A Week in the Netherlands

After spending the last week and a half of 2018 in England, I flew out to spend my last week in the Northern Hemisphere for a while in Holland.

My first stop was Amsterdam. I chose a womens only hostel 20 minutes outside of the city, as this is a place where I expect crazy, and I’m trying to avoid it as I’d prefer to sleep. By the time I arrived at the hostel it was 7pm – as I’ve been here a couple of times before, I didn’t really feel the need to go exploring. Whilst booking up this trip I hadn’t been intending to stay here for longer than a night, but I don’t want this week to feel too rushed.

In Amsterdam I just walked in the city, stopping off at the cheese shops, trying the free samples when there were some, as well as a couple of cafes to read my book. The following day I was off to The Hague, where I just expected a small, Dutch city and it’s pretty hard to go wrong with those expectations.

After being in England, I was under the impression that Holland would be mild for this time of year. I was wrong. I walked around, went to the Escher Museum, which was crowded with it being a weekend, but still good, had a lot of coffee and finished the first Lord of the Rings book. There is other things to see and do around the area, but for me it’s cold.

Following The Hague, I went to Rotterdam. My intentions were to chill on the Sunday then go out touristing on the Monday, but upon Googling it, most places were shut on Monday. Instead, I first stopped off at the photography museum, celebrating Dutch photographers. It was decent, but the entrance fee was pretty steep. Next, as I was going to be getting hangry soon, I went to the Fenix Food factory, which essentially is a fancy food court, where I opted for a cheese platter.

Before heading back to the hostel for the evening, I stopped off at the Pinball Museum. They use the word ‘Museum’ very lightly; just a room of pinball machines that you can use at your will after paying the entry fee. The ‘museum’ part fits in as some of them were from the 1950s. My highest scores were on the Guardians of the Galaxy machine, but there were some Dinosaur, Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Guns n Roses, Elvis, Iron Maiden and Deadpool ones, to name a few.

Yesterday, I went to the Cube Houses with my camera. They’re quite interesting to take pictures of, so I spent around 45 minutes there. As everything was shut, I searched ‘#VisitRotterdam’ on Instagram which led me to Delfshaven. It started to rain and I didn’t really see much worth doing there, so headed back to the hostel.

Part of the reason why I came to the Netherlands, apart from its close proximity to the UK to catch a flight to Australia, was to see parts of the country that aren’t Amsterdam. I’ve been there previously with a friend with the sole purpose to be able to go away for a piss up, in a place that isn’t somewhere like Magaluf, and it was great. But now when I hear of people coming to this country, it’s always that they’re going to Amsterdam, not the Netherlands.

The past week I’ve enjoyed, not getting up to much in Amsterdam, then moving onto the Hague which was nice, just not too exciting. Rotterdam was my favourite though; if everything wasn’t shut yesterday I could’ve balanced sleeping in, touristing and chilling really easily. The only real issue I’ve had is the weather – to put it simply it’s cold and shit and I can’t wait to almost melt in Australia. Had it been later in the year, I could’ve gone out to see the tulip fields, or just wanted to be outside a bit more.

I get into London later on tonight and tomorrow have part one of the two longest flights I’ve ever taken in one go. It’s just over 22 hours in the air, with a six hour layover in Asia.

Back in Budapest

Going back to Budapest marked my third time there; I thought that arriving from India I’d want somewhere to chill and wanted to be in Europe rather than Asia. Budapest it was. The hostel I stayed in is the best one I’ve ever stayed in, with 14 guests when it’s full.

I didn’t really do a lot – went to the Gellert Hill baths, did a street art walking tour, went to Szimpla with a couple of Australians who wanted to be in bed by midnight and not much else.


23 Days a Melon Slave Left

It’s not been a very big week – our last week of melon packing lasted eight days, then we had three days off. Us being us, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to drink for three nights in a row. I couldn’t manage to go out on Saturday night because I just couldn’t do it so instead I stayed in and watched movies. Today we did a nine and a half hour shift packing and us backpackers were so slow. Somehow, we didn’t get into any trouble for it, though I did have the supervisor moan at me for being shit.

