August 15, 2012
with only 3 weekends to play with whilst in europe i had to make sure my plans were pre-organised to make them as fun packed as possible. the first weekend would be my london weekend spent with family and my best friend, the second my extended weekend with my girls in paris and the third spent in beautiful holland. with my two best friends in europe, it was important for me to spend some valuable time with them, sharing in their daily lives and getting to know their friends and surroundings. never having been to holland but living through trudy’s beautiful photos, i was excited to get to know a place i’d heard so much about. of course i expected to see windmills, tulips, clogs, drink delicious beer, bike everywhere and meet handsome dutchmen…well, i can safely say that it delivered all that and more. i flew into amsterdam from copenhagen on thursday evening, making my way to rotterdam as soon as i had landed. i arrived at trudy & tom's just before 7 and it wasn’t long before we were chatting over a home cooked meal in their gorgeous central rotterdam apartment. before i knew it we were out cycling around town. designated cycle paths and the bike friendly atmosphere had me in bicycle heaven. here we were, cruising the streets of rotterdam at 9pm at night without a care in the world. friday morning saw me sleeping my copenhagen exhaustion away and then meeting trudy for a wander around her local opshop and late lunch at her favourite cutie pie café spot, picknik. it was a chilly but sunny rotterdam afternoon spent catching up over chicken & coriander curry soup and coffee. as this was the last leg of my europe adventure, i could feel the tiredness setting in. saturday morning saw the three of us wandering the local markets with coffees the size of our heads and saw me stumbling across vintage fabric heaven. a 2 euro retro teapot and several floral pillowcases later, i was slowly but surely falling in love with rotterdam. trudy and i wandered the local shops buying ridiculously cute stationary and gathering ingredients for a big chicken curry i’d be whipping up for our last dinner. a few beers, curry and some lounge room dancing later and we were heading out to meet some of their favourite dutchies. i was onto my second belgian beer (my new favourite) and i soon found myself surrounded by a group of gorgeous dutchies. my crappy attempts at the dutch language (except for lekker and dank je wel) were smiled at and soon i couldn't get enough of this captivating crowd. after what can only be described as an incredible night, i was cursed with the hangover from hell, so our amsterdam plans were pushed back to later in the afternoon. a mid morning brekkie date with trudy’s nearest and dearest dutchie brought girl talk over plates of eggs, bread, juice and coffee. we were soon on our way to amsterdam where i would fly back to london later that night. as soon as we arrived in amsterdam we made our way to the quaint canals and strolled through the decorative neighbourhoods. sadly at this point I was a slither of my former self with what would turn out to be the first stages of food poisoning. in my sorry state i was unable to really appreciate the beauty of the city, but knowing i will be heading back next year has me comforted that i will get to revisit and discover all it has to offer. i left a piece of my heart in rotterdam. my favourite souvenir of the trip? a little piece of someone else's.
the obsession for hagelslag has begun.
the two euro teapot.
beautiful canals and bike culture of amsterdam.
hitching a ride.
street art, rotterdam.