To be Continued…
After 20mins (long travel journey that one!) I arrived and found my hostel about 20m from the train station in an extremely hard to miss building consisting of bright yellow, giant cubes on top of big square pillars. The hardest part was trying to find the entrance to the hostel, but after I managed that I dropped off my bags and went straight back to the train station to go halfway back to Den Haag to a little town called Delft.
I arrived in Delft where the train station area is undergoing massive construction and has been for years apparently (to put in a new canal and bridges over it and new park area and bike storage etc – speaking of bike storage there is always massive amounts of double decker bike racks in their hundreds around every train station). Anyway, I walked through the town of Delft through its cute 17th
century streets of canals and cobblestone paths which are shared by pedestrians, cyclists and every now and then, cars. I made my way to the Delft markets which had things from fresh fruit and veges to meats to cheeses to clothes to wool to junk and more.
After the markets (and my packed lunch sandwhich thanks to the hostel breakfast) I headed on the fairly long walk to the Royal Delft. The Royal Delft is the last factory left that makes traditional Delftware. For those that aren't aware, Delftware is a brand of decorative crockery (and tiles, pottery etc) that hand casts and hand paints every piece of work they make (plates, bowls, cups, vases, bells, trinkets etc). They are known because all of their works are finely painted with 'delft blue’ and white, often with pictures of tulips or windmills and floral borders. Anyway, if you still don’t know what I’m talking about, google it! So I went to the Delft factory which was pretty interesting, and that is actually where they create all of the delftware these days which is amazing since it’s one tiny factory and there are only 7 painters! After looking through the factory and very carefully looking through the shop (being careful not to knock any 500euro plates off the shelf) I headed back to the train station.
I got the train back to Rotterdam and went back to my hostel to research a bit about the place before heading out for a walk. I walked in a big circle around the inside of the main city area seeing all the interesting buildings. Rotterdam was the main city in the Netherlands to get completely bombed in the war, and so almost all their buildings were demolished and so they essentially had to start again. In doing so they created a city of architectural ‘delights’. All around the city you can see examples of modern architecture, from the big suspension bridges and crooked buildings to the strange sculptures and landscapes. A fine example of this is the building my hostel is in as it is one of the main sights to see in Rotterdam as an example of the modern architecture.
After my walk I arrived back at my hostel where I sat around for a while amidst a huge bunch of loud high school kids on an international excursion until I couldn’t take them anymore so headed out to find some dinner. It was pretty difficult as one, I couldn’t understand the menus, and two, the part I could understand (the price) was way to high. I finally found a wok takeaway place where I got my fill of vegies amid noodles and sauce for a reasonable price. After dinner I went back to the hostel yet again (thankfully there were less of the kids about) and caught up on my blogging and photo sorting (also yet again). Then it was time for a good night’s rest.
Had a lazy day today waking up late, having breaky at the hostel (which was very good as has been lately with cold meats and cheese, cereal, bread – no toaster also as usual lately, hagelslag-yay, and fresh fruit), packing up and doing a lot of blogging. At around midday I left for the train station to get my train to Antwerp. It’s about a 1hr ride all together with one change however for me it took 3 hrs with 2 long changes. I made it in the end though and found my way to the hostel which is in an old chocolate factory which is cool. It’s a small hostel which was nice and quiet but with a big lounge and kitchen area and a tv where I got to watch some Friends. After checking in I headed out for a quick wander around the neighbourhood. It’s an interesting area with a lot of ‘asian-african food and cosmetic shops’… weird. Anyway I did some grocery shopping for dinner, headed back to the hostel, watched Friends while blogging, made dinner and headed to bed.