I’ve had another melon-related injury to add to my suspected RSIs. There’s a conveyor belt above where the melons get dropped and I needed a huge one so I leant over and pulled one from the back. It got caught on the conveyor belt and the melon rolled over my wrist – it was so painful. Almost like the film 127 hours but more like 1.27 seconds.

Yesterday one of my roommates (one of the most annoying people I’ve ever had to put up) and someone who I’ll refer to as psycho bitch came in at 2pm whilst I was attempting to watch Transformers with their music on literally so loud that I couldn’t watch my movie and someone next to me was attempting to sleep. I found this as the perfect opportunity to have a bit of a foul-mouthed rant at them to turn their shit off and got told off by them for being rude when they were the ones being inconsiderate in the first place.

At 3am this morning, they came in from a night out, turned the lights on which I turned off straight away and made a shit load of noise. I expect it for half hour or so on a Saturday, but they went on for an hour and a half. Our new roommate was getting so pissed off so as I am a native English speaker, I went out to tell them to shut it. Apparently before I got out of the room, Psycho Bitch was covered in tomato ketchup and was punching the fridge. I told her that she needed to be quiet and she went mental at me, to the point where I thought that I was going to punch me and you could hear her from one of the other houses. She questioned me as to how she was waking the entire hostel up. I complained to reception this morning before work and one of them heard me so I had a nice little dispute with a roommate. Since coming home, Psycho Bitch and none of my roommates bar the ones I like have spoken to me which is very very nice, though I do now have to stop breaking the rules so blatantly as one of them will dob me in.

This coming week I’m not too sure how busy it will be in terms of work; I’m hoping it’ll be busy as not only do I want the money but also to get out of here sooner rather than later. We think that the next few days will be busy as we weren’t working because of the rain, but if we do eight days in a row again at the same rate as today it may be a 53 hour work week.

2016: A Round-Up

Almost eleven months ago, I boarded a one way flight from England to Malaga. Without a doubt, those five months turned into the best experience I’ve ever had.

I started off with the best country: Spain. I ate some food that stands out as some of the  best that I have ever eaten, I loved most places that I visited and I learnt a fair bit of the language that I’ve probably forgotten by now. Las Fallas Festival was well worth seeing, though I could quite happily not deal with the chaos for a while! I can see myself, once I’m finished with long-term trips, staying in Spain for a bit and trying to learn the language.

Italy was also a good one for the most part; whilst Rome wasn’t to my liking and Pompeii was alright, Venice and Florence I liked, and I definitely can’t forget Milan. I pressed the wrong button and ended up with a flight there instead of Venice, though I can’t moan after eating the best pizza I think I’m ever going to eat.

A few other places are worth a mention – Budapest, my favourite city in the world (so far). Liked it so much I went twice, loved the thermal baths, food, hostel and general feel of the city. I stayed in a great hostel in Prague, enjoyed re-visiting Berlin and exploring Porto. I’m pretty sure I’m still burning off the calories of the Franceschina that I ate. Oh, and I also saw Beyoncé.

I could go on for days about my trip to Europe. Next came Singapore, which gave me my first feel for Asia, and has left me wanting to see more. I did perhaps the most dangerous tour of a city that I could ever do, ate so much good food that it warranted two lunches and/or two dinners some days as well as seeing a culture that wasn’t too familiar to me.

What I was looking forward to the most about this year was Australia, and it’s been alright; besides the friends that I made,  nothing has really stood out compared to my other trips. The East Coast is almost over, then after a week long trip, I’ll be back in Australia working on a farm for my second year visa. I have a good feeling that after this week, the trip will pick up a bit and I’ll be very, very busy.

