I had pre-booked our admission tickets to Vatican Museums a month in advance. Full-price tickets cost Euro 16.00 each. A reservation fee is payable for online tickets at Euro 4.00 each. It is not clear why a reservation fee is levied on online tickets.
When we reached the museum at 9:15 am, we saw people lined up to buy tickets. The queues stretched for kilometres We were able to bypass the long queues and enter the museum without any delay.
There were paintings, sculptures and wall paintings to be seen. We did a lot of walking within the museum. Crowds thronged the exhibition rooms. We had procured an audio guide (Euro 7.00) and it was useful.
Photography is permitted inside the exhibition rooms without the use of flash. However no photos or videos are allowed once you are inside Sistine Chapel. The chapel houses some of the greatest art in the world. Souvenir photos can be bought from the gift shop.
Zaanse Schans can be reached in 40 minutes by bus from Amsterdam Centraal. It was rather windy when we visited. The day was mostly sunny.
What caught the eye first were the old wooden windmills. There are a few of them which are being maintained in good working condition. The mills are used for sawing wood and grinding oil, flowers and spices.
There are several shops selling souvenirs, gifts and cheese. I tasted different types of cheese and finally chose smoked cheese. It was delicious.
We found ducks and sheep all over the place. The duck in the photo above walked out of the water and stood motionless till I clicked the shot.
When I was planning our trip to Paris, I tried to book entry tickets to the top floor of Eiffel Tower. But I did not meet with success because tickets were fully booked more than a month in advance. However when we reached Eiffel Tower on a rainy evening last month, the queues were not long. As luck would have it, we could buy the tickets at the counter within 10 minutes, We got into the lift and reached the top floor.
The views are magnificent. River Seine stretched out in front of us with cruise boats moving around below. On another side could be seen Jardins du Trocadero and the business districts. There was also a game of football in progress down below.
The Tower has two restaurants which we did not try out. Champagne Bar serves rose or white champagne. A glass will set you back by Euros 12 to 21.
There were notices put up warning visitors of pickpockets. It will be advisable to not carry valuables or sizeable amounts of cash.
When we came down the lift, the tower was spectacularly illuminated. This presented us with more photo opportunities.