Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Rotterdam - The Netherlands

As an Au Pair we are all hired through companies which organise 'get togethers' so Au Pairs can meet each other from all over the Netherlands. In November we had an event in Rotterdam, so a close friend of mine and I decided to make a trip out of it, which turned out to be one epic weekend.

We arrived at the train station which compared to Utrecht, it is quiet magnificent. It is giant in every way possible from the large display screen on the inside to the giant modern inspired entrance. We finally felt like we were in the 21st century. As Rotterdam was flattened during the World War 2 it's been rebuilt extremely modern compared to Utrecht which is still original Dutch architecture. 

We walked down the street capturing Rotterdam's strange art pieces, including the 'Santa Clause' or the 'Buttplug Gnome' by Paul McCarthy. After a short walk we reached our hostel Hostel ROOM, which turned out to be an awesome hostel. The staff here were more than helpful and extremely friendly. They gave us great tips of where to go during our time there and were willing to help with all of our other questions. 

By night we walked to the Euromast which is the highest lookout tower in The Netherlands. For a small entrance fee of €9.50 you take the first elevator up 100 meters high for some pretty spectacular views of Rotterdam. Then for the most breathtaking views you can get into a rotating glass elevator called the space tower to go a further 85 meters for a 360-degree panorama of Rotterdam's magical skyline.

We then made our way into town for a bite to eat at Bazar, this vibrant Moroccan themed restaurant that had hundreds of lanterns hanging from the ceilings of all sizes and patterns. The staff were very energetic and friendly and to top it off the food was super delicious. After filling our bellies we headed to a bar conveniently called Bar. Bar turned out to be a super cool, laid back alternative place that had an art installation which later in the night was transformed into a dance floor to a live DJ. We met some local Dutchies and had a fun night out till early morning.

Waking up early bright eyed and bushy tailed, (I tell a lie) we made our way downstairs to breakfast (which comes free with the purchase of your hostel stay), which was really tasty and there was quiet a fair bit to choose from; a variety of tasty cereals, a couple of different breads, a various selection of spreads, juices and of course the most important coffee. 

Next stop was the famous Primemark store. Being an Australian I hadn't experienced this affair yet, so I was keen to see what all the rave was about. And those raves are not to be under estimated or taken lightly. Primemark really does has everything you need at super low prices. Just beware of the hundreds of people that are also there to catch a bargain. Also, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to look around the entire shop, you'll need it while dodging around those crazy bargain shoppers.

Finally, (the reason we came to Rotterdam) we made our way to the Au Pair event which was held on a large colourful boat that involved around 120 au pairs networking together from all over the world. We enjoyed the afternoon meeting new people while sailing around the beautiful port of Rotterdam.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert