I left Paris on Wednesday 11th June, making my way straight to the Netherlands. A five hours journey that I was sharing via car pooling with three other people including Miranda, a Netherland born lady who was in France for the week-end. We left around noon and we arrived in Holland around five o´clock. The final destination was not Amsterdam like I was planning, but Utrecht, a small but very cute city only half an hour away from Amsterdam by train. As we went through the city, Miranda showed me around and I got quite impressed with the scenery, so much that I decided to stay there for a couple of days.
We dropped the other two passengers at the train station and Miranda then took some time to show me her lovely city. We stayed within the old part of the city which is the nicest part. There were people everywhere enjoying the sunshine after work, having a drink at the bar on the bank of the canal, walking around on this sunny day. There was orange decorations for the world cup all over the bars and pubs, banners, flags, balloons in the shape of a football, etc. It was really nice to have such a change from France after only few hours drive, this is what I like the most about Europe. So we went for a drink on one of those very cool restaurants/pubs along the bank, had a local beer and enjoyed the boat drifting on the canal. I felt back on the road again and I was so good because I felt right at home. This can sound a bit crazy as I am realising how nomad I am, but this is so exciting too. They say home is where the heart is but it is truly the case. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the old part of the city, even shared a quick meal so I could try the local specialties. Then Miranda left and I got to the hostel that I managed to book last minute. The rest of the evening was chilled and I stayed inside the hostel, socialising and chatting with mates from back home.
On Thursday, I got up early, when for a stroll while looking for a bakery, avoiding all the bicycles along the way. It is actually very impressive to see so many bike riders in a city and it is quite overwhelming as a pedestrian because you need to look everywhere all the time, not just when you cross the road, because Dutch people so fast on their bike, casually texting/chatting on their phone with one hand so not always focused on the road, hitting one at full speed must be painful. What surprised me the most about the locals, is that they are all tall (six foot and taller, even for girls) and gorgeous. Seriously, boys, girls, everyone was just beautiful. They were a lot of students and young people in the area where I stayed too and I really felt like I was in a big Uni campus. After breakfast, I took a map of the and went for a big walk. I spent most of the day outside, enjoying the old city, the park, the canal and the summer vibe, it was really relaxing. By the end of day two I got to know the whole place pretty well so I booked my accommodation in Amsterdam for the following day. It was only Friday but I guess with the end of the week approaching and the Fifa World Cup starting, hostels where just fully booked all over the capital city. That night was the opening night of the event followed by the first game (Brazil vs Croatia) which I ended up watching at the hostel instead of the local pub. Not a fantastic game anyway due to a shocking referee.
On Friday, I packed my bags, made my way to the train station and bought a ticket to Amsterdam. It was another hot and sunny day, the ride is supposed to be half an hour only so I should be in full action for a day of visiting and tonight’s game: Netherland vs Spain… Should be fun in Amsterdam!