middle of a farm at Schellinkhout. I will let the pictures talk more about it.

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The front view of the small cottage. Once can accommodate 3-5 persons.

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Beautiful backyard next to farm owners house.

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There were good number of cows and sheeps in the farm, joined by few cats, rabbits, and horses.

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Morning view outside the room, warm and clear sunrise.

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One of horses from the farm.

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A small canal system run across the boundaries of the farm.

Next day morning, we all woke up pretty late and was greeted by charming owner with Dutch breakfast.

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Fresh cow milk, yogurt, home made yakult (one which we get in stores in India are white in colour), butter croissants, breads, Orange juice, eggs etc.

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Another early morning view from the cottage.

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Grass field for cows to graze, behind the farm and next to the main road to Hoorn.

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"CATTITUDE" - A bad ass cat in the farm

We spend the first half of the day around the farm and the farm owner recommended us to visit the nearby beach and to explore the coastal roads.

Now this was the best part in this drive, narrow windy roads just side by the ocean. Initially it was bit scary to drive along the narrow roads, as there were people cycling real fast, as well as fast bikers too. But it was best to enjoy this route with windows down, and sun roof opened.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-img_20160716_110829.jpg
Narrow, windy roads and heavy cross wind along the route.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-img_20160716_111344.jpg

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Calm beach side.

A short video while driving along the coast. Since lot of chatter was in background, I've mixed it with some music.




There were heavy traffic en-route to Stuttgart in various sections of Autobahn, which I never experienced before, still we managed to catch up with the lost time and reached back home before mid-night.
Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-collage4.jpg

Some tips & information :

1) If driving from Stuttgart to Rotterdam, it's better to go via A61, avoiding cities like Mannheim, Cologne. This route enters Netherlands through Venlo.
The other route via A3 will mostly have moderate to heavy traffic on weekends and it's a longer route.

2)Parking at Rotterdam zoo costs 8 Euros for whole day and entry tickets are charged at 24 Euros/adults

3)In Amsterdam city, prefer a road side parking which are free and safe, but it gets filled up quickly during weekends. Most of the parking platz allow entry till 11PM & exit 24 hrs and fee ranges from 8 to 15Euros per hour, which is quite expensive.


Trip #2 - Stuttgart to Switzerland.

So, this was a one day conducted tour from Stuttgart to few cities of Switzerland. The places covered were Rhine falls, Lucerne & Zurich.

The bus started off from Stuttgart Zuffenhausen (Near to The Porsche Museum) at 4AM and first stop was at Rhine falls by around 7AM. It was still dark over there, and pictures were tough to click.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-dscn4203.jpg
View from the east side entrance of the falls.

This is said to be the largest plain waterfall in Europe, but after seeing our waterfall back in India, like Athirapally, Jog falls etc, I felt it's just another small tourist attraction.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-dscn4221.jpg
View from the upstream of the river. Laufen castle in the background overlooking the river and falls. The castle can accessed if one is driving from Schaffhausen on the other side of the river.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-dscn4223.jpg
...and the view showing the falls.

Last edited by redbaron91 : 18th October 2016 at 14:23.
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Old 3rd October 2016, 22:12   #2
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Default re: Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands

From googling, that looks like a carlsson c25. Supposedly super exclusive, that was a very good spotting.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsson_C25

I think this is the same car featured below:

http://www.carlsson.de/carlsson/en/o..._-_galerie.php
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Old 4th October 2016, 00:48   #3
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Default re: Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands

Quote:
Originally Posted by govigov View Post
From googling, that looks like a carlsson c25. Supposedly super exclusive, that was a very good spotting.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsson_C25

I think this is the same car featured below:

http://www.carlsson.de/carlsson/en/o..._-_galerie.php
WOW!! I knew I will get answers here. Thanks Govigov

Read about it, as per wiki, only 25 of them were made. So that's a very rare spotting
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Old 17th October 2016, 00:47   #4
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Default re: Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-falls.jpg
Another snap with the train passing over the bridge.

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Snap from the parking lot.

After spending around 1 hour at Rhine falls, we proceeded towards Lucerne, which was 100Kms South of Rhine falls. Lucerne is located at the central part of the Switzerland, which speaks majorly German.

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A monument right in front of the entrance of the Lucern Hauptbahnoff (Main train station).

As per our tour guide, there is no official language for Switzerland. Most of the Northern and Central Swiss speaks German, French is widely spoken in the Western part, Italian in the South most parts and Romansh in some parts of Eastern Switzerland.

The city of Lucerne is in front of the Lake Lucerne and facing the majestic alps of Europe.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-dscn4274.jpg
Right side of the pic is the Lucern Bahnhofquai (Feryy terminal).

Few of the famous peaks here are Pilatus, Titlis, Eiger. To visit anyone of these peaks, depending upon the climate conditions, it takes 4-5 hours. So we've to skip visiting one of the peaks due to time constraints.

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View of the bridge and the clear water front.

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Big Swans were a common spot around the lakes.

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An interesting mode of public transport in the streets of Lucerne - Trolleybus. Electrically powered bus with pantograph.
May be it's more cost effective than running a normal electric bus.

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The famous Lion monument of Lucerne. The fine features of the Lion including its mournful expression were beautifully carved out of stone, which brought out a real-life look.

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A closer look.

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The Chappel bridge across Reuss river. Completely made of wood, and have many old paintings on it.

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On the bridge.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-bridge-2.jpg
..another view.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-brids-3.jpg

Next stop was at Zurich.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-city-train.jpg
Toy train seen in the streets for tourists.

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Something like a Tuk tuk

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City view from Lindenhof square. The hill top had a Roman castle centuries before. Seen below is the river Limmat.
On the top right corner is the twin tower of Evangelical Church.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-another-view.jpg
..another view

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-square.jpg
The Lindenhof square.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-ferry.jpg
This ferry makes 1hr round trip in the Limmat river. Costs 4.30 Euros.
Public transport ticket prices are pretty steep in whole Switzerland. A single zone 1hour ticket costs 4.30 Euros, which is valid on all public transport systems including ferries.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-latern.jpg
Some of the street lanterns like this are still lit by gas.

After strolling through the city streets, we went to near by Uetliberg mountain. To reach there, one needs to take a 3 zones ticket, which was roughly around 8 Euros. This was again a 1 hour ticket. So we had to get another tickets for return as well.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-zurich-top.jpg
On top of Zurich, at Uetliberg moutain.

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Beautiful panoramic view of Zurich city. This pic can't do the justice to sheer beauty of the view, only eyes can.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-stadium.jpg
Letzigrund stadium seen from Uetliberg.

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TV tower and Uto Kulm restaurant in Uetliberg.

Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands-moon.jpg
The blood moon or the Hunter's moon. Lucky as it happened on the same day of the visit.

Last edited by redbaron91 : 18th October 2016 at 14:29.
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Old 19th October 2016, 09:16   #5
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Default Re: Crossing borders: Stuttgart to the Netherlands

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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