Friday, 3 April 2009

A taste of Netherland

I am very pleased that I managed to fit in a two-day jaunt into the Netherlands to visit Hayley in Rotterdam. I took a train over from Bonn on Tuesday morning and arrived in Rotterdam at around 2pm. Then I grabbed a tourist map and ventured out on a route-marked walking tour of the city, which proved excellent -- it was signposted and very easy to follow. The map was also colour-coded with descriptions of the different sections of the city, which gave perspective to the areas I walked through. So I wandered through shopping precincts, parklands, the old shopping quarter, and took the lift up the Eurotower for a great view of the city.

Dinner in Rotterdam
I met Hayley at 'the cube houses' after she finished work, and spent a lovely evening out to dinner. Rotterdam is modern and has a very cosmopolitan feel. I felt very comfortable there, and it's no wonder Hayley isn't coming home!

Breakfast in Delft
Wednesday morning, I took the train with Hayley to nearby Delft (where she works and used to live) and she guided me around the main sights of the town, before we sat down to breakfast. I hadn't expected to visit Delft, but I am really glad I did. It's a gorgeous traditional town, and I feel here I glimpsed something of 'old Holland'. (photo)

Lunch in Amsterdam
I then went onto Amsterdam and spent the afternoon trawling the streets and soaking up the atmosphere. Unfortunately the tourist map I had wasn't as good as the Rotterdam one, so I drifted largely without purpose, unsure of which parts I should walk through. Despite this, however, I had a lovely afternoon, and made the search for poffertjes my primary goal. It seems poffertjes aren't as prevalent in the cities as one might expect. However, I did find one of around three places that serve them (according to the proprietor) so I was happy in the end. I wouldn't have been happy to visit the Netherlands without having authentic Dutch poffertjes! Amsterdam is also much more tourist-oriented than both Rotterdam and Delft. I heard English being spoken everywhere (and not with European accents).

I caught the train out of Amsterdam at around 4:30 and was back in Bonn by 8pm. It was a great couple of days. I find it hard to believe how different Nederland and Germany are, given their proximity, but they are very different.

1 comment:

  1. It was lovely to see you and to be able to show you a bit of my new home. Next time you will have to visit us in our new apartment - you are always welcome!