What will I be up to in 2017?  Firstly, I’ll be at the Australian Open in Melbourne, before going to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year… I’ve only mentioned it a few times! I’ll then be doing my farm work, and when it’s over I will put my feet up for a couple of weeks. Then, I’ll be back at work for up to six months, saving  up my money again for some more trips. Japan is definitely on the cards, and I may go somewhere else. I honestly don’t see myself finishing the two years in Australia, though my visa will expire in July 2018, so I’m expecting to spend the whole of 2017 down under.

I have a couple of goals for the next year: firstly, I’d like to find my own place to live rather than a hostel, although there is more chance of me becoming the next pope than trying to balance work, life and living in and hostel ever again. I’d also like to learn something that isn’t work-related, take another cookery class abroad (Japan, I’m looking at you), and eat something that most English people wouldn’t consider eating.

If you click the read more button, you’ll see some of my favourite pictures. I tried to narrow it down to 10, but that quite obviously wasn’t going to work out.

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Dublin – the last stop (for now)

I decided to go to Dublin mainly because there were very cheap flights from Oslo. Once again, I manged to get seats in row 1 on the plane as I found out how to alter the seats on the check in machine at the airport.

Once in Dublin, I stopped off for some breakfast – I had been up since 2.30am afer having around 3 hours sleep, then walked around to find the Jameson Distillery before having a cheeky nando’s. With my stomach lined properly, I went on the tour of the distillery which was really well done. It was interesting to hear how it’s made as well as the differences between whiskeys made in Scotland and the USA – and got to compare them. What made it better was that the woman running the tour seemed to really enjoy her job. The tour ended with a whiskey, ginger ale and lime drink which was bloody good.

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Norway in a Nutshell

I’m not usually the type to book anything as a package as it’s usually cheaper to do it yourself and you’re not stuck with people, but this time I figured that I’d book this as part of a package as it’s easier and won’t have the all day anxiety of worrying about all the transport being on time as I’m travelling across the county. It cost quite a bit of money to do, but then again I did pay almost £20 for a burrito.

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I was supposed to arrive in Bergen via a 6.5 hour train, but my payment didn’t go through and I ended up having to pay extra to catch a flight. I guess it was worth it as it was far more comfortable, and I have a pretty good record when it comes to flying with Norwegian. The first flight I took with them, I had row 1 seats, second they showed cat videos and this time I had the emergency exit row with an empty seat next to me.

When I arrived here, I went to grab something to eat – a reindeer hot dog – then went up to the top of Fløyen which was around an hours walk. The view from the top was stunning and I could’ve taken another trail up further, but I had more walking to be done on Monday. And my legs hurt. I came back down at around 9pm, going back to the hostel.

It turned out that I picked the right day to go up Fløyen as it has just pissed it down all day. Going up in the cable car to the top of Mount Ukriken was going to be done, but I know in this weather I wouldn’t enjoy it which is a shame, especially considering the journey to get here. Instead, I started my day at a coffee place called Blom with an incredible coffee, one of the best I’ve ever had. I then went to the fish market, where it seems to be the place to buy overpriced fish, and then through Bryggen, looking through their tourist shops. There is one shop that sells stuff made from moose leather,  and another shop where you can buy a stuffed animal, starting from approximately £150 – I think that was for a squirrel. I spent a while in the shops, stopped off for a late lunch and then came back into the hostel for a cup of tea and sit down, before going out again for a walk until I decided that the weather wasn’t worth it.

I’m glad that I came to Bergen, but a shame about the weather. I’m definitely not in a rush to return as it’s a pretty small area, but one day I’d like to see the Northern Lights and I think Norway would be a pretty good choice for that. Tomorrow, I’m travelling across the country, not by plane this time, and later in the week I’m stopping off in Ireland because I can, then I’ll be returning to England on Saturday.


My flight to Stockholm not only had free wifi, but they also showed cat videos during the flight – I knew I picked the right airline. I arrived in the city mid-afternoon, and having only eaten a zinger tower burger for breakfast, I was keen to get out into the city and have something to eat. I ended up having a mandelbullar which was a cardamon and almond pastry, it tasted good but I felt as though I needed to brush my teeth straight after.

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