Rotterdam in Winter

For my last leg of my winter European tour, Natasha and I took the Thalys from Paris to Rotterdam, where she had been living for the past few months. I had visited Amsterdam on a previous trip, but I had never ventured over to Rotterdam. Natasha took me on a tour to discover the sites and culinary delights of the city.

We explored the Markthal (Market Hall), a food centre with a beautifully decorated ceiling. I indulged in various tasty treats around the hall, and bought some chocolate to take home as a gift.

We visited the cube houses, and I took a quick tour through the one house open to the public. I enjoyed discovering how all the furniture fit in the houses, and how the space was arranged in a liveable format.

It was too cold and windy to walk across the bridge, so Natasha and I took the metro to the Fenix Food Factory to continue our culinary tour.

Natasha and I shared an amazing cheese platter, and I also a lovely piece of boterkoek (butter cake). I was supposed to also have a stroopwafel, but I was too full! That was poor planning on my part. I need to return to the Netherlands at some point to finally have a proper stroopwafel.

My last experience on this trip may very well have been a highlight of my entire life. I finally fulfilled my dream of visiting the Tikibad water park at Duinrell amusement park! Natasha and I took the train to Den Hague, then a bus all the way to Duinrell.

To get to the water park, we had to walk through Duinrell at night. Since the outdoor portion of the park was not in operation, it had an “abandoned” feel to it. It was like being in a Goosebumps novel. When we finally reached the indoor pool area, it was beyond my wildest dreams. Most of the slides looped around the outside of the building, so I had no idea what to expect each time I launched myself into a slide. In one slide, I shot straight down. I didn’t see it coming! Another slide was pitch black, and another one was completely psychedelic. The park also had a lazy river, a loop slide and a “toilet bowl” style slide that unceremoniously dropped me into the water upside down. I was in heaven!

I had a perma grin the entire evening. I couldn’t have imagined a better end to my mini Euro-tour. On my flight home the next day, I raved to the Dutch woman sitting next to me about my adventures at the park. She told me that she hadn’t visited Duinrell since she was a small child. I told her she was missing out on a gem of a place!